Unlike diamonds, many gemstones have limitations on how they should be cared for and cleaned. It’s important to know how to care for your precious gemstone jewelry just as you do for your diamond jewelry. Below are some tips for keeping your precious gems in great condition for many generations to come.
- Make sure your precious gemstone jewelry is separated from your diamond jewelry. Due to the hardness of a diamond, it is best to keep other gemstones away and separated from diamonds to avoid any scratches or other damage. Make sure your jewelry box has dividers or compartments where you can store gemstones separately. Pearls and opals draw moisture from the air, so storing your opal or pearl jewelry in a dry area, such as a safe deposit box, can sometimes do more harm than good. When traveling, protect your jewelry pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding it in a separate box or case.
- It’s important to give extra care and attention to jewelry featuring certain high risk gemstones like emeralds, opal, pearls, and tanzanite. Certain cleaning solutions and polishing techniques can have a negative effect on these type of gemstones.
- Apply your perfumes, colognes, and hairsprays before you put on gemstone jewelry. Not only will these chemicals reduce gem brilliance, they can be highly destructive to some gems, such as pearls, which react violently to acid and alcohol. If possible, wear your perfumes and colognes in areas that won’t come in contact with your gems. In the case of pearls, try to keep them out of contact with skin whether you’re wearing perfume or not.
- Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s color brilliance and durability. Over time, they can also fade or damage some gemstones, such as amethyst, tanzanite, and topaz. Pearls and other delicate materials, such as ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.
- Perspiration is often harmful to pearls. If it’s impossible to keep your pearls away from your skin (for example, if they’re on chokers or bracelets), it’s best to wipe them clean with a damp cloth immediately after wearing them.