Gemstone and Jewelry Care

Proper Care for Your Jewelry

Jewelry is beautiful but easily harmed. Do your best to protect any jewelry from harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, scratches, sharp blows and sunlight.
  • Always take of jewelry before swimming. Chlorine can cause damage to various gemstones and gold. Gemstones may become loose in their settings (and possibly fall out).
  • Take off your jewelry before doing high impact sports as you may scratch the metal or chip the gemstones.
  • When doing household tasks such as gardening and cleaning, be certain to remove rings.
  • Put your jewelry on after washing and applying any makeup/hair spray.
  • Store jewelry separately so it doesn't scratch other jewelry.
  • Keep your jewelry in moderate temperatures. Do not store your jewelry on a window sill, heater vent or on a car dashboard.
  • As sunlight will fade many gem stones, store jewelry away from sunlight.
  • Keep bead necklaces (such as pearls, onyx and lapis) flat as silk will stretch.

Jewelry Hardness: Avoid Scratching Your Jewelry

The Mohs scale is the jewelry industries way of specifying a gems hardness. The higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the gem stone is. The highest Mohs scale rating is 10 (very hard but brittle - such as diamonds). Anything with a Mohs scale rating of less than 7 is easily scratched (examples are: amber, coral, lapis, malachite, pearl, opal and turquoise). Gold, silver, and platinum are only Mohs 2-1/2 to 4. Always carefully store any fine jewelry to avoid scratching.

Verify Jewelry Ring Mounts

Check that gems mounted in rings are not loose. The prongs of a ring can and do wear down over time. If the prongs wear down too much or break, you can loose the gemstone. Prongs are easily "retipped" by most jewelers to secure the gemstone. Visit your local jewelry store for help.

Keep Gemstones away from the Sun

Many gemstones are damaged in sunlight (there may be more): Amethyst, Ametrine, Apatite, Aquamarine, Aventurine, Beryl, Celestite, Chrysoprase, Citrine, Fluorite, Kunzite, Rose Quartz, and Smokey Quartz.

Avoid Stretching Bead Necklaces

If you own bead necklaces such as a wonderful strand of pearls, store them flat as silk will stretch over time. Stretched bead necklaces can easily break and if the necklace isn't knotted, beads will go everywhere. When knotted necklaces stretch, it can detract from their beauty. Many jewelers will restring necklaces or reset gemstones (for a fee).

Polishing Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry will shine more by buffing or rubbing it with a Sunshine Cloth or a soft cotton cloth. To have your sterling silver jewelry be less likely to tarnish, store your silver jewelry in plastic bags with an interlocking seal. (Do NOT store your pearl jewelry in plastic bags!)

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