Basic Jewelry Care
All fine jewelry needs proper care. While certain pieces may need select care, most jewelry should be cared for using the following basics:
Sunlight ‐ Just like the sun damages skin, heat and light can damage certain gemstones. Too much sunlight can fade or damage amethyst and topaz. Pearls can bleach and peel if exposed to too much sun. And certain other gems, like opal, can darken if exposed to too much light. To remove any doubt, store jewelry in a dark pouch or jewelry case.
Chemicals ‐ Exposure to common everyday household chemicals, like ammonia or bleach, can damage both metals and gemstones. Even chemicals that are worn on the body – like hairspray, perfumes and lotions – can affect metals and dull gemstones. To keep your jewelry looking new, it's best to put on any perfumes, lotions or hairspray BEFORE putting on jewelry. And it's always wise to remove fine jewelry before swimming or using any type of household cleaners.
Treated Gemstones ‐ Many gemstones today have been treated, and these gemstones need special care. All treatments should be disclosed at the time of purchase. Treated gemstones may be negatively affected by heat, steam or ultrasonic cleaners and certain solvents. Follow instructions from your jeweler to keep your treated gemstone jewelry looking sparkling.
Ultrasonic Cleaners ‐ While ultrasonic cleaners are great for cleaning metals, diamonds and certain gemstones, they should not be used in the following circumstances:
- On organic gems like pearls, coral or ivory.
- Any gemstones that have been fracture‐filled with oil, resin or glass. For instance, most emeralds are fracture‐filled and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Gems that have been coated. For instance, Mystic Fire Topaz have been finished with an azotic coating and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Certain heat‐treated gemstones.
- Any gemstones that are susceptible to heat or temperature changes, like tanzanite, iolite, opal, etc., should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.