How to Care For Gemstones
If you cherish your gemstone jewellery, you'll want to keep every piece looking as incredible as it does the day you unwrap it. Read our Gemstone Care Guide below and learn how the professionals keep their rocks in peak condition....
Different stones need different treatment and there are soooo many different types of stones now set in jewellery. When I first started out buying and selling, the choices were pretty limited, Amethyst, Garnet, Citrine, Peridot, Onyx, Turquoise, Pearls and Lapis summed up the offer. Now there’s a myriad of beautiful gems to be utilised. Back in 1990 Labradorite, Gaspeite, Ammonite, Amazonite, Rainbow Moonstone etc were rare to find in the jewellery gem markets, and prohibitively expensive when you did.
I remember when I first saw a consignment of Larimar, Charoite and Sugalite, still on the cutting bench in fat chunks. I was drooling over the prospects but was seriously deflated when I saw the reality of the final cut. They were just impossible to set. Now we can get beautiful cabochons of pretty much anything, ready for any setting you want: I’ve even sold sandstone in unique, one-off pieces!
For normal conditions you shouldn’t need anything more drastic than a mild dilution of soapy water applied with a very soft brush (a child’s toothbrush or softer), a good rinse with clear water and dry with a clean cotton cloth or paper towel.
With transparent stones you’ll only be removing the residue from lotions, perfumes, or soap etc that show through the stone from the underside and this will be more than enough. Opaque stones don’t have this problem, anything that adheres to the surface should just wipe away with a soft cloth. If you have anything more stubborn than that, you really need to go to a jeweller and seek some advice, as someone will need to see the issue to treat it.
What About Swimming?
When it comes to swimming, porous stones are obviously not going to love long exposure to liquids, things like Turquoise and Lapis. Softer stones such as Amazonite, Sugalite and Amber will become weathered and then there are photosensitive stones like Citrine, Topaz, Aquamarine that could lose or change colour.
A quick dip in the ocean every now and then isn’t going to cause any irreparable damage, but prolonged exposure over time could leave your favourite pieces looking a little worse for wear.