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How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry

How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry

At Springer's Jewelers, we understand that your gemstone jewelry is not just an accessory but a cherished possession that reflects your personal style and holds sentimental value. Ensuring your gemstones remain vibrant and sparkling requires proper care and cleaning. With over 150 years of experience in fine jewelry, we're here to guide you through the best practices for maintaining the beauty of your gemstone jewelry. 

Routine Care for Daily Sparkle 

Daily Wear and Tear 

  • Gemstone jewelry can accumulate dust, grime, and everyday substances that can dull its appearance. 
  • Regular, gentle cleaning is recommended to maintain its luster. 

Soft Cleaning at Home 

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe your gemstones after each wear. 
  • This simple action removes surface oils and residues. 

Deep Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry 

For a more thorough cleaning, which is recommended every few months, follow these steps to ensure your gemstones are handled with care: 

Materials Needed 

  • Mild dish soap 
  • Warm water 
  • Soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) 
  • Lint-free cloth 

Cleaning Process 

  1. Prepare a Soap Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water. 
  2. Soak Your Jewelry: Place your gemstone jewelry in the solution and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. This loosening of dirt and buildup makes cleaning easier. 
  3. Gentle Scrubbing: Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the gemstones. Be cautious around the pronged and pavé settings to avoid dislodging the stones. 
  4. Rinsing: Rinse the jewelry under lukewarm running water to remove any soap residue. Ensure the drain is closed or rinse over a bowl. 
  5. Drying: Pat the jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Allow it to air dry completely before storing or wearing. 

Special Considerations by Gemstone Type 

Not all gemstones require the same care. Here’s how to handle different types of gemstones: 

Hard Gemstones (Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires) 

  • These stones are durable and can handle the aforementioned cleaning method without much risk. 

Soft Gemstones (Opals, Pearls, Turquoise) 

  • Use a damp cloth for cleaning rather than soaking them in water. 
  • Avoid using any brushes as they can scratch the surface of these softer gemstones. 

Porous Gemstones (Emeralds, Lapis Lazuli) 

  • These gemstones should never be soaked in water. 
  • Clean with a dry or barely damp cloth and ensure they are not exposed to harsh chemicals. 

Detailed Guide to Storing Gemstone Jewelry 

Proper storage of your gemstone jewelry is not just about keeping it out of sight when not in use; it's about preserving its beauty, preventing damage, and ensuring its longevity. Here's an in-depth look at how to store your gemstone jewelry effectively: 

Individual Storage 

Gemstones can vary in hardness, and harder stones can scratch softer ones if they come into contact. Similarly, metal settings can cause scratches or indentations on adjacent pieces. 

Storage Solutions 

  • Soft Cloth Pouches: Ideal for each piece to protect against scratches. These can be tucked into a drawer or box. 
  • Jewelry Dividers: Use a jewelry box with individual padded sections for each piece, or invest in compartmentalized drawers that prevent movement and contact. 

Controlled Environment 

Gemstones and metals respond to environmental conditions. High humidity can lead to tarnishing of metals and affect porous stones like pearls or opals, while excessive dryness can cause some gems to become brittle. 

Maintaining Ideal Conditions 

  • Use silica gel packets in your jewelry storage area to control moisture. 
  • Avoid placing your jewelry near heating vents, windows, or in damp areas like bathrooms. 

Protection from Light 

Continuous exposure to sunlight can bleach or change the color of certain gemstones. For example, prolonged sunlight can fade amethyst, sapphire, and topaz, and can even affect the durability of colored diamonds. 

Sunlight Prevention Tips 

  • Store susceptible gemstones in closed compartments or drawers that do not receive direct sunlight. 
  • Consider using UV-protective glass for your jewelry case if it is exposed to light. 

Security Measures 

Valuable and Sentimental Pieces: High-value items or heirloom pieces should be given extra security to protect against theft or loss. 

Security Options 

  • Home Safes: Invest in a good quality safe with a rating appropriate for valuables. Ensure it is bolted down for added security. 
  • Safety Deposit Boxes: For jewelry that is seldom worn, consider renting a safety deposit box at your bank. 
  • Locked Drawers: Use sturdy locks and ensure that the furniture itself cannot be easily moved or tampered with. 

Regular Checks and Maintenance 

Routine Inspections: When retrieving or storing pieces, quickly inspect them for any signs of damage or wear. This practice helps catch issues like loose stones or weakened clasps before they lead to loss or further damage. 

Organizational Tips 

  • Keep an inventory, especially if you have a significant collection. This can include photos and descriptions, which can be helpful for insurance purposes or in the event of theft. 
  • Rotate the displayed or easily accessible pieces if you have a large collection, reducing wear and tear on any single item. 

Professional Cleaning 

While the above methods are effective for home care, professional cleaning once a year is recommended to maintain the optimal condition of your gemstone jewelry. 

  • Springer's Jewelers Services: Our experts use specialized tools and techniques to clean and check the settings of your gemstone jewelry, ensuring longevity and brilliance. 
  • Safety and Inspection: Professional cleaning also provides an opportunity to inspect your jewelry for any loose stones or damaged settings. 

Conclusion 

By following the cleaning and care guidelines outlined in this blog, you can protect your precious gemstones from damage and preserve their vibrant colors and brilliant shine. Remember, while regular home care is crucial, professional cleanings are just as important to maintain the structural integrity and aesthetic of your jewelry. 

We invite you to visit Springer's Jewelers for professional cleaning services and to explore our exquisite collection of fine jewelry. Whether you're looking to refresh a beloved piece or find a new gem to cherish, our experienced staff is here to provide personalized service and expert advice. 

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