Gem Care

We offer the best advice on how to properly and safely clean, store and wear your gemstone pieces so that they keep their beauty and shine for many years to come.


GEMSTONE CARE GUIDE

Gemstones used in jewelry are generally very durable but not indestructible. Certain gemstones and metals are more vulnerable to damage than others. By handling your jewelry with care, you can prevent damage and keep your jewelry in beautiful condition for decades to come.


Gem Care: Wearing Gemstone Jewelry

To avoid damaging or soiling, gemstone jewelry should be removed for certain day-to-day activities:

  • Physical activities such as sports and exercise, can cause settings to loosen. Gemstones can be chipped by hard blows or damaged by prolonged exposure to sweat.
  • Showering, cleaning, and swimming can put jewelry into contact with harsh chemicals and/or hot water. It is best to remove jewelry before showering. Contact with hairsprays and perfumes should also be avoided.
  • Removing jewelry when gardening, baking, or applying lotion will help to minimize grime build up.

gem care

Gem Care: Storing Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone jewelry should be stored in a padded box or soft cloth bag. Pieces should be stored separated to avoid scratching which is particularly important when traveling. This also applies to diamonds, which may not be prone to scratching but can be scratched by other diamonds.


Gem Care: Cleaning Gemstones

  • For daily cleaning, gently wipe your jewelry with a soft lint-free cloth. A toothpick or soft brush may be used to gently remove dirt or grime lodged in the setting.
  • For more thorough cleaning, recommended methods depend on the gemstone and metal type. Warm water and a mild dish soap detergent is generally the safest option. Avoid using hot water or scrubbing jewelry with any abrasives or harsh chemicals. After cleaning, rinse in clean water and pat dry.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning machines are convenient but should be used with caution. Porous, brittle, and damaged gemstones can be damaged by the machine’s vibration.
  • It’s a good idea to have jewelry professionally cleaned at least once a year. Aside from a professional clean and polish, your jeweler can check pieces for loose settings and other signs wear and tear.
Diamond

Diamond

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Gently rub the gem with a soft cloth or toothbrush. You can have diamonds cleaned ultrasonically unless the stone is fractured.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless fractured)

emerald

Emerald

Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent or emerald-safe jewelry cleaner (always check the bottle and follow the gemstone care instructions). Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to heat, hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. May also be affected by chemicals, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

ruby

Ruby

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Gently rub the gem with a soft cloth or toothbrush. You may use an ultrasonic cleaner unless the gem is filled or dyed.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Sapphire

Sapphire

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Gently rub the gem with a soft cloth or brush. You may use an ultrasonic cleaner unless the gem is filled or dyed.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Peridot

Peridot

Wear and store with care to avoid scratching or chipping. Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent or peridot-safe jewelry cleaner (always check the bottle). Avoid any harsh chemicals. Gently rub the stone with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

Amethyst

Amethyst

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Gently rub the stone with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. You may use an ultrasonic cleaner unless the gem is filled or dyed.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Citrine

Citrine

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or try non-abrasive jewelry cleaning products. Gently rub the stone with a soft cloth or toothbrush. You may use an ultrasonic cleaner unless the gem is filled or dyed.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Topaz

Topaz

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent soap or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposing to heat, hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

Ultrasonic cleaning: No

Garnet

Garnet

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent soap or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposure to heat, hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. You can have garnets cleaned ultrasonically unless the stone is fractured.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless fractured)

Onyx

Onyx

Wear and store with care to avoid scratching or chipping. Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent soap. Do not soak. Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposure to heat, hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

For gem care for black diamonds, clean them in warm water using a mild dish detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Ultrasonic cleaning is possible.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes

Pearl

Pearl

Clean pearls in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent soap. Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to heat, hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. May also be affected by chemicals, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics. Avoid ultrasonic cleaning.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid


Frequently Asked Questions

Precious stones should be left to soak in warm water which includes some mild detergent. After around 20 minutes of soaking, the gems can be brushed with a soft toothbrush to remove oils, makeup and day-to-day dirt that have built up. Ideally, this practice should be done twice a week. Avoid hot water as some stones cant tolerate heat.
There is a common misconception that sunlight cannot fade gems, but this is not true. Some gems such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires can change colour when exposed to the sun. Extended exposure to sunlight heat can also make gemstones brittle and more susceptible to damage. The best gem care involves avoiding too much exposure to sunlight.
Oil can be applied to gems and is a common practice associated with the filling of fractures. Many gemologists are against this and advise that you don’t use oil on stones as it may devalue them as it could change their appearance.
Some stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires are known to fade when exposed to long periods of sunlight. Other precious stones, such as amber may darken in the sun. For the best gem care, it is advisable to keep gems out of direct sunlight as it can make them brittle.
Cleaning gemstones with vinegar is one of the best and most natural ways to clean gold and gems. Place your jewelry in a jar of white vinegar and leave for 10-15 minutes, gently shaking from time to time. Remove the pieces from the jar and scrub with a soft brush such as a toothbrush. Rinse under cold water.
The best way to clean jewelry for most (but not all) gemstones, is to let them soak in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes. Then gently brush them with a soft brush and rinse under cold water. Dry with a soft cloth or let them air dry out of direct sunlight. You should always use a mild dish soap detergent that doesn’t contain bleach.
As a general rule, gem care using baking soda is fine . However, as it is mildly abrasive, care should be taken when cleaning gold pieces which may become scratched. Always use a soft brush for cleaning.
The safest gem care and best way to clean coloured stones are with warm water and mild soap.
Raw gem care: place the stones in hot water mixed with mild dish soap to clear away all the dirt and residue from the rocks. Heat exposure is acceptable. Use a soft brush to remove stubborn grime.
The best way to clean most stones is to let them soak in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes. Then gently brush them with a soft brush and rinse under cold water. Dry with a soft cloth or let them air dry out of direct sunlight. You should always use a mild dish soap detergent that doesn’t contain bleach.
Store gemstones separately in a compartmentalized soft-lined box. If they can’t be stored separately then place each gemstone in separate soft jewelry storage pouches. Sometimes harder stones such as Diamonds and Sapphires will scratch softer gems such as Emerald, Lapis, so its important to store them separately.
Stones that can be worn every day with little worry are Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, and Topaz. The gemstones that need to be worn more carefully due to their hardness and wearability are Pearls, Opals, Jades, Aquamarines, and Onyx.
Gemstones that can generally take heat exposure from soldering and casting are Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Garnet, and Cubic Zirconia. Some gemstones that cant tolerate heat are Emerald, Opal, Jade, Amethyst, and Topaz.
This is one of the best and most natural ways. Place your gemstones in a jar of white vinegar and leave for 10-15 minutes, gently shaking from time to time. Remove the pieces from the jar and scrub with a soft brush such as a toothbrush. Rinse under cold water.