CARE OF GEMSTONES
Gemstone hardness is based on a standard called the Mohs scale, where the higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone; conversely, the lower the Mohs scale number, the more susceptible the stone is to scratching, chipping, and breaking. It is important to consider this when cleaning, wearing and storing your gemstone jewellery.
The build-up of hand cream, finger prints and general dirt is common amongst your most loved jewellery, and can easily be cleaned. As a rule of thumb, gemstones at 7 and above on the Mohs scale can be cleaned with warm water, a touch of mild detergent and a soft brush. For gemstones less than 7, swap the soft brush for a soft cloth.
Many gemstones are also susceptible to damage by chemicals, water and even sunlight, where prolonged exposure to the latter may cause them to become paler. Examples include amethyst, citrine or smoky quartz.
Some gemstones such as opal, pearl and turquoise are fairly porous and should not be immersed in water for too long.
Particular care should be taken when cleaning your emerald jewellery. A widespread practice is to treat emeralds with some form of fine oil in order to disguise the very frequent appearance of flaws. For this reason, emeralds should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning device; as such treatment will usually empty any flaws which reach the surface of the stone of any oil content, with a disastrous effect on appearance.
HOW CAN I CARE FOR MY JEWELLERY?
- Avoid spraying the jewellery with perfume, hairspray, body oils, sun tan lotion and deodorant as these often contain harmful chemicals or abrasive materials as these could cause discolouration. Rule: Perfume first, jewellery afterwards!
- Do not drop the jewellery on hard surfaces.
- Do not swim or shower while wearing gold-plated or silver jewellery, and remove rings when washing your hand as chlorine, salt water and fresh water can damage precious metals and gemstones by dulling or eroding them. Soap can also leave a thin film which makes the metal seem dull.
- Do not keep jewellery in direct sunlight as prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause many gemstones to fade and lose their colour.
HOW DO I STORE MY JEWELLERY?
- Always store your jewellery pieces individually in our boxes provided in order to avoid breakage or the jewellery pieces scratching each other. Also, remember to keep your chains fastened so they don’t become all tangled.
- Keep your gold-plated and silver jewellery in a cool, dry place.
- Over time, sterling silver will naturally become oxidised and eventually tarnish; this is caused by the sulphur in the atmosphere, which is why centuries ago silver kept its shine much longer as there was very little pollution! To keep out the air that causes oxidation, store your gold-plated and silver jewellery in a sealed plastic bag or airtight box when not worn.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY JEWELLERY?
Clean your jewellery carefully with a soft, non-abrasive and lint-free cloth. You can also clean tarnished jewellery with a soft toothbrush using mild soap and water and dry using a soft felt cloth. Avoid using ‘dip’ polishes often, as these contain harsh chemicals and can destroy your jewellery over time. A soft jewellery polishing cloth with tarnish preventive will help you keep gold pieces lustrous and shinning. Some gemstones will require special cleaning procedures.