Are you aware that your onyx jewelry is fragile and can be damaged easily? While the onyx is a gorgeous and mysterious gemstone, it is not very resistant to scratches and chemicals. If you clean your onyx jewelry the wrong way you could damage the stone. Also, if you don’t store it properly, it can get scratched or lose its lustrous look. If you want to avoid all this and learn how to care for your jewelry, read further to find out more about onyx.

What is onyx?

You may have heard the legends or you may know that this beautiful gemstone was one of the Ancient Egyptian’s favorite. Onyx is a variety of chalcedony, very similar to agate. Most people know about the solid black onyx, but this semi precious stone can also be white or other colors. One interesting fact about onyx is that the Romans used to wear the black variety with heroes engraved on the stone. Wearing such a piece of jewelry meant that the Roman soldier was as brave as the hero on it.

Nowadays people don’t wear black onyx to display their bravery, but rather their cool style. A black onyx cuff or an onyx signet ring are fabulous jewelry pieces that help create a powerful look. However, that look may be ruined if your onyx jewelry is not in proper condition. And this brings us to …

Cleaning onyx jewelry

On the Mohs hardness scale, onyx gemstones vary between 6.5 and 7. This means that they are relatively soft and can be damaged easily, as opposed to diamonds, for example. Besides their hardness score, onyx gemstones can also receive some treatment to enhance their colors. But as nothing is for free, a prettier gemstone usually means a more fragile one. These treatments make onyx stones porous and prone to discoloring if water or chemicals get inside them.

This being said, cleaning your onyx jewelry means being very careful about it. Use a soft cloth or jewelry brush dipped in lukewarm water to clean your jewelry carefully. Avoid rubbing the gemstone and just clean around it. After take, use a lint-free cloth to completely dry your jewelry piece and store it in a protective pouch.

What not to do when cleaning onyx jewelry

Don’t use mechanical cleaning methods on onyx jewelry as you risk damaging it. Ultrasonic cleaners and other similar methods are a big no-no when it comes to onyx jewelry. The only option is to clean it manually using the above method.

Another mistake when cleaning onyx would be to soak your jewelry in water. As onyx is porous, it will absorb the liquid and get damaged this way. We know that many people use ammonia or detergents to clean their jewelry, but you shouldn’t do this with onyx gemstones. Even if you don’t soak the jewelry piece in water and use only a moist cloth, that cloth needs to be dipped in bottled water. No tap water, no detergents of any kind and especially no ammonia.

What about polishing onyx jewelry?

Many jewelry pieces, especially silver ones, require polishing from time to time. By polishing your silver jewelry you remove tarnish and restore its beautiful luster. However, if your jewelry features onyx gemstones, you should be very careful about it. You can still polish it, but make sure the polishing cloth doesn’t get near the stone. It is needless to say that you should never polish the stone itself as it will get scratched and lose its beautiful look.

Onyx jewelry care tips

If you want to maintain your onyx jewelry it is not enough to clean it regularly. You also need to be careful when you wear it and store it accordingly.

  1. Store your onyx jewelry in a protective pouch

To protect this gemstone, you need to wrap your jewelry piece in a soft velvet or cotton cloth before placing it in the jewelry box. Alternatively, you can use an individual pouch to store it separate from your other jewelry.

  1. Don’t wear your jewelry when you do housework or exercise

As onyx gemstones as fragile, you should protect them from mechanical shocks. Whether you go for a run, at the gym or do housework, your onyx jewelry should be on its protective pouch and not on your body.

  1. Keep away from cosmetics

Your body lotion is good for your skin, but not your jewelry. Don’t apply perfume, lotions or creams while wearing your onyx jewelry. Also, you shouldn’t put it on immediately after applying cosmetics. Wait for the lotion to enter your skin, then put your jewelry on.

We know that it seems there are a lot of rules, but once you get used to caring for your onyx jewelry, it will get easy. If you want to read more about jewelry dos & don’ts, check out our other articles as well. To view our onyx ring or onyx charm bracelet, visit Ana Luisa online jewelry boutique.


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Ruxandra
Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.