It’s time to find out how to clean gemstones according to each type. As you know, various gemstones have different properties and what may be great for opal, for example, may not be beneficial to turquoise. Learning how to clean gemstones ensures that your gemstone jewelry will always look and feel great. If you cannot find the gemstone you are looking for in the first part of our care guide, make sure to read the second part as well.
How to clean gemstones according to their properties
As you know, there are many types of gemstones and each has its own particularities. The first step in learning how to clean gemstones is finding out more about your gemstone. We have decided to list the most common jewelry gemstones alphabetically so that you can find yours easily.
Amber care & cleaning
Amber is a form of fossilized resin which you can find on ancient pine trees. It is very soft, with only 2 on the Mohs hardness scale. You have to be very careful with amber jewelry and never use ultrasonic or steaming methods on it. Just clean it with a damp microfiber cloth and be very gentle about it.
Amethyst care & cleaning
When learning how to clean gemstones, you also have to pay attention to their hardness scale. Amethyst is 7 on the hardness scale, which means that it’s pretty durable. It’s risky to use steaming, but ultrasonic should be fine. If you clean it at home just use soapy water and a very soft brush.
Aquamarine care & cleaning
Aquamarine is another gemstone that is pretty durable. It can reach 8 on the hardness scale, which means you can use the ultrasonic cleaning method. Steaming may be risky if the stone has fractures so it’s best to avoid it. You can also clean it with warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Carnelian care & cleaning
Carnelian has a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, but it has a particularity – wax won’t adhere to it. This is why, in history, people used carnelian to make seals. When it comes to cleaning methods, avoid steaming. You can use ultrasonic or clean it with a moist cloth. Don’t forget to dry it afterward.
Citrine care & cleaning
This gemstone has the same hardness as carnelian but will fade if you expose it to heat. When learning how to clean gemstones, you also have to know which gemstones don’t like heat at all. Citrine is one of them, but it should be ok to use ultrasonics. Another method of cleaning citrine is with lukewarm water and a very soft brush.
Diamond care & cleaning
Diamonds are forever, especially since they have a big 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Steaming and ultrasonics are safe for diamonds, as well as other cleaning methods. Since diamonds attract grease and oils, clean them with a soft brush and an ammonia-based cleaner. Make sure that the setting can take it, though.
Emerald care & cleaning
Even though emeralds have a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, it is not safe to clean them using the ultrasonic or the steaming method. This happens because they receive a warm oil bath to improve their color. These cleaning methods could boil out the oil. Just use warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Garnet care & cleaning
When you discover how to clean gemstones, you also find out about heat sensitivity. In the case of garnet, although this gemstone is pretty durable with a 7 on the hardness scale, it has some heat sensitivity. This means that you can use the ultrasonic method, but not the steaming one. When cleaning garnets at home, just use warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Jade care & cleaning
Even though jade, jadeite, and nephrite receive between 6 and 6.5 on the hardness scale, they have exceptional durability. They can withstand mechanical cleaning methods, as well as ultrasonics and steaming. Jade is very durable, but, in some gemstones, the acid treatment they receive to improve their color can weaken them. Have your jades seen by a gemologist before attempting mechanical cleaning methods. In the meantime, you can clean your jade at home using a soft brush and soapy warm water.
Lapis lazuli care & cleaning
Lapis lazuli is a fascinating gemstone but, unfortunately, it receives only 5 on the hardness scale. It is not safe to use steaming or ultrasonics on it. And because lapis lazuli is a porous gemstone, you can clean it using only a damp lint-free cloth. Make sure to dry it properly or it might get ruined.
To find out more about how to clean gemstones, read the second part of this guide where we will talk about pearls, opals and many more. Don’t forget to visit Ana Luisa online jewelry shop as well if you want to see unique designer jewelry collections at fair prices.
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- How to Clean Gemstones – Care Guide Part II
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- How to clean and care for gold plated jewelry?