Never give to an amateur to be taken cared of. Risks should be properly assessed, along with metal (s) and gemstone (s) in presence. Beware plated objects. If any doubt about the above or if the piece is too thin, better to leave it as it is.
Jewels can be safely cleaned at home with a tooth brush, room temperature water and soft hand soap (not directly on emeralds). Rinse thoroughly afterwards. Tooth past should never be used as they contain abrasives that will scratch metals and might damaged softer gemstones
It is very important to understand that all gemstones CAN break and get chipped (yes, even diamonds). Therefore, it is important to avoid impacts, especially on hard materials (granite or marble table tops as an example).
As an organic gem material, pearl is relatively soft. Pearls should be stored separately from other jewelry in order to prevent contact abrasion. In addition, pearls are composed of calcium carbonate and are vulnerable to being degraded by chemicals. Perfumes and hair spray should never be sprayed on pearls. They should be applied before pearls are put on. Take pearls off before swimming as chlorine can cause damage to the pearls. Even skin oils can alter pearls over time, so it is best to gently wipe pearls down with a soft damp cloth after use. With proper care, pearls can be enjoyed for a lifetime or more.
Fragile and porous gemstones care
Along with pearls, other gemstones are porous or somewhat fragile.
- Kunzite: avoid exposure to sunlight to avoid discoloration (hence its name, “the evening gem”)
- Emeralds: avoid all contact with soap and detergents, as they will, overtime, wash the oil filling of the cracks and make your emerald look totally different. Impacts against hard materials should be avoided.
- Opals: very porous, somewhat soft (hardness 5.5-6.5) as well as having water within it s structure. For soap, creams, perfumes and other chemicals, opals should be treated in the same way as pearls. Opal jewelry should be kept in a sealed plastic bag with a small piece of damp cotton cloth in order for them not to dry out and craze. Sudden, extreme change of temperature should be avoided.
- Tanzanite: A beautiful gemstone, but fairly soft and easily abraded, and most of all; easily broken.
- Amber: with a hardness of only 2, this gem is prone to daily wear. Avoid rubbing, fire, chemicals.
- Malachite and Turquoise: porous: avoid exposure to chemicals. These 2 gemstones are fairly soft: avoid impacts on hard materials.