Caring for your Gemstones

Gemstones catch the eye, there’s no doubt about that. A great looking stone can brighten up a day and certainly lighten up a heart. However, just like anything, gemstones can become dirty, with use, or just because they are left lying around. This of course means they have to be cleaned now and again – but how? Well, here’s a guide on how to clean your gems, whether a February birthstone, or otherwise.

polished stones

Photograph by Bin im Garten

Fortunately, in the case of most stones including a February birthstone, it is possible to clean them with some soapy water and a soft brush. Just wipe them off afterwards with a nice soft cloth. If you want a little extra shine, soaking the stone in an alcohol solution for a few seconds can really help. This often brings the shine right back up, allowing you to look great whatever the occasion.

Diamonds

Though diamonds are tough, they’re not impossible to scratch. When storing diamonds keep them away from anything abrasive, or with a sharp edge as it may end up scraping the stone and causing you a lot of disappointment. Rubies and sapphires are also prone to scratches and should also be stored alone and minded in the same manner.

gemstone care

Pearls

The pearl can last for decades and even hundreds of years – alive. Pearls have a skin which helps them keep their shine, however these are porous and so take in skins oils and other outside factors, such as salts. Though quite strong, they should be kept away from makeup and creams. If they do end up touching such outside factors, wipe them clean with a soft cloth.

Emerald

This is one of the most susceptible stones to outside factors and should be kept away from direct light for periods, as well as cleaning products. They are also quite sensitive to heat and cold and should never be worn in extreme temperatures. If they do get dirty or tarnished take them to your jeweller and ask for their advice – never clean them with detergent.

Aquamarine

Like the emerald, aquamarine is also a very sensitive gem and should not be treated roughly, subjected to changes in temperature, or heat. If it does get dirty you can clean it with a warm water, but don’t rub as this may leave a mark. If in doubt, bring it to your jeweller.

Topaz

This stone is quite strong, but if it receives a hard bang it may crack or split. It is also quite poor in heat and cold and may be damaged by rapid increases or decreases in temperature. However, it can be cleaned in soapy water, but again should not be rubbed.

Moonstone

This stone is also very common and also very fragile and can break if it is subject to an impact – so take it off before any activities of the sporting, or cleaning nature. It can be cleaned with water, but may be damaged if rubbed.

The best way to keep jewellery is to place it in small bags and place it inside your jewellery box, otherwise it’s prone to breakage – obviously something to be avoided if you have a prized February birthstone, or a beautiful engagement ring.

Amehyst, the February birthstone, Bloodstone and Onyx as well as others not mentioned should all be cared for in a similar manner and if in doubt take them to the professionals.

Parriss Jewellers offer a varied selection of jewellery styles featuring the february birthstone, Amethyst.
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