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In order to keep gems looking as vibrant and valuable as on the first day of purchase, it is very important to keep in mind a few basic rules and learn some specific cleaning techniques.

Gems should be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. The safest way to clean them is to soak loose stones or jewelry in warm, soapy water and then gently clean with a soft brush. Dry with a soft cloth.

Soft porous gems (pearls, coral, amber) should never be soaked. Simply wipe clean with a moist cloth. Organic gems can be damaged by improper cleaning.

Always consult a professional jeweler when you have a question or are unsure about cleaning gems or jewelry.

Gem Type DO DO NOT
Amethyst Ammonia soak & brush. Ultrasonic clean & boil with care. Use heat or expose to extreme temperature changes (causes shocking).
Aquamarine Ammonia soak & brush. Ultrasonic clean with care. Boil. Use acid.
Citrine Ammonia soak & brush. Boil & ultrasonic clean by jeweler. Expose to extreme heat (may change color).
Kunzite Ammonia soak, rinse & brush. Boil, ultrasonic clean, acid. Expose to heat or bright light (may change color).
Peridot Ammonia soak & brush. Boil with care. Expose to extreme heat or extreme temperature changes (may crack). Use acid.
Quartz Ammonia soak & brush. Boil & ultrasonic clean with care. Expose to strong heat or extreme temperature changes (shocking).
Sapphire, Ruby Use soapy water & brush. Boil & ultrasonic clean with care. Glass-filled stones should be cleaned by jewelers only.
Spinel Boil & ultrasonic clean with care. Ammonia soak & brush. Expose to extreme temperature changes or extreme heat (may fade).
Topaz, Imperial topaz Ammonia soak & brush. Boil or ultrasonic clean. Do not expose to extreme temperature changes (will fracture).
Tourmaline Ammonia soak & brush. Heat, boil or steam clean (may change color).
  • First Published: September-25-2006
  • Last Updated: May-27-2014
  • © 2005-2014 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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