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Gemstone Cleaning and Care

In order to keep your precious and semi-precious gemstones sparkling, and 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 gem cleansing techniques.
 

Gems should be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. The safest way to clean them is to soak loose stones (not all gems can be soaked) or jewelry in warm, soapy water and then gently clean with a soft brush. Dry with a soft cloth or air dry (not under strong or direct sunlight). Use only a mild soap if needed and avoid harsh cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia.

  Soft porous gemstones, such as pearls, coral, turquoise, howlite or amber, should never be soaked. Simply wipe them down with a clean and moist cloth. Organic gems can be damaged by improper cleaning. Filled gems and dyed gemstones, such as fracture-filled ruby or dyed turquoise, should avoid acids or chemicals when cleaning. Even something as mild as lemon juice can cause damage to the color of gems that have been filled or dyed.

  Always consult a professional jeweler when you have a question or are unsure about cleaning gems or jewelry. Most jewelers will offer a professional cleaning service, but be sure to choose one that has experience with colored stones, not just white diamonds. When hiring the services of a jeweler, it is also important to inform them of any gemstone treatments or enhancements as this can affect stability.

Gemstone Type DO DO NOT
Agate Soak, rinse & brush. Use heat or expose to extreme temperature changes (causes shocking).
Amethyst Soak, rinse & brush. Ultrasonic clean & boil with care. Use heat or expose to extreme temperature changes (causes shocking).
Aquamarine Soak, rinse & brush.Ultrasonic clean with care. Boil. Use acid.
Beryl Soak, rinse & brush. Boil & ultrasonic clean by jeweler. Expose to extreme heat (may change color).
Citrine Soak, rinse & brush. Boil & ultrasonic clean by jeweler. Expose to extreme heat (may change color).
Garnet Soak, rinse & brush. Boil, ultrasonic clean, acid. Expose to heat or bright light (may change color).
Feldspar Soak, rinse & brush. Boil, ultrasonic clean, acid. Expose to heat or bright light (may change color).
Jade Soak, rinse & brush. Expose to extreme heat (may change color).
Kunzite Soak, rinse & brush. Boil, ultrasonic clean, acid. Expose to heat or bright light (may fade color).
Peridot Soak, rinse & brush.. Boil with care. Expose to extreme heat or extreme temperature changes (may crack). Use acid.
Quartz Soak, rinse & 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. Soak, rinse & brush. Expose to extreme temperature changes or extreme heat (may fade).
Topaz, Imperial topaz Soak, rinse & brush. Boil or ultrasonic clean. Do not expose to extreme temperature changes (will fracture).
Tourmaline Soak, rinse & brush. Heat, boil or steam clean (may change color).
Zircon Soak, rinse & brush. Steam, Boil or Ultrasonic Clean.
  • First Published: September-25-2006
  • Last Updated: October-07-2016
  • © 2005-2016 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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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart