Your gemstone jewelry contains fittings where dirt, body oils and bacteria can thrive. Over time, these products can film and dull your gemstone jewelry. To properly care for them, it's a good idea to get into a cleaning routine to avoid build-up.
Start With the Right Tools
The first step is to start with a very soft brush. An ultra-soft toothbrush may work. If you prefer to work with a natural bristle brush, consider using a round stippling brush. You want a brush that will fit into tiny crevices without loosening any of the metal connections that hold the gem in tight. You will also need a plastic bowl for soaking the jewelry you're cleaning, as well as a fine sieve and soft cloths for the final rinse and polish.
Use a Mild Soap
Next, add a mild soap and water mixture to a plastic bowl and let your jewelry soak for 10 to 20 minutes. Mild soaps will work to degrease your jewelry, pulling away body oils and any other emollients that may have gotten trapped in the setting. When the jewelry has soaked sufficiently, gently go over it with the brush.
Never use an ammonia or bleach-based cleanser, particularly when cleaning up an organic gem. Acids and bases can score some gems or destroy them entirely. A mild degreasing soap will act on what is trapped in the setting, but it cannot alter the chemical makeup of the gems.
Study the jewelry
As you brush, take a look at the stone or stones. Do you see any cracks or scratches in the gem itself? Are there any prongs on the setting that are coming loose? Take the time to listen as well. As you brush, is anything moving on the surface of the setting? If so, take it to a jeweler for a repair or a resetting.
Rinse and Polish
When the jewelry has been soaked and cleaned, place it in the fine sieve, preferably on a soft cloth if the item is tiny, and rinse it under running water. Any soap left on the jewelry will cause it to dull. Polish it carefully with a soft cloth and wear it!
Freshly cleaned jewelry will sparkle and catch the eye. Once you have the tools and the skills, try to get into a regular routine of cleaning the jewelry you wear often. Should you notice any loosening of the setting, contact us for an assessment of your jewelry.