Cleaning Rocks

While rocks are generally tough enough to withstand average wear and tear, there are some special precautions you should take with your gemstone jewelry.

  1. Never wear any gemstone or precious metal in the swimming pool, whirlpool, while doing dishes, while cleaning house with chemicals, or while gardening with chemicals.  Most gemstones are treated in some way to enhance the color and/or stabalize the stone.  Chemicals can damage or change the color of your stones or cause them to deteriorate.  Gold, silver and platinum are all porous metals and chemicals can infiltrate your jewelry and damage the metals.
  2. Not all jewelry can be cleaned with the new ultrasonic or steam cleaners.  Most can be cleaned with warm soapy water.  See the list below for specifics on stones that require special cleaning treatment.
  3. Lab grown stones will test chemically the same as a stone found in the ground.  However, it is unethical to present any lab grown stone as anything other than "lab grown" or "synthetic."  "Imitation" stones are not chemically the same as natural stones and are often colored glass, but may be lab grown corundum (sapphire) or spinel that has been colored to look like another stone.  We specifically identify any lab grown or imitation stones used in our jewelry.

 

Caring for your cabochons, beads and faceted stones:

  1. Clean stones with warm soapy water and a very soft brush (except emeralds - have them professionally cleaned).  I use an old toothbrush after letting the ring soak for about 60 seconds.
  2. Dry stones thoroughly with a soft towel.
  3. Wipe stones with a soft dry cloth to remove fingerprints, smudges, etc. after wearing.
  4. Store stones away from heat and light.  Both heat and light may change the color of some treated stones.
  5. Avoid spraying hairspray or perfume on any stones or metals.

 

Ultrasonic and steam-cleaning chart from riogrande.com (a professional provider of gemstones)

Gemstone Variety Steam Cleaning Ultrasonic Cleaning Professional Cleaning
Amber no no no, soapy water ok
Amethyst/Quartz risky usually ok no, soapy water ok
Aquamarine usually ok usually ok no, soapy water ok
Citrine/Quartz risky usually ok no, soapy water ok
Coral risky risky no, soapy water ok
Garnet never usually ok no, soapy water ok
Emerald no no yes, and  re-oil
Iolite risky risky no, soapy water ok
Lapis Lazuli no risky no, soapy water ok
Opal no no no, soapy water ok
Peridot no risky no, soapy water ok
Ruby/Corundum usually ok usually ok no, soapy water ok
Sapphire/Corundum usually ok usually ok no, soapy water ok
Spinel usually ok usually ok no, soapy water ok
Topaz no no depends on treatments
Tourmaline risky risky no, soapy water ok
Turquoise no no no, soapy water ok