How To Clean The Softer Gemstones In Your Jewelry Collection

Jewelry has the ability to elevate any outfit and uplift any mood, making it a popular medium of self-decoration for centuries. Over time, many of us accumulate a lot of jewelry, leading to a sizeable collection that needs to be stored and cared for properly.

While people often care for their precious metals and stones by preserving them well, the softer gemstones in private jewelry collections are sometimes overlooked. This may be due to the erroneous belief that their monetary value is less than that of their more precious counterparts. However, even the softer stones in your collection require time and attention. When cleaned properly and taken care of, they are sure to stand the test of time.

Are you worried about how to clean your jewelry? First, you need to identify the stones. Your gems could be precious (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires), semi-precious (amethyst, aquamarine, blue topaz, cubic zirconia, garnet, peridot, and rose quartz), or soft porous. The method of cleaning you adopt will depend on which category these gemstones belong to.

Use a soft cloth instead of water

Gemstones such as pearl, opal, amber, coral, onyx, agate, and dolomite typically fall into the category of soft gemstones. These gemstones are not as sturdy as others and require extra care. For example, while harder gemstones can be cleaned with warm or cold water, and even submerged in water for a while, soft porous gems like pearls, coral, amber, and ivory, can be damaged or discolored by excessive exposure to water. Therefore, avoid cleaning them with water.

Since these stones are susceptible to water-related damage, they should be cleaned with a dry and very soft cloth that does not have any texture to prevent cuts or rubs on the surface of the stone. Jewelry cloths made for this purpose are recommended for cleaning these gemstones. If these stones get wet, be sure to dry them completely before storing them to avoid any moisture on their surface. It is also important to avoid contact with chemicals, such as those found in detergent products, perfumes, cosmetic creams, and hairspray, as this could lead to the stones appearing dull and lackluster over time.

It's all about preventive care for softer gemstones

While it's natural to clean your jewelry only when dirt has built up on it, the best way to care for your soft jewelry is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. Stay ahead of the game and keep your jewelry clean before it appears dirty or dull in appearance.

You can do this by storing it in a cool, dry jewelry box and airing it out occasionally. The storage area should be temperature-controlled and away from direct, harsh sunlight. Never spray chemical-laden products like perfumes, colognes, and hairsprays directly onto your soft porous jewels, especially pearls, as they may react to the acid and alcohol in these substances.

Since pearls, in general, are trending with their modern designs, it may be a fun style experiment for you to find ways to wear them over your clothing and away from your skin. But don't worry too much if your pearls end up touching your skin. Simply wipe away any sweat or moisture that may have collected on them before storing them away again.