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How to Clean Gemstones?

on January 19, 2024

Fine jewelry, whether it's rings, necklaces, or earrings, requires special care to maintain its shine and beauty. Precious gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, or rubies also need proper cleaning to preserve their natural luster and prevent damage. In this article, we will explore how to clean gemstones and keep them in perfect condition.

How to clean gemstones

Introduction to gem care

Proper care and cleaning of precious gemstones are essential to preserve their beauty and value. Each type of gem has unique characteristics, such as hardness and specific treatments or enhancements, that should be taken into account when cleaning them.

It is important to understand these peculiarities to avoid damaging the jewelry and maintain its natural brilliance. Regular and careful cleaning not only enhances the appearance of gemstones but also helps extend their lifespan and ensures they retain their value over time.

Therefore, it is crucial to be familiar with the proper cleaning methods for each type of gem and follow expert recommendations to ensure optimal care for your precious jewelry.


Preparation for Cleaning

Before starting the jewelry cleaning process, it is essential to take certain precautions to ensure that they are not damaged in the process. Here are some tips:

  1. Remove all jewelry from their cases or boxes. This will allow you to access all areas of the piece and prevent scratches or unnecessary wear.
  2. Carefully inspect each piece of jewelry for damage or loose parts. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it's best to take it to a professional jeweler before cleaning.
  3. Obtain professional identification and appraisal, especially for high-value pieces. An expert can help you understand the specific characteristics of your jewelry and recommend the most suitable cleaning methods.
  4. Remove any loose stones or movable parts from the jewelry. This will prevent them from being lost during the cleaning process.
  5. Isolate each piece individually. This will prevent them from scratching against each other during cleaning.

By following these preparation steps, you can ensure that your jewelry stays in perfect condition and retains its shine and beauty over time.


General Care for Gemstone Jewelry

The daily care of your gemstone jewelry is crucial to keep them in excellent condition. Here are some tips for proper use and storage:

Daily Wear:

  1. Avoid exposing your jewelry to water, sweat, chemicals, or cosmetics, as they can damage both the gemstones and the metal.
  2. Remove your jewelry before engaging in intense physical activities or household tasks to prevent scratches or impacts.
  3. Handle your jewelry with care and avoid placing them on hard surfaces.


  1. Store each piece individually in a soft case or fabric bag to prevent scratches and abrasions.
  2. Do not store your jewelry in damp or extremely hot/cold places, as it can affect both the gemstones and the metal.
  3. Clean your jewelry before storing to prevent the accumulation of dirt or residues.
  4. Avoid leaving your jewelry within reach of children or pets to prevent accidental damage.

By following these simple recommendations, you can extend the lifespan of your gemstone jewelry and keep them in perfect condition for much longer.


Maintenance and Specific Care for Each Gem Type

To further complement general care, let's explore recommendations for each specific gem type, especially those popular with the general public:



While diamonds symbolize indestructible love, it's important to clean them regularly with a soft-bristle brush and warm soapy water to maintain their brilliance.

As a general rule, never use abrasive products or rub them forcefully.

You can also use a professional diamond cleaning solution. Periodically check the setting claws to ensure the piece is securely held, minimizing the risk of stone loss.



Emeralds are fragile gemstones that require special care. Avoid exposing them to impacts or sudden temperature changes, as this could cause cracks or fractures.

Clean them only with a soft, dry cloth, without using chemicals. Ultrasonic and steam cleaning are not recommended for emeralds. It's advisable to remove emerald jewelry during activities where they may be scratched or bumped, such as gardening or sports. Periodically check for small fissures.


Sapphires and Rubies:

Similar to diamonds, sapphires and rubies have high hardness on the Mohs scale, making them resistant to daily wear. You can regularly clean them with warm soapy water and a soft-bristle brush.

Professional cleaning is recommended periodically to remove any accumulated dirt. Take special care with the settings of these gemstones, especially in rings, earrings, and bracelets, as precious metals like gold and platinum also require maintenance.



Pearls are unique organic gems produced by mollusks, requiring care different from other gemstones. Never expose pearl jewelry to beauty products such as perfumes, hairsprays, or sunscreen, as their porous structure absorbs these substances, irreversibly damaging them.

Wear your pearls regularly; contact with the skin helps preserve their luster. Periodically clean them by wiping with a soft, damp cloth. It's normal for pearls to darken over the years as part of their natural aging process.



As semi-precious gems, amethysts do not require overly rigorous care. Wash them with warm water and mild soap when they lose their luster. Always dry with care to prevent moisture residue in the settings, which could lead to oxidation. Be cautious with impacts, as amethysts can chip easily. Avoid using these crystals for household tasks where they could be scratched.



Quartz stones are beautiful and durable, ideal for everyday jewelry due to their hardness. Clean them by wiping with a damp cloth or using a soft-bristle toothbrush with water and mild soap if they are dirtier.

Quartz can withstand heat well, but avoid subjecting them to extreme temperature changes. Periodically check the settings, especially in articulated pieces like bracelets.



Opals are fragile gems that require special care. Never immerse them in water or use abrasive or chemical products to clean them, as this would damage their surface. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove dust. Always protect your opals from impacts; do not wear them for household chores or physical activities.

It's advisable to store opal jewelry in a padded box when not in use. Periodically check that the settings are in good condition.



As a porous semi-precious stone, turquoise can absorb creams, perfumes, and other chemicals that may darken its color. Clean it only with a soft, damp cloth. Never rub forcefully or use abrasive products.

Turquoise is fragile, so be cautious with impacts and avoid exposing it to extreme temperature changes. Wear your turquoise jewelry regularly; contact with the skin helps preserve them.


Solution to Common Problems

Over time and with regular use, all gemstones may lose some of their original shine and beauty. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to restore them to their optimal state.

If you notice that your favorite stones look dull or lackluster, don't worry – you can rejuvenate them at home by following these tips. The first step is to spotless the piece with a toothbrush and warm water to remove any invisible dirt. Rinse well and dry carefully.

Another option is to soak the jewelry for a few minutes in a solution of warm water with a few drops of baby oil. This homemade trick helps nourish and moisturize the gemstones to regain their natural brilliance. Gently rub them with a microfiber cloth after taking them out of the soak.

You can also find ultrasonic jewelry cleaners at specialized stores. Place your pieces in the cleaning solution and turn on the device for a couple of minutes. This technology is very effective, but be cautious with delicate gems such as opals or emeralds.

The transparency of certain minerals like quartz may be affected by superficial micro-scratches that scatter light. There are professional gem polishers available, but you can also try using a non-abrasive dental polish at home. Apply in small amounts and polish in circular motions with a soft cotton cloth.

Be very careful with aggressive chemicals that can erode your precious stones. Avoid using vinegar, baking soda, bleach, or ammonia to clean jewelry. Also, refrain from using hard-bristle brushes or rough cloths that may scratch them. The best approach is always warm water with mild soap and a gentle touch.


Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry (FAQ):

Let's address some of the most common questions we receive on this topic to assist our frequent customers:


How often should I clean my gemstones?

It depends on usage and your daily activities, but as a general rule, clean your jewelry whenever you notice dirt or a loss of brilliance.


How do I clean a piece that combines various types of gemstones?

Check the characteristics of each gem and choose a safe method for all, such as warm water and mild soap.


Can I use silver cleaners or other chemicals on my gemstones?

It is not recommended. Most of these have components that are too strong and can damage some gemstones. Use only water, mild soap, and a gentle brush.


What should I do if my emerald or sapphire loses brilliance after cleaning?

Try gently rubbing the gem with a cotton cloth dampened with mineral oil. This may restore its shine.


What can damage gemstones?

Harsh chemicals, heat, impacts, ultrasonic cleaners, and abrasives can all damage gemstones. Chemicals and heat can seep in, causing fractures or fading. Drops and knocks can chip and scratch stones. Intense vibrations and scrubbing slowly erode gem surfaces over time. Always handle gem jewelry gently, store it properly padded, and clean only with soft, non-abrasive cloths to prevent damage.


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