Since they’re natural materials, precious stones require careful handling.
Although most precious stones are very hard and resistant, they’re not indestructible. They must therefore be handled with care and kept separately in their own cases so their beauty can be enjoyed for many years.
Cleaning your jewels
Over time, substances such as cosmetics and dust leave a deposit on the jewels, especially on the inner side of precious stones. This phenomenon affects the colour and reflections of the stones and can spoil our pleasure in wearing them.
Gold jewels or those decorated with diamonds or coloured stones must be cleaned regularly. All you need is a soft toothbrush, soap, ammonia and little of your time. Then, just rinse them in hot water and dry with a soft cloth. Don’t forget the back of the jewels.
• The composition of pearls (calcium carbonate, organic matter and some water) makes them very fragile and they should be kept away from detergents, acids (vinegar, citrus fruit), perfumes, sprays and other cosmetics (which should all be applied before putting on your pearl jewellery), excessive heat and abrasive products.
• In order to better conserve your pearls, you should only use a damp cloth and preferably, in the case of necklaces, clean the pearls with an almost dry cloth after each use.
• Though not always visible, the necklace thread gets worn out with use (exposure to creams and perspiration). Test its strength every so often as it’s a good idea to undo it and have the pearls threaded again regularly – for instance every two years.
• Beach season: Don’t take your pearls to the beach (they’re corroded by salt) or to the swimming-pool (chlorine).
Since diamonds are lithophiles, grease sticks easily to them, so they’re best cleaned much in the same way as you wash the dishes! Here’s what you should do: wash them in warm water and a grease-removing detergent with the help of a toothbrush, or the like, and a recipient so that any stones that come loose during the process don’t get lost. Note that the part of the stone where most dirt gathers is the pavilion (the back) so you should focus more on this area. After cleaning, rinse the diamond in cold water and clean with a cloth or dry chamois leather.
N.B:: Diamonds can also be cleaned by immersing them in vodka for a few minutes, cleaning them with a soft brush and rinsing in water.
Gold, Silver and Platinum
Wash in warm water and soap, or with alcohol. Use a soft brush; avoid toothpaste (abrasives scratch the metal), ammonia and mercury chrome and iodine tincture.
These can be cleaned in warm water and soap or grease-removing detergent.
Despite being harder than some other well-known gems, emeralds can be quite fragile as a result of their fractures. You should therefore wash them in warm water and soap (e.g. gentle laundry bar soap), carefully using a soft brush to remove the most resistant dirt. Avoid the use of alcohol, excessive heat and cleaning with ultrasounds. Emeralds should be stored in places that are not too dry and never kept haphazardly in contact with other gems, particularly harder ones (rubies, sapphires, diamonds). It is advisable not to wear emerald pieces, especially rings and bracelets, during highly physical activities (several sports, housework, DIY, etc.).
• Precious stones and necklaces can easily get scratched or damaged if they come into contact with each other, so always keep them separately in their case.
• Remove jewels when doing housework since any knocks can crack or break diamonds or coloured stones.
• Take your jewels periodically to your jeweller to be cleaned thoroughly.
• Keep pearls away from strong heat, excessive light (exposure to the sun) as they will dry up.
• Pearls must be kept apart from jewels and stored in a velvet- or silk-lined case for better protection.
• Perspiration can damage pearls so take care to clean them with a soft, damp cloth after use.