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  • September 11, 2020

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Precious Stones

Fine jewelry holds more than just financial value–it also holds personal significance, as each piece has meaning and memories attached, making them “irreplaceable.” Since these pieces are investments, it is important to keep them in good condition in order to preserve their quality over time.

Precious Gemstones

Gemstones are minerals or rocks that have been cut and fashioned into a piece of jewelry. These gemstones are divided into two categories: precious or semi-precious. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are considered to be the four precious stones, and all others are semi-precious.

How can Precious Stones be Damaged?

Even though most jewelry is extremely durable, it is possible to damage precious stones. A heavy impact, especially on the edge or point of a stone, can cause it to chip or shatter. Be careful while cleaning or swimming, as precious stones can be damaged by chemicals such as chlorine and bleach, which cause cloudiness or discoloration. Emeralds are especially sensitive to heat, and should never be stored in direct sunlight or next to sources of high heat for extended periods.

How to Maintain Your Precious Stones

When dressing, you should always put on jewelry last to avoid exposure to hair spray, nail polish, or perfume. Remove your jewelry when doing anything that could cause damage, such as applying lotion, cleaning with chemicals, gardening, going to the gym, swimming, or working with tools. Sometimes, the metal of the setting can be damaged as well. When removing your jewelry, wipe off traces of makeup and body oils using warm water and a cotton cloth or gentle brush. Protect your jewels by storing them in individual boxes or soft cloths to avoid scratches.

Once every couple years, take your pieces to an expert jeweler to be professionally cleaned and inspected. Gary J. Long Jewelers will always provide free cleanings and inspections while you wait. Our inspection will check for damage to the stone or setting, loose prongs, and more. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help preserve the beauty and value of your stones for a lifetime of enjoyment!