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Gem Care Guide

 

 

This gem care guide offers valuable and important information.

Your fine gems deserve informed care and handling. In addition to the information featured here, we have published several newsletter articles related to the care of gems and jewelry.

Gems can be damaged, destroyed, or lost if you mistreat or neglect your jewelry pieces set with gems.

Certain gems may fade or even change color if subjected to high temperatures. Others may fade if subjected to intense light.

A number of gems are sensitive to sonic waves. Some are sensitive to harsh detergents and/or other chemicals. Here is my list...

Alexandrite (Chrysoberyl) Stable to light, heat and chemicals. Do not boil. Sonic OK, ultrasonic with care (jewelers only).
 Amber (Organic) Easily damaged by heat, pressure, and chemicals. Wipe or soak in soapy water. Do not ultrasonic.
Amethyst (Quartz) Avoid strong heat or abrupt temperature changes. Boiling and ultrasonic should be done with care. Soak in ammonia and brush.
Ametrine (Quartz) Avoid strong heat or abrupt temperature changes. Boiling and ultrasonic should be done with care. Soak in ammonia and brush.
Andalusite Ultrasonic OK. Do not boil.
Andesine - Labradorite Avoid strong heat or abrupt temperature changes.
Apatite Heat and strong light can cause color to change or fade. Do not boil. No ultrasonic.
Beryl ( yellow, white, and Aquamarine, Morganite) Do not boil. Ultrasonic with caution. Sonic OK. Acids can cause damage, especially hydrofluoric. Soak in ammonia, brush. Brush accent gems and Water-Pik with warm, soapy water.
Cat’s Eye (Chrysoberyl) Generally stable. Avoid boiling and ultrasonic. Sonic cleaning is OK.
Citrine (Quartz) Strong heat may alter color. Soak in ammonia, brush, Water-Pik.
Coral (Organic) Organic material, soft and often dyed. Do not boil, ultrasonic or use chemicals. Clean with soapy water. Brush accent stones and rinse with Water-Pik.
Diamond Untreated diamonds OK to boil and ultra- sonic. Soak in ammonia, brush and Water-Pik.
Diopside Do not boil or ultrasonic. Do not expose to hydrofluoric acid. Very heat-sensitive. Soak in ammonia, brush.
Emerald (Beryl) Use extreme care. Usually filled with oil or resins that might be removed with cleaning. Do not boil or ultrasonic. Rinse, brush and Water-Pik with warm, soapy water.
Garnet Gentle boiling OK. Avoid abrupt temperature change. Ultrasonic with care. Sonic OK. Soak in ammonia, brush.
Iolite Gentle boiling and ultrasonic OK. Avoid thermal shock. Acids can damage. Soak in ammonia, brush, Water-Pik.
Jade Often polished with wax finish. Other- wise, very tough. Avoid high heat, solvents, acids and strong light. Soak briefly in ammonia, gently brush and Water-Pik.
Kunzite (Spodumene) Do not boil or ultrasonic. Heat and strong light can change color. Soak in ammonia, rinse and brush. Avoid hydrofluoric acid.
Lapis Lazuli Do not boil or ultrasonic. Often dyed. Avoid heat, solvents, acids, strong detergents. Clean gently with soapy water.
Malachite Do not boil or ultrasonic. Avoid heat, solvents, acids. Clean gently with soapy water.
Onyx Usually dyed. Avoid harsh chemicals.
Opal Very delicate and heat sensitive. Do not boil or ultrasonic. Avoid all solvents, acids, heat, abrasion. Brush with soapy water; brush accent gems.
Pearls (Organic) Avoid chemicals, hair spray, perfume, perspiration. Very soft. Do not boil or ultrasonic. Wipe with soft, damp cloth after wearing.
Peridot Avoid strong heat and abrupt temperature changes.. Do not ultrasonic. Damaged by acids. Soak in ammonia and brush clean.
Quartz Avoid strong heat and abrupt temperature changes. Boiling and ultrasonic should be done with care. Soak in ammonia and brush.
Ruby, Sapphire (Corundum) Boiling and ultrasonic generally safe. Soak in ammonia and brush. Water-Pik with hot, soapy water.
Spinel Boiling OK; aabrupt temperature changes. Sonic cleaning OK; ultrasonic with care. 
Tanzanite (Zoisite) Do not boil or ultrasonic.  Damaged by acids. Soak in ammonia and brush.
Topaz Do not boil or ultrasonic. Soak in ammonia and brush; clean accent stones with Water-Pik.
Tourmaline Do not boil or ultrasonic. Rinse, brush and Water-Pik with warm, soapy water.
Turquoise Do not boil or ultrasonic. Attacked by acids. Cosmetics or perspiration may discolor stone. Many are dyed or impregnated with resins. Brush with ammonia, rinse and dry.
Zircon Do not boil; ultrasonic OK. High heat or strong light could change color. Easily abraded—handle with care. Soak in ammonia, brush and Water-Pik.

This gem care guide represents generally accepted gemological knowledge. Some gemstones may be fracture filled or otherwise altered, rendering them more sensitive to heat.

AZGem.com is the Web presence of
The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232