Even though gemstones are among the most durable of substances, they still require some TLC (tender loving care). To keep your precious jewelry in mint condition, just a few simple steps and precautions will help you achieve your goal.
The reason why even the hardest gemstone variety can be vulnerable to breakage is if it has inclusions. An inclusion is any material that is trapped inside a gemstone during its formation. All Opal gemstones are natural occurring rock forms, so it is only natural for stones to have inclusions. With this is mind, always remember to take off your jewelry before doing any strenuous activity or high impact sports. This is to prevent jewelry from getting scratched as well as from tarnishing due to sweat.
To avoid your jewelry from becoming dull, apply cosmetics, hairspray, cologne or perfume before putting on gemstone jewelry. Apart from that, chlorine and related chemicals can severely damage, discolour and sometimes loosen stones and their settings. So remember to remove your jewelry when going for a swim in the pool.
After wearing, it is a good practice to wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a soft, clean and slightly damp flannel or chamois cloth to remove dirt and oil. Rings in particular tend to collect dust and soap behind the stone, especially if you wear them all the time. Not only will this small action of cleaning your jewelry after each wear ensure that your jewelry is clean, it will also help to enhance the gemstone’s shine.
There is also of course the ultrasonic cleaner, aka the ‘soliciter’. It is a cleaning device that uses ultrasound together with an appropriate cleaning solution to clean delicate items such as jewelry. Be extra careful when using an ultrasonic cleaner. Harder gemstones such as diamonds and rubies will be fine, however some gemstones that are more fragile such as coral, opal, lapis lazuli, pearl, or turquoise can be damaged.
When storing your jewelry, make sure that each piece of gemstone jewelry is kept separately and away from sunlight so that they will not scratch against each other and to prevent the gemstones colour from fading. If gemstone jewelry are not stored properly and thrown into a heap in a jewelry box, gemstones will easily scratch the finish on your platinum, silver or gold.
It is also important to store bead necklaces and bracelets flat as silk stretches over time. Stretched bead jewelry will easily come apart. Do not fret though, simply take your jewelry to a jeweler and they will re-string it for a small fee (sometimes even for free!).
The gemstone that requires the most attention when it comes to storage is pearl. Excessive humidity can make pearls soft and cause them to become misshapen. Freshwater pearls in particular are sensitive to this problem. Always make sure that your pearls are completely dry before you store them in an organza or chamois pouch. Please do not store them in a plastic bag! Plastic bags can trap moisture which can cause serious damage to your pearl jewelry.