Care & Handling Diamonds and Gemstones

Illustration Of Light Leakage in a Dirty Diamond

A Dirty Diamond

Diamonds may be the hardest substance known to man, but diamonds can be damaged quite easily. A certain amount of care should be exercised when wearing gemstones and jewelry.

A well cared for gem will look beautiful for generations.

Keep Gemstones Clean

  • Diamonds particularly have an affinity for grease. Diamonds are actually sorted at the mine using a greased belt.
  • Technically Speaking: Any grease on a gem surface will change the refractive index at that interface and allow light leakage.
  • Human Speak: The gemstone, especially diamonds, will look weak, dull and washed out
  • Use mild cleaners or those designed for gems. Soak the gem then clean with a soft cloth or very carefully with a soft toothbrush

In Gemstones, Hardness Matters

  • Keep jewelry separated. Diamonds will scratch diamonds. The easiest way to scratch a sapphire is with another sapphire or a diamond
  • Look up our hardness scale. Gems below 7 on the hardness scale especially, won't make good everyday bracelets and rings
  • Diamonds can shatter from sudden sharp blows

Avoiding Jewelry Damage

Unless you know gemstones, avoid ultrasonic cleaners. Ammonia in water will remove films from diamonds and corundum (ruby and sapphire).

Some gems materials, especially rocks (mechanical integration of 2 or more minerals) need special attention and handling.

Materials such as lapis lazuli, malachite and turquoise may be porous and can absorb chemicals such as soap. Clean only with a moist cloth

Opals are another special case. No ultrasonic, no ammonia. Opals naturally have a certain water content. Heat and light can dry out opals

Pearls, amber and other organic gemstones tend to be soft and porous. Simply wipe them clean with a moist cloth.

Protect gemstones from hairspray, cosmetics and perfume.