It’s no secret that we adore precious, sparkling gems here at Oh So. We also understand the importance of keeping those gems beautiful so we’ve pulled together a simple, easy gem cleaning guide so you can keep the shine!
A few simple rules
Our first piece of advice would be to do a full inspection for damage before starting to clean any jewellery piece. If there are any loose stones or gems that look cracked, leave the cleaning to the pros! (You could make things a lot worse…)!
- 1. Always apply lotions and potions before putting on your jewellery! We can’t stress this one enough – perfumes, sprays and fragrances can all have a tarnishing effect on your beautiful jewellery causing the metals to ware and gems to cloud. Pearls are particularly affected due to their porous nature (they soak up liquid like a sponge!)
- 2. Swimming whilst wearing jewellery is a definite no-no. Chlorine and other chemicals found in swimming pools and hot tubs are not your jewellery’s friends so leave your treasured pieces at home before taking a dip.
- 3. Try to avoid cleaning whilst wearing your jewels. Household cleaners, toothpaste and any abrasive containing chemicals should never be used when your jewellery is on. (We think this is a perfect excuse to just not bother with the dusting today)!
We all know diamonds are super strong and therefore difficult to scratch (reaching 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness in fact), but that doesn’t stop them attracting grease like there’s no tomorrow! Each time a diamond is handled the natural oils found in our skin get stuck on the surface, diminishing its sparkle and making it dull. Who wants a dull diamond…seriously?!
The simplest way to clean diamond jewellery is simply to soak it in mild dish soap and water. Then use a soft, clean toothbrush to work lose any stuck-on grease. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously if the jewellery has fragile settings, e.g. older prongs in antique jewellery. Don’t forget the underside of the diamond too if you can get to it. After cleaning with soapy water, make sure everything is rinsed off in clean (warm – not hot) water and dry the item.
Pearls are much softer than other gemstones and therefore should be stored away from direct sunlight and in a pouch to protect them from being scratched. Pearls to need a little moisture from the air to maintain their lustre so don’t keep them in an airtight container either. Believe it or not, the naturally occurring oils in our skin keep pearls hydrated and shiny so often frequently worn pearls can look better than ones that have been left in a jewellery box. It’s important to note though that sweat can start to erode natural pearls so it’s probably best not to wear then on hot days. (Leave your diamons for that…they sparkle better in the sun anyway)!
When cleaning pearls, a simple rub with a soft, damp cloth is the most effective method. Stains can be removed with a soapy solution if required and then dried thoroughly. Because pearls are easily damaged they should not be immersed fully in water.
Rubies are almost as hard as diamonds (9 on the Mohs scale), but can still be damaged by chemicals and also accumulate grease on their surface, making them lose shine over time.
Rubies can be cleaned in the same way as diamonds: using a mixture of mild liquid soap and warm water. Gently scrub your rubies and the jewellery mounting using a soft toothbrush, making sure you’re not rubbing too hard. After cleaning, rinse the item in water (not too hot or too cold) and then dry thoroughly with lint-free cloth.