Advice On How to care for porous, delicate gemstones
Pearl, opal, emerald, turquoise, amber, coral and onyx are all examples of delicate, soft or porous gemstones.
As such, silver or gold jewellery items which carry this type of gemstone should be carefully cleaned with a soft cotton cloth or designated care kit. Harsh, abrasive cleaners will scratch these precious stones, creating flaws that remove their lustre. In emeralds, where natural flaws are often filled and hidden with oil, harsh cleaning will remove this oil, producing a similar effect on their appearance.
Even soaking in warm water can damage these gemstones, as residues left behind once the water has been absorbed build up leaving them dull and lacking their original shine. For the same reason, care should also be taken to avoid contact with make-up, perfume or hairspray.
Where such stones are dampened, they should always be allowed to dry completely before being stored away.
Hard, non-porous semi-precious stones
Hard, non-porous gemstones can be safely cleaned in warm water and a mild detergent. Use a small, soft brush to remove any build-up around the stone, taking care not to disturb or loosen the setting. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and dry/buff with a soft cotton cloth, such as would be suitable for cleaning gold jewellery. Store carefully, to avoid causing scratching to other, softer stones/materials you may have in your jewellery box, as much as for their own protection. Diamond, sapphire, ruby, topaz, garnet, cubic zirconia and aquamarine are all examples of hard, non-porous gemstones.