CARE & CLEANING OF JEWELLERY
By taking care of your jewellery, you will enjoy wearing it for a long time to come. Abuse during wear by simply knocking them around could damage the gold setting or chipping the stones. Some customers think that diamond is the hardest mineral on earth and therefore unlike to get damage. Surprise! some diamond or gemstone has been known to chip or break into half. All gemstones and diamonds depend on its durability, read on …………….
Generally, durability refers to a gem’s ability to withstand ‘ordinary wear’. There are 3 points that durability is related to Hardness, Toughness and Stability. All depend on the types of gemstones.
Resistance to scratching. For example, diamond is very hard, in the scale of 1 to 10, diamond top the list of 10. But diamond can be brittle due to inherent crystallographic directional weakness or also known as cleavage plane, whereas ruby can be broken due to parting plane, etc.
Advise: Jewellery should be kept in boxes with partition to avoid scratching. Use velvet pad if necessary.
Special: Cultured pearl, coral or carbonate stones should be worn with soft
fabrics to avoid scratching.
Designer: Ask your designer to design your jewellery with some minute space between stone setting. Usually stone setter tends to squeeze diamond so close together that diamond got chip off at the girdle are.
Resistance to breaking, chipping or cracking. For example, leather is tough but soft, glass is hard but brittle. Other example, jade (aggregate) is tough and resistance to breakage. But jade is not hard like diamond.
Designer: Watch out for poor prong setting. Poor setting can put uneven pressure on a stone. Or even loose a stone or two during wear.
Princess cut with sharp corners or thin girdle of a diamond should be protected with proper prong.
Special: Emerald, zircon are quite brittle. Check the inclusions where the prong would hold the stone.
Some stones are sensitive to heat or change in temperature; radiation from light; chemical corrosion.
Special: Heat can damage stones like kunzite, brown topaz and amethyst. The colour will fade on too long an exposure to showcase light. B-jade is another.
Thermal shock can also damage gemstones like emerald, peridot, tourmaline, tanzanite, some garnets and quarts. Thermal shock like a sudden change in temperature for example when a craftsman resize ring size or some kind of alteration using jeweler’s tourch .
Cleaning solvent or your own perspiration can also damage carbonate gemstones like pearl or coral.
Some jewellery stores are equipped with ultrasonic and steam cleaning machine, these equipment are powerful cleaning machines. Customers should ask the staffs at the jewellery store what methods of cleaning that they use. It could be just simple brush and detergent or ultrasonic cleaner or a powerful steam cleaner.
Using soft toothbrush, mild detergent and warm water for scrubbing of dirt in jewellery. This method is slower and do not usually damage jewellery in any form, but inform your jewelers to take care when doing his job.
Take Care: Inform your jeweler to use a loupe to check the stone for types of flaw within the gemstones or diamond. Any surface flaw should be handle with care during hard scrubbing.
Cleaning: Avoid vigorous scrubbing of oiled stones like emerald or pearl.
Some cleaning solution like ammonia can be harmful to pearl or
coral. Do not scrub on oxidized finish (black) design jewellery.
Special: Use a soft moist cloth or tissue paper to wipe pearl or cultural
pearl after wearing. Dry it with dry tissue paper.
What is ultrasonic cleaner?
A. Send high frequency sound waves through a solution.
B. Vibrating fluid removes dirt from jewellery mounting.
Gemstones that could be cleaned by ultrasonic cleaner:
Diamond, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, amethyst, citrine, topaz, jadeite, spinel, garnet.
Avoid cleaning gemstones, which has been oiled e.g. emerald, dyed or B-jade. Other porous stone e.g. turquoise, malachite, pearl & opal.
What is a steam-cleaning machine?
A. It give off a pressurized blast of hot steam that thoroughly clean dirt in the jewellery.
B. Side effect is that it might force dirt into cracks or even cause thermal shock for some fragile stones.
Gemstones that could be cleaned by steam cleaning machines:
Diamond, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, jadeite, spinel, garnet.
Good for cleaning diamond especially for surface dirt and grease. Do not try on emerald, tanzanite or stones that are sensitive to heat.