Cleaning Gemstones

General Care

Different crystals have different properties – some are hard, some are soft, some are porous, some are not. Bear in mind the particular qualities of your stone when taking care of it. Some of the softer crystals can be scratched or otherwise damaged from a simple knock, something you should pay particular attention to if wearing your gemstone as a piece of jewellery.

Even the harder varieties of gemstone can be damaged by a more serious blow, and can be particularly vulnerable if there are small flaws or inclusions in the gem. Take care when storing your jewellery as well, as hard stones may scratch softer ones if kept in a box together, or may even damage the metal the other stones are set in.

Cleaning a Gemstone

Transparent crystalline gemstones like diamonds or rubies can be cleaned by soaking them in a bowl of water along with a splash of mild washing up liquid. If necessary you can even use a soft toothbrush to remove persistent dirt. Once cleaned, rinse off the washing up liquid and pat dry with a towel.

Opaque gemstones such as malachite or lapis lazuli should not be soaked in water as they are porous and can absorb chemicals or cleaning agents, which may then discolour the stone. Instead wipe carefully with a moist cloth, and dry thoroughly afterwards.

Organic gems like pearl and amber are also porous, and can be quite soft as well. Treat these in the same way as opaque gemstones – wipe with a damp cloth and pat dry.

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