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Cleaning Your Dirty Gemstones

Apr 13th, 2010 | By | Category: GemStones Care

1). What you must Know Before Cleaning Your Dirty Gemstones or Jewelries?

Although cleaning gemstones sounds simple and easy, lots of precautions should be taken
before doing it because the cleaning might ruin your precious and valuable gemstones.
Frustration and disappointment have been experienced by many gemstone and jewelry
owners due to lack of sufficient information regarding cleaning them properly.

Here are a few tips:
1. Make sure what types of gemstones you have. Certain species of gemstones are so
fragile and easily affected by heat / chemical solutions!
2. Are they natural or synthetic gemstones?
3. Is there some kind of clarity or color enhanced into the gemstone?

Once you know about what kind of gemstones you have, then you have several options to clean them.

One method considered the safest, easiest, and cheapest cleaning method is to put your gemstones or jewelry in a bowl of hot or lukewarm (not boiling) water with some liquid detergent added.Soak and leave them for about 30 minutes. Slowly and gently brush them with an eyebrow brush or baby toothbrush. Rinse them in another bowl of water. Take them out and check for missing stones to see if there are any before throwing away the dirty water in the sink (it might have the missing stone inside). You can then dry them with a hairdryer at a low temperature.Before using any other methods, please ask the experts. You may have to avoid using such as ultrasonic cleaners even on diamonds since some of them may have undergone clarity enhancement.


Among the enhancements often applied by miners and lapidaries are:

BLEACHING The use of chemicals or other agents to lighten or create a more uniform color.
DIFFUSION The use of chemicals and high temperatures to produce or improve color.
DYEING The introduction of coloring agents into a gemstone to improve or alter color.
HEATING The use of heat to alter the color and/or clarity of a gemstone.
INFUSION The filling of a gem material with a colored or colorless substance such as oil, wax, resin or glass to improve the gemstone’s appearance.
COATING The application of wax, resin or oil to a porous gemstone to improve durability and beauty.
IRRADIATION The use of laboratory radiation to alter a gemstone’s color. Usually followed by a heating process.
In recent years, technology has produced new methods of gemstone enhancement. Many of these processes are difficult to detect and may involve various materials that are virtually unidentifiable, even with the most advanced scientific equipment. This has led to complex debates concerning what is acceptable in the gemstone community.

3). How are Colored Gemstones Graded?

If you intend to purchase coloured gemstones, it is important to be sure that the gems in question are of the grade you are expecting. Although it is somewhat more difficult to evaluate the grading of coloured gems, the techniques involved are similar to those used in grading diamonds.
The grading of colored gemstones follows the techniques used for grading diamonds by evaluating color, clarity, cut and carat weight, although this is pretty much where the similarities in the grading standards end. Unlike diamonds, when evaluating a coloured gemstone, the most weight is given to the actual color. Where a minor clarity flaw would see a diamond evaluated at a lower value, this is seldom the case with a coloured gemstone.
Colour is introduced to a gemstone as it forms in the earth, as trace elements are inducted into the gem as it forms. Some of these elements are vital to the composition of the gem, others are superfluous to the make-up of the gemstone, yet will affect the resulting colour. As a rule of thumb, the more intense and pure the colour the more valuable the stone, a good colour is more important than clarity for a coloured stone.
Clarity describes the internal purity of the gemstone, and is seen as a secondary measure of value when evaluating a coloured gemstone. Imperfections in clarity are often seen as an enhancing feature of a coloured stone, these types of imperfections are termed “phenomena”, a classic example of this kind of valuable imperfection would be the star that can often be found within sapphires, which is caused by a series of intersecting needles of imperfection being present within the gem. Also the cat’s eye, found within tiger-eye quartz is another easily recognised example of a valued imperfection.
Colored gems are cut into a much wider range of shapes than a diamond might be. The cut of a particular stone is decided by judging which shape would display the colour most effectively, whilst maintain the carat weight of the original. Some shapes seem to be better suited to displaying the charms of a coloured stone more effectively, such as tablet, trapezoid, mixed-cut, cabochon, emerald cut, marquise, pear, cushion and oval. Additionally, certain types of stones are usually cut into a certain shape. Most emeralds will be cut into the traditional emerald shape, sapphires and rubies are most often cut into a cushion or oval, and opals are always cut into a cabochon shape.
Carat weight is a numerical expression of the overall weight of the gemstone, a single carat is made up of 100 points, and in metric it would be equal to 0.200 grams.
The grading of colored gemstones is a far more complex problem than grading a diamond; judgements have to be made between colour and clarity, before the gem can be valued correctly. Collecting colored gems can be a fascinating hobby, the evaluation of them as individual gems is an interesting facet of such a pastime.


Sterling Silver tarnishes on prolonged exposure to air and water. It should be kept away from chemicals like hairspray & perfumes. It should be stored in Ziploc bags or cloth pouches.

Sterling Silver contains at least 92.5% pure silver and is alloyed with copper.

Argentium® Sterling Silver contains at least 92.5% pure silver and is alloyed with germanium, which has dramatically better tarnish resistance than standard sterling silver and requires minimal maintenance. An occasional wash and rinse and/or wipe with a soft cotton cloth is all that’s needed to keep the silver in pristine condition. No polish is required, and Argentium® Sterling Silver will remain beautiful and tarnish-free for years.

14k Gold Filled is a hollow tube of 14k gold that is bonded with heat and pressure to another metal such as brass. Everything you can see or touch is a solid layer of 14k gold which is approximately 100 times thicker than gold plate. By law, this layer of 14k gold must be at least 1/20 of the total weight of the metal portion of the piece of jewelry. 14k gold filled items look and last like solid 14k and are considered life-time products, passed along from generation to generation. In the USA, this process is referred to as “gold filled.” In Europe, the same process is called “rolled gold.” Many jewelry purchasers outside the jewelry trade mistakenly think “gold filled” is the same as “gold plate.” Gold plate is a thin coating of gold chemically adhered to a base metal, and does wear off after a period of time. WyreWorks yellow and rose gold filled jewelry creations contain ONLY high-quality 14k Gold Filled wire.

4). Sea shell pearls:

Sea shell pearls are good pearl alternative to make Fashion Jewelry and Costume Jewelry. Sea shell pearl is laboratory made from the shell of an oyster. The process of making a shell pearl involves several different stages. The raw material for the base of the pearl is the sea shell, which is coated and polished to the final shape of the pearl. In order to produce a good quality pearl, a key ingredient is what we call a ‘mother of pearl bead’. This element adds weight, value and durability to the pearl. In fact, the materials used in order to make shell pearls are the same materials from which cultured pearls are made.

- The major difference is that sea shell pearls is lab-made while cultured pearls are coated by the mussel. That is why Sea shell pearl has incredible roundness, surface, luster, size and low price.

5). Freshwater pearls:

Freshwater pearls are a kind of pearls cultured by freshwater mussels. They are used to be produced in Japan and United States in history, but are now almost exclusive in China. Today China is the only commercial producer of freshwater pearls in the world, producing as much as 1500 tons (2006) using the triangle shell mussel (Hyriopsis cumingii) and several hybrid mussel species.

- Unlike cultured Akoya saltwater pearls, which have nuclear beads inside of the pearls, the vast majority of Chinese freshwater pearls are tissue-nucleated pearls. In another word, there is no nuclear bead inside of freshwater pearl, the whole pearl is made of nacre. Nowadys, as a result of freshwater pearl’s great quality and affordable price, Chinese freshwater pearl has become an entrenched alternative to the Japanese akoya pearl and south sea pearl. It has created a renewed fashion in freshwater pearls as an affordable alternative to the costly saltwater pearls, like Akoya, South Sea Pearl and Tahitian Pearl.

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