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Gemstone Care And Cleaning Guide

Listen up everyone, there are some Gemstones that should NOT be put in the Ultrasonic Cleaner.

Some stones should NOT be Heated by Torch Heat or even a Steam Cleaner!

There are some stones that have been “Enhanced” in some way or another. These stones should be cleaned by HAND!

Care must be taken!

Otherwise you could Fade your Stone, or Worse, you could Damage or Crack your stone!

That’s Sad!

Some Gems, a good portion of them, have been Treated like so: Waxed, Heat Treated, Dyed, Irradiated, Coated, Color Enhanced, Cavity Filled, Diffused, Oiled, or even Fused together to make the Stones look better, hide the Inclusions or Flaws in them, bring out the Color, and Sell Better!

It’s a common occurrence when it comes to Stones, and just about every Jewelry Store there is sells such Gems. In fact, it’s been done like this for Centuries!

The Problem is:

With so many Enhanced Stones on the market, how do you Care for them without Harming them or Ruining your Stone?

(And trust me, I have seen some Beautiful Tanzanite Stones Lose just about all of their Deep, Dark Color! What a Shame!)

So What do you do?

You follow this guide!

Below is a listing of Gemstones that you can clean normally, which means you CAN put them in Ultrasonic Cleaners (even Heated ones), you CAN apply torch heat to them, and you CAN put them under a Steam Cleaner! That way your Stones stay Bright, Clean and New looking for years…

Other stones are not so lucky. Other stones that have been Enhanced will need to be cleaned by hand, using Warm Water and a Soft Brush to gently Scrub away the Debris.


DO NOT use Hard abrasives or Chemicals on Delicate or Enhanced Gemstones. This means NO Alcohol, No Solvents, and NO BLEACH!

So let’s begin…

Gems Needing Normal Cleaning

First off, here’s a list of Gemstones that are fine to clean anyway you can. Either by hand, in an Ultrasonic Cleaner, or even a Steam Cleaner. These Stones hold up the Best, that’s not to say that care shouldn’t be taken, but you normally won’t have any issues or problems with these Gems:

  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Alexandrite
  • Aventurine
  • Citrine
  • Diamonds (White)
  • Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Iolite
  • Quartz
  • Tsavorite
  • White Onyx

Clean These Gemstones Normally

Gems Needing Special Care

Now we get to the FUN Gemstones. These Gems listed below should be cleaned by hand ONLY! Warm Water, Mild Soap, Soft Brush, Soft Cloth! (NO Heat or Steam!)

  • Agates
  • Amber
  • Black Onyx
  • Black Opals
  • Black Pearls
  • Blue Onyx
  • Blue Topaz
  • Blue Zircon
  • Colored Diamonds
  • Copper
  • Coral
  • Costume Jewelry
  • Dyed Pearls
  • Filled Diamonds
  • Green Onyx
  • Jade
  • Jadeite
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Malachite
  • Marcasite
  • Mosaic Opals
  • Nephrite
  • Opal
  • Opal Doublets
  • Opal Triplets
  • Pearls
  • Peridot
  • Pink Topaz
  • Pink Tourmaline
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Synthetic Stones
  • Tanzanite
  • Tiger’s Eye
  • Topaz
  • Tungsten
  • Tourmaline
  • Turquoise
  • Yellow Topaz

As shown below…

Gemstone Care And Cleaning Guide

Heat Treated Stones

Many Stones like: Colored Diamonds, Ruby, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Topaz, Tourmaline and Zircon, have been Heat Treated to make their colors Richer, Darker and more Vibrant. Putting these Stones in Heat or Hot Light may Fade their Colors, Dry out the Stone, and even Crack them in Half!

When in doubt, always clean your stones by hand, and don’t leave them sit in the Cleaning Solution too long. I would say 5-15 minutes MAX. Or, you do the simple thing, take them to a local Jewelry Store and get a Professionally (and usually FREE) Cleaning, as well as an Inspection of your Mounting and Prongs.


Keep your Gems cleaned often. Every week or so keeps Debris from building up on the Stones and causing Damage. Cleaning them will keep things like Dirt, Cosmetics, Hair Sprays, Cologne, Perfume and Lotions from Harming your Stones (and it will also Extend the Life of your Gems).

And, like I already said, keep them away from Harmful Chemicals like Detergents, Bleach or Acids. Those can Dissolve Dyes, Resins, Color Agents, Waxes, Coatings, Polish, Plastic, and Epoxy (Glue used in Opal Doublets and Triplets).

One Last Bit of Advice:

Don’t Clean your Stones over an open Drain!

Trust me, I know!

Drains LOVE Stones! :)

Happy Cleaning!

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  1. Michelle Gallo // November 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm // Reply

    I put my onyx and silver earrings in a silver jewelry cleaner and ruined the onyx…it now has a white coating on it…is there anything I can do to remove it?!!

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