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Taking Care of Your Gems: Jewelry Care 101

July 30, 2019

Taking Care of Your Gems: Jewelry Care 101

Just like us, our jewels need some serious self-care! Also, like us, each jewel's needs are individual and specific to its type—for example, diamonds are down for an ultrasonic clean, while some other stones just can’t handle it.  If not taken care of properly (and often), your most precious pieces can start to look less than sparkly and even become damaged. But since we’re assuming you’re not a jewelry expert, we’ve broken down the do’s and do-NOTS of jewelry care. 

Jewelry Metal Care: Gold & Platinum

If you’ve been following Marrow for a while, you know that yellow gold is our usual metal of choice (although we love rose gold and white gold too!). However, it’s important to remember that gold isn’t an indestructible metal! It’s totally safe to wear every day, but being mindful about the metal is key.

Gold can actually patina over time and the prongs holding the stone will need to be re-tipped every so often. White gold jewelry is rhodium plated to achieve that silvery chrome finish, so if you notice your white gold jewelry looking a little “off,” this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the piece! It just means the piece most likely needs to be rhodium plated about every year or so.  

Remember that gold is a softer metal, so take it off when doing anything active (including washing the dishes or showering!) that could compromise the integrity of the piece. Chlorine can also eat away at gold, so be sure to take off your jewelry before heading poolside.

For all our Marrow babes out there who love the platinum look, you probably already know that this metal is very durable, but can still be scratched and patina. If you aren’t sure how your jewelry is holding up, take it into your local jeweler or the company you bought it from and have them check it out!

Gemstone Care For Your Jewelry

Before you start cleaning your jewelry, you’ll want to take into consideration what kind of stone you’re working with! Delicate stones should be treated differently than a harder stone, like diamonds and sapphires. 

Softer Gemstones

Let’s start with delicate stones! These include:

  • opal
  • emerald
  • topaz
  • moonstone
  • tourmaline
  • sunstone
  • onyx

Most delicate stones should be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. You’ll want to avoid vigorous scrubbing and ultrasonic cleaners with these beauties. 

Pearls will need to be treated most delicately of all. They should be wiped with a soft cloth and can occasionally be cleaned with warm soapy water. Since they’re especially susceptible to acids, perfumes, and chemicals, pearls need a much higher level of care. 

Be extra careful with your opal and sunstone pieces as well! Opals are some of our favorite stones, but they’re as fragile as a wine glass! You’ll definitely want to remove them before doing anything physical (and be mindful of any harsh chemicals they may encounter!).

Harder Gemstones

Now on to more durable stones, which include diamonds & sapphires!

We love giving these gems an ultrasonic bath and a good steam! The only exception is when handling fracture-filled (i.e. “clarity enhanced”) stones, which should be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. 

While diamonds are the hardest gemstone, they are not indestructible and can chip or break if hit at exactly the right point—same can be said about sapphire (although they aren’t as hard as diamonds!) For these gems’ safety (and to keep them as sparkly as possible), we recommend our Marrow babes avoid wearing their diamond stunners while putting on lotion & makeup, or any physical activities.

Have a Question?

Feeling overwhelmed by this master class in jewelry care? Don’t! When in doubt, opt for warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Make sure you find yourself a trusted jeweler you can bring your engagement ring or any jewelry you wear daily, in for a check-up and cleaning every 6 months to a year.

If you need any more help, just let us know!

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