(Pictured above: Sonoran Gold Turquoise)
Gemstones are grouped according to:
- stones they scratch when contact is made
- stones that scratch them when contact is made
This is referred to as the relative hardness scale.
In this post, we provide three tips for cleaning jewelry containing gemstones on the low or soft end of the relative hardness scale. Gemstones on this end of the scale include: pearl, opal, turquoise, coral, ivory and moonstone, to name a few.
Tip #1. Don't clean soft gemstones with a toothbrush. Instead, use a soft cloth and very gently rub the stone.
Tip #2: Don't submerge soft gemstones in any liquid. Instead, dampen the aforementioned soft cloth with warm water and a mild dish detergent such as Dawn® Pure Essentials, rub a small section and dry it. Then, move to another section of the gemstone and repeat.
Tip #3: After cleaning, place jewelry in a safe location that has good air circulation for 12-24 hours. This will allow any moisture that was inadvertently absorbed by the soft gemstone to evaporate.