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How to clean certain colored stone jewelry - emerald, ruby etc.?

Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
367
Hi everyone! So I am staying with my parents for a while and today I finally had enough of seeing my mother’s grimy (diamond) engagement ring and demanded she hand it over. Thirty minutes of scrubbing later and the thing looked like a different ring!

Now she wants me to clean her other pieces. I’m well versed in cleaning gold and diamond, but I am wary of cleaning her colored stone pieces, I know they’re delicate!

Chief amongst my concerns are: a) an emerald and diamond ring of hers. None of her colored stone pieces are certed, which makes it harder since I don’t know what treatments (if any) they’ve undergone. I think her emerald is most definitely oiled, and possibly heated (if that’s a thing for emeralds). I don’t think they are fracture filled because you can see Jardin.

b) a ruby ring. I’m confident the ruby is heated (it didn’t cost her a lot for the size of the thing) but again, I’ve no idea if it’s fracture filled.

I would also welcome advice on cleaning pearls and silver pieces, but I’m aware this isn’t the right forum for those, so if we aren’t allowed to discuss that here feel free to skip the question. Thank you for your help!
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
367
Soap and toothbrush if there's doubt. You can use a polishing cloth on the metal.
Does this work: put a little soap in a dish with some lukewarm/room temp water, soak the ring for 15-20mins, then scrub with a soft toothbrush?
This is basically what I did for the diamonds, but I used hot water instead of lukewarm.

Will soaking in lukewarm water damage the appearance of the stones if they’re fracture filled?

Thank you for your help!
 

Bonfire

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
3,293
Don’t use hot water on emeralds. Room temperature water, very mild dish soap and soft brush, rinse well. Don’t soak emeralds either. The gentler the better with emeralds. I mostly use a microfiber cloth to wipe them clean.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
367
Don’t use hot water on emeralds. Room temperature water, very mild dish soap and soft brush, rinse well. Don’t soak emeralds either. The gentler the better with emeralds. I mostly use a microfiber cloth to wipe them clean.
I might just stick with the microfibre cloth, thank you! And suggest that she take them in to a jeweler to get them really clean. They are set in halos so I would love to get the diamonds clean and sparkly but I’m scared to damage her stones.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,728
Does this work: put a little soap in a dish with some lukewarm/room temp water, soak the ring for 15-20mins, then scrub with a soft toothbrush?
This is basically what I did for the diamonds, but I used hot water instead of lukewarm.

Will soaking in lukewarm water damage the appearance of the stones if they’re fracture filled?

Thank you for your help!
I think the truth is not a definite answer here. A warmer temperature of the water helps accomplish two things in this case: 1) softens the dirt/grime encrusted on the ring, and 2) increases the reactivity of the soap dissolved into the water. The water can't cause damage directly, but the oils that go into fracture filling get drawn out with hot water and with soap.

I would soak the ring in room temperature water, and I would not soak in soapy water. After soaking in room temp water, I'd dip the toothbruth in mildly soapy water to brush the surface, and I'd rinse, then blot dry with a microfiber cloth if possible.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,728
I might just stick with the microfibre cloth, thank you! And suggest that she take them in to a jeweler to get them really clean. They are set in halos so I would love to get the diamonds clean and sparkly but I’m scared to damage her stones.
You can just scrub the diamonds in the halo more vigorously!
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
367
I think the truth is not a definite answer here. A warmer temperature of the water helps accomplish two things in this case: 1) softens the dirt/grime encrusted on the ring, and 2) increases the reactivity of the soap dissolved into the water. The water can't cause damage directly, but the oils that go into fracture filling get drawn out with hot water and with soap.

I would soak the ring in room temperature water, and I would not soak in soapy water. After soaking in room temp water, I'd dip the toothbruth in mildly soapy water to brush the surface, and I'd rinse, then blot dry with a microfiber cloth if possible.
Thank you so much for your help! I think I’m going to buy some microfibre cloths to help me in my endeavour :D
 

lilmosun

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,652
I might just stick with the microfibre cloth, thank you! And suggest that she take them in to a jeweler to get them really clean. They are set in halos so I would love to get the diamonds clean and sparkly but I’m scared to damage her stones.
Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the diamonds~

I would be cautious about sending an emerald ring to a jeweler's for cleaning without asking how they would clean it. Jewelers typically use ultrasonic cleaners which are not good for some stones such as emeralds and opals. I have seen jewelers who do not discern use of ultrasonic equipment based on stone type because they haven't had issues.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
5,020
Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the diamonds~

I would be cautious about sending an emerald ring to a jeweler's for cleaning without asking how they would clean it. Jewelers typically use ultrasonic cleaners which are not good for some stones such as emeralds and opals. I have seen jewelers who do not discern use of ultrasonic equipment based on stone type because they haven't had issues.
I held my breath taking my emerald back to the mall jewler to get cleaned
But they knew and cleaned it by hand
always a worry emeralds
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
367
This thread needs pictures after all your good work
I kind of have a policy of not posting personal pictures thanks to my experiences on a different forum :cry: also since it’s her jewelry I’d feel even less comfortable doing so :/


I held my breath taking my emerald back to the mall jewler to get cleaned
But they knew and cleaned it by hand
always a worry emeralds

Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the diamonds~

I would be cautious about sending an emerald ring to a jeweler's for cleaning without asking how they would clean it. Jewelers typically use ultrasonic cleaners which are not good for some stones such as emeralds and opals. I have seen jewelers who do not discern use of ultrasonic equipment based on stone type because they haven't had issues.
You have both got a great point about the equipment the jeweler will use. I’ll have to look into that for sure. Polishing it with a cloth can’t hurt anyway, so I’ll definitely do that! And just scrub at the diamonds without touching the emerald.
 
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