Our complete gemstone care guide is your comprehensive reference to all the nuances of every kind of gem that I could possibly think of. While plenty of gems will get a decent enough cleaning with a bit of warm water, a soft brush, and a bottle of gentle foaming cleanser there are still some variations to keep in mind about certain kinds of stones.
Complete Gemstone Care Guide
Amber gemstone is an organic gem that can be cleaned with a damp cloth and patted dry. Warm water and detergent can work well in case a deeper clean is required.
While amethyst is heat-treated to enhance its color there might be a problem with cracking or fading when exposed to extreme heat. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Similar to amethyst, this is blue beryl that undergoes gemstone heat treatment. Be aware that high heat can cause the color of this gemstone to fade. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
An exceptionally tough variety of quartz with a striking red hue. Use a moist cloth and rub briskly with a dry cloth to attain the high shine that we all love so much.
A form of quartz that is heat-treated. As with most heat-treated stones, avoid extreme temperatures that can cause fading. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Organic gems are some of my favorites, but they are very sensitive. Keep it far away from heat. It won't just fade, it will disintegrate. Use a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
Everyone's favorite gemstone! Their amazing hardness means they resist scratches but the clarity means that even a small amount of grease can disrupt the diamond's natural beauty. Ammonia-based cleaning agents are safe to use. For a quick clean you might consider our easy, quick, portable Shine Stick diamond cleaning brush.
Emeralds often have inclusions when means too much mechanical stress can break the stone. These stones also get oil baths which can get removed from cleaning that is too vigorous. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent. Scrub gently.
This is a very tough gem, but it would behoove one to keep in mind that garnets are sensitive to heat. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Yellow beryl is exceedingly tough but like a lot of gems on this list temperature extremes can cause fading or cracking. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Another organic gem which means that it is exceptionally sensitive. Chemical cleaning might disrupt its appearance so I'd suggest only using detergent in severe circumstances. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and pat dry.
Jade is a very tough gem that can stand up to a whole lot. If the surface polish does become compromised it will require professional equipment to redo. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
This lavender colored stone fades fairly quickly when exposed to sunlight. It also has a distinct cleavage plane which can lead to cracking with minimal impact. Handle with care. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
This porous stone is usually dyed in some way to improve color, but the dye isn't generally at risk of coming out due to the gemstone's porous nature. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Very sensitive to heat and abrasion, you'll need to treat malachite with care. Avoid acid, ammonia, heat, and hot water. Clean with cool water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Swift temperature changes can cause opal to crack. Of all the gems covered in our complete gemstone care guide, I'd rank this as the most sensitive. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
The last of our organic gems in the complete gemstone care guide. All organic gems are exceptionally sensitive so avoid using any sort of acid or ammonia. Even sweat can degrade a pearl over time, so wash them after use. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Speaking of gems sensitive to sweat, we have the peridot. This gemstone will need to be placed in a protective setting due to a surface that is easily scratched. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent to clean.
High heat tends to damage rubies that have crystal inclusions. Similar to emeralds, most rubies are given oil treatments so you'll want to avoid scrubbing them too hard. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Another form of corundum. Sapphire is identical to the ruby. The same type of care should be applied. See ruby above.
I love the durable little spinel. This is the kind of gemstone that has no difficulty maintaining its looks over multiple generations. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Tanzanite is a soft and fragile gem that often undergoes heat treatment so you'll want to treat it extremely carefully. Heat and vibration can kill a tanzanite in no time. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
One of the most porous stones around, you'll want to avoid using any sort of detergent on the turquoise. These cleaning agents can settle in and turn the gemstone from a gorgeous blue into a sickly green. Wipe with damp cloth then quickly wipe it dry.
Topaz is another stone with prominent cleavage planes which make mechanical cleaning a dangerous prospect. These gemstones are also sensitive to heat. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Tourmaline is a very hard gem, but this also makes it brittle. Crystals with multiple colors are often split where the colors meet so avoid heat and mechanical cleaning. You'll need to be especially careful with the pink tourmaline as it usually has a weaker structure. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.
Zircon often contains impurities that can become exacerbated by temperature extremes. Blue and white zircon are heat-treated, but don't expose them to any more than is necessary. Use warm water, a soft brush, and detergent.