Diamond and Colored Gemstone Treatment and Care Guide

Care for Diamonds and Colored Gemstones

The best way to clean your gemstones is to take your jewelry to any Fred Meyer Jewelers or Littman Jewelers on a regular basis for a free cleaning and inspection. We recommend every six months. This will ensure that your gemstones are cleaned properly and checked for any damage or problems.

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Normal Gemstone Care

In between inspections, to clean your gemstones that do not require special care, you will need a bowl of warm, soapy water (mild soap, e.g. liquid dishwashing soap) and a soft brush. Soak your gemstones for 20 to 30 minutes. Gently brush them with the soft brush to remove excessive dirt, then rinse thoroughly in clean water. Always clean jewelry away from a sink and plug your drain when rinsing.

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Special Gemstone Care

Some gemstones require special care. Refer to the information listed in this guide for any special care and advice about your particular gemstones. With proper care, you can expect a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment from your gemstones.

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A Note about Gemstone Treatments

Gemstones are frequently enhanced to bring out the vibrant colors and clarity of the stone. These enhancements were known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and have been an accepted practice for centuries. Common treatments include heating, oil filling, and a colorless wax polish. Most treatments duplicate the results that occur in ideal natural conditions. The majority of treatments are permanent and simply require normal gemstone care.

As a general guideline you should avoid cleaning jewelry containing gemstones in harsh or abrasive chemicals or brushing them with a hard brush. Certain gemstones require special handling to preserve their dramatic appearance and longevity. For example emeralds have natural inclusions that can worsen with improper care. Caution should be taken with all gemstones to avoid contact with cosmetics and strong household chemicals.

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Gemstone List with Special Care & Advice

GEMSTONE

TREATMENTS ACCEPTED BY
FRED MEYER JEWELERS

Special Care & Advice

Agate

Blue, Green

White

 

Dyed or heated to improve color

Dyed or heated to improve color

 

Exposure to heat or light over time may cause color to fade.
Normal gemstone care

Alexandrite

None

Normal gemstone care

Amazonite

Heated, irradiated, impregnated with colorless plastic

Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Amethyst 

Pink, Purple & Green

 

Heated to improve appearance or lighten color.

 

Normal gemstone care

Aquamarine

Heated to improve color and clarity.

Normal gemstone care

Aventurine

Dyed to enhance color

Normal gemstone care

Calcite

Dyed, impregnated with colorless plastic

Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Charoite

None

Avoid heat, chemicals & ultrasonic cleaners.

Citrine

Heated to improve color

Normal gemstone care

Cultured Pearl

Akoya, Freshwater, Keshi, South Sea, Tahitian

 

Bleached and polished to achieve uniform color and shape. Dyed or irradiated to produce various colors. Coated for protection. 

 

Avoid contact with cosmetics, hair spray, perfume and household chemicals including alcohol and solvents. Clean with a soft cloth. Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer.

Diamond

White

Black Colored

Brown, Champagne, and Yellow

Blue

 

None

Heated to create color

None

Heated or irradiated

 

Normal gemstone care

Normal gemstone care

Normal gemstone care

Normal gemstone care

Emerald

Penetrated with oil, wax or clear resin to improve clarity and durability. Dyed with color agents.

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid sudden temperature changes, rough handling, steaming and contact with cosmetics, hair spray, and household chemicals including alcohol and solvents. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner.

Garnet

None

Normal gemstone care

Hematite

None

Normal gemstone care

Iolite

None

Normal gemstone care

Jade

Jadeite, Nephrite

 

Bleached, dyed and surface polished with a colorless wax.

 

Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Jasper

Dyed

Normal gemstone care.

Kyanite

Heated

Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Lab Created

None

Normal gemstone care

Lapis Lazuli

Dyed to improve color uniformity. Coated with colorless wax and surface polished.

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.  Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Malachite

Coated with colorless wax to improve surface uniformity.

Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner. Avoid household chemicals.

Morganite

Heated or irradiated to enhance color

Normal gemstone care

Opal

Fused together with backing to create a unique design or color combination.

Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat, cosmetics, and household chemicals. Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.

Onyx

Black

 

Dyed or heated to improve color.

 

Normal gemstone care.

Peridot

None

Avoid sudden temperature changes and ultrasonic.

Quartz

Green Prasiolite, Lemon, Lime, Pink, Rose, Silver, Smoky, White

 

Heated or irradiated to enhance color.

 

Normal gemstone care

Quartzite

Dyed, impregnated with colorless plastic

Normal gemstone care

Rhodochrosite

None

Normal gemstone care

Rhodonite

None

Normal gemstone care

Ruby

Heated to improve color. Fissures and cavities can be filled with foreign material including glass, lead-glass, and glass-like substances to improve clarity. Can be diffused or irradiated to improve color.

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid strong detergents and household chemicals including alcohol and solvents. Sensitive to intense heat, pressure and ultrasonic. Avoid re-polishing or re-cutting.

Sapphire

Heated to improve color and clarity. Can be diffused and irradiated to produce a variety of colors.

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid strong detergents and ultrasonic. Avoid re-polishing or re-cutting.

Sodalite

Dyed

Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid intense heat and household chemicals.

Sunstone

Oregon

 

None

 

Normal gemstone care

Tanzanite

Heated to improve color

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid sudden temperature changes.

Tiger’s Eye

Heated to improve color

Normal gemstone care. Avoid sudden temperature changes.

Topaz

Blue, Pink, White

Mystic

 

Irradiated and heated to produce color.
Coated to generate iridescence

 

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.
Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid re-polishing or re-cutting.

Tourmaline

Green

 

Red, Pink

 

Heated to improve appearance. Surface fissures can be filled with oil or resin.

Heated and irradiated to improve color.

 

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid sudden temperature changes. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner or steamer.
Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid sudden temperature changes and steaming.

Tsavorite

None

Normal gemstone care

Turquoise

Permeated with plastic or coated with wax or colorless oil. Dyed to improve color.

Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth. Do not use ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. Avoid contact with cosmetics, hair spray, perfume and household chemicals including acids. Avoid intense heat.

Varisite

Impregnated with colorless plastic

Avoid harsh abrasives.

Zircon

Blue

 

Heated to improve color and intensity

 

Avoid ultrasonic cleaning and harsh abrasives.

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While we make every attempt to accurately disclosure treatments accepted by Fred Meyer Jewelers, treatments other than those listed above are often used in the industry. Due to the indiscernible nature of these treatments, and the fact that technology and industry practice evolve rapidly, we cannot guarantee that all treatments have been detected.


 

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