You asked for it, you got it! It is the month of May and that means emeralds! Here are a few tips for taking care of your emerald jewelry.
Emeralds are a more fragile stone than say, diamonds, sapphires or rubies. A little more care must be shown. Emeralds are beautiful stones for all types of jewelry and with proper care will last for generations.
Gem and mineral hardness is measured on the Mohs scale. The numbers are based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one mineral can be scratched by another. But the Mohs scale is deceptive. The steps between the minerals are not evenly spaced. For example, diamond is only one number away, but it’s many times harder than gems in the corundum family.
Emerald is a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale and has fair to good toughness. This makes emerald a stone that requires more care in wearing than ruby or sapphire. Emeralds can break and chip fairly easily, they have a little bit of a stability issue. Heat can damage emeralds, especially by extending existing fractures. Light and chemicals can cause the oils, resins and polymers used to fill surface reaching fractures to alter in appearance or to deteriorate. Some industry experts estimate that 95 percent or more of emeralds are fracture filled. Since the great majority of fashioned natural emeralds contain filled fractures, it is risky to clean them ultrasonically or with steam. Ultrasonic vibrations can weaken already fractured stones and hot steam can cause oil or unhardened resin to sweat out of fractures. Using warm, soapy water with gentle scrubbing is the safest way to clean emeralds. Do not soak emeralds.
I would also advise going one step further with emerald jewelry. Take if off when doing anything that might result in a blow to a hand or to the jewelry. For example housework, (especially if harsh chemicals are used) gardening or playing aggressive sports. Don’t wear emeralds while showering or swimming. Always put any jewelry on after you’ve applied make-up, hairspray or perfume as the chemicals could damage or dirty the gemstones. Finally, emerald jewelry can be easily scratched, be sure to store it separately from other gemstones.
- Don’t use heat on emeralds. Not in cleaning or in resting. Light and heat are not good for emeralds.
- Don’t ever soak emeralds.
- Take off emerald jewelry if doing anything that might allow the jewelry to sustain a blow. This should be done with all jewelry.
- Don’t use any kind of chemicals on emeralds.
- Don’t swim or shower with emeralds.
- Put them on after you have applied your make-up, hairspray and perfume.
- Store emerald jewelry separately from other gemstones.
Protect your emeralds and they will last a lifetime!