With proper care, gemstones can last from one generation to the next. Most gemstones are more or less brittle. Many are soft and some gemstones can be damaged by heat, vibration and common chemicals.
Here are some tips:
- Gemstones that have a Mohs hardness of 8 or less are subject to scratching. Harder gemstones are less likely to be scratched but are still subject to chipping and fracture. When wiping dirt and dust from soft stones, it is usually best to rinse them with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth.
- Many gemstones like coral, emeralds, kunzite, opals, pearls and turquoise require special care and should be handled gently. Most should be kept away from dirty water and oils to avoid discoloration and because of their heat sensitivity, should not be left in hot sunlight or in hot cars.
- If you use hand lotions or creams, remove your jewelry before applying them. This will help prevent buildup of dirt and oil on and around your gemstones.
- If you plan on playing sports or doing heavy or dirty work with your hands, remove your jewelry so they will not be subject to unintentional harsh blows and unnecessary dirt.