Caring for diamonds and cleaning them is rather easy - it takes a lot to damage a diamond and ultrasonic cleaners are great for removing old dirt under the diamonds. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most gemstones. Gemstones are softer than a diamond and rank lower on the Mohs scale and are more vulnerable during the cleaning process.
Here is a guide on how to best clean your gemstones and gemstone jewellery to keep it looking best.
Sapphire Jewellery Cleaning
Sapphires are a variety of corundum, ranking a 9 hardness on the Mohs scale. To clean a piece of sapphire jewellery, soak the piece in warm water and soap and brushing it gently with a soft brush before rinsing and drying it. Untreated, heat-treated, or lattice diffusion treated stones can be cleaned through the use of a steam cleaner or an ultrasonic cleaner. Fracture-filled, dyed, and cavity-filled stones should be cleaned using a damp cloth.
Ruby Jewellery Cleaning
Same as sapphires, rubies are a variety of corundum. Most ruby jewellery, whether the ruby is untreated or heat treated, can be cleaned in soapy water with a soft toothbrush. If, however, the stone has had either fractures or cavities filled, it is best to use a damp cloth to clean the stone. The same goes for any ruby that has been dyed. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners can only be used for stones that are untreated, heat-treated, or lattice diffusion treated.
Spinel Jewellery Cleaning
Spinel ranks 8 on the Mohs scale. It's always safe to clean spinel with warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Some spinels might have been subjected to colour altering heat treatment. The treatment is stable under normal wearing conditions. As with any transparent gemstone, spinel might be fracture filled to improve its apparent clarity, therefore best to avoid ultrasonic cleaners.