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People buy jewelry because it is a beautiful way to celebrate yourself or someone you love. Gemstones are valuable not only for their beauty and rarity but also their durability. Taking excellent care of your gemstone jewelry will ensure that all of your precious treasures will last a lifetime.

Rule Number 1

Keep them clean. Gemstones will lose their luster after awhile from dust, sweat and oils from our skin, especially if you wear them every day. If you know that you are going to be in a situation where you will be sweating a lot, take off your jewelry. To clean most gemstones, you can use a soft cloth or brush or warm soapy water. There are some stones that only require a soft cloth to clean them. These are because they are actual rocks and they absorb water such as: lapis lazuli, turquoise and malachite. Always make sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing it. To find out about a specific gemstone, consult our Gemstone Information section in our Jewelry Buyer's Guide.

Rule Number 2

Be careful with your gemstone jewelry. Some gemstones are softer than others, but even the hardest gemstones are vulnerable to breakage if they have a lot of inclusions. If you know that you are going to be participating in any activities such as moving furniture or exercising, take off your jewelry. Once a piece breaks, it changes the value of the gemstone completely and getting it fixed can be a hassle. Knowing when to remove your jewelry is a must. Remember to remove your jewelry when you are: using harsh chemicals while cleaning the house, putting on lotion, putting on hairspray or perfume, swimming or going from extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Rule Number 3

An ultrasonic cleaner is not always the answer. Some gemstones, such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires, will do fine in an ultrasonic cleaner because they are single crystal gems. However, you can also clean diamonds, rubies and sapphires with an ammonia/water solution. Other gemstones, such as malachite or lapis lazuli must never be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia or any chemical solution. These gemstones are porous and they absorb water. This water absorption can affect the gemstone's color. It is best to clean these gemstones with a soft dry cloth. To find out about how to clean a specific gemstone, consult our Gemstone Information section in our Jewelry Buyer's Guide.

Rule Number 4

Store your gemstone jewelry carefully. Many gemstones are extremely hard and can scratch your other softer gemstones or metals if they are all thrown together in your jewelry chest. Each piece should be stored in a jewelry bag or wrapped in a soft cloth to prevent any scratching or even breakage. Taking the extra time to store your jewelry properly will keep your precious treasures beautiful for a very long time.

Rule Number 5

In the event that your jewelry needs repair, shop around for the best price for what you need to have done. Ask around and try to get a referral from someone that you trust. When you get to the jeweler, make sure that the repair prices are written down and not just random quotes. Most reputable jewelers have standard prices. You should also check to see if the jeweler does the work on site. Some jewelers outsource their work, which can lead to delays and miscommunication that can affect your jewelry repair. Once you have selected your jeweler and had the repairs done, check the work and your jewelry. To save time, some jewelers may work on multiple pieces that require the same repair. The jeweler is human and mistakes do happen. It is very important to make sure that the jewelry you get back is the same piece you brought in. Before leaving the store with your item, conduct a final inspection to make sure your jewelry has been cleaned.

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