For over 4000 years, emeralds have been cherished for their exquisite beauty. This lustrous green member of beryl family of minerals is one of the most sought after choice for fine and luxury jewelry. No royal collection is complete without emeralds. Even our favorite A-list stars are the big fans of this luminous green stone and there is hardly any red carpet event that does not mark the presence of emerald jewelry.
Emerald is slightly less hard than diamond, ruby and sapphire, and has more inclusions but instead of these minor flaws, the gem has always qualified as a desired jewelry choice of most brides-to-be.
If you own an heirloom emerald pendant or decided to buy an emerald engagement ring, there are certain things you should learn about caring your valued jewel. Caring emerald jewelry is easy and simple. You have to understand a little about the physical nature of the gem as well as what type of treatment has given to enhance its quality.
Quality of Emerald
When you buy emerald jewelry, try choosing the high quality pieces. Emeralds have higher ratio of natural fractures and fissures that make them relatively fragile. This means any sudden blow could chip or break the stone. However, emeralds are oil treated to reduce inclusions, frequent filling with resins, oil or glass make the stone more susceptible to damage. Understanding the basics of emerald care can greatly increase the longevity of this precious gem.
If you want to wear the gem regularly, get it bezel set for this is the most secured setting for the green beryl. The metal will safeguard the gem from all sides against any accidental breakage.
Color and clarity are prominent features of any gemstone. Natural emeralds have too many cracks and fissures that make them more susceptible to breakage. To improve the stone’s appearance, emeralds are often subjected to oiling, flux healing and epoxy filing.
Emeralds are submerged in heated oil to fill tiny fissures or to make them less visible. This is a reason why emeralds are never cleaned using steam cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners as these are designed to remove oil residue.
Here, emeralds are heated in glass-based flux where molten glass infiltrates the fractures to improve clarity. However, this treatment also increases the brittleness as glass does not stand vibrations and it is more fragile.
Epoxy filing is similar to flux healing. In this treatment, epoxy resin of similar resembles is used for filing. But this is also highly vulnerable as resin can’t stand temperature change.
Cleaning Your Emerald Jewelry
Whether you have vintage emerald rings or emerald earrings, proper cleaning and care is important to enjoy the luster and glamour. Cleaning of your green beryl at home is easy. Just be cautious with products and methods. You can also take your pieces to professional jeweler once or twice a year. This simple maintenance process increases the life of your jewelry and gives you a sense of complete security.
Here are few of the safe and easy methods to clean your jewelry at home.
Always clean your jewelry with a soft microfiber cloth before and after every use. It is a good practice to keep your pieces free from light soil, other residues and even fingerprints. The jewelry polishing cloth you often see at a jewelry store is perfect to dry clean your items. You may also use the cloth used to clean camera lenses and eyeglasses. Avoid abrasive cloths or cloths treated with any kind of solvents and cleansers.
You can also use a soft brush to clean the areas cloth can’t reach. Often soap, hand lotion and hairspray collect beneath the pavilion of the stone and in intricate settings. Such areas are easy to clean with soft brush such as an eyeliner brush. Do not use a brush with hard bristles as it may scratch the stone.
You need oil free mild detergent or soap, lukewarm water, a bowl, a brush and a soft cloth.
Make a soapy solution in lukewarm water and dip your emerald jewelry in it for 5-7 minutes.
Then gently rub the piece with a brush. An old toothbrush with soft bristles is good to clean the intricate settings. Avoid rubbing over the stone.
Now, wash the piece with clean lukewarm water and dip the piece in clean water for few seconds. Even the slightest amount of soap will get dissolved in water, leaving your jewelry clean and bright.
Take off the piece and pat dry with jewelry polishing cloth. Your emerald jewelry will shine brightly like a new piece.
Never use any ultrasonic cleaner for emeralds. Such cleaners may remove the oil coating and can break the stone.
Wearing and Storing Emerald Jewelry
Like proper cleaning, careful wearing and storage also increases the life of your emerald jewelry. You should avoid wearing jewelry while showering, sleeping and swimming if you want the luster of your emerald engagement ring remains intact.
Make a rule to put on your jewelry last and put off first. Wear your luxury pieces after applying makeup, perfume, lotion and hairspray. This will save the items from any sort of chemical damage.
Always store your emerald pieces separately as the stone is more susceptible to scratching and chipping. If you have multiple emerald rings, earrings and pendants, make sure you put them in separate boxes or wrap individual piece in soft cloth.
If your emeralds need re-oiling, get it done by a professional jeweler.
With these easy to follow tips, you can keep your emerald jewelry new for several years. If you have any idea or tip to clean emerald jewelry we haven’t mentioned above, please share with us in the comment section below.