Caring for Gems: Amethyst

We are starting a five-part series on the care for the five main gemstones over the next several months. We’ll start with Amethyst, the February birthstone, which is a lilac to deep purple stone. Check out our birthstone of the month post from February 1 for more information on the stone itself.

Amethyst belongs to the quartz species and is currently mined in Brazil, Bolivia, South Africa, South Korea, Uruguay, Zambia and the United States. It is a fairly durable stone with a hardness of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale (hardness is measured on a scale of 1 – 10 and is the resistance of a gem to being scratched).

As with all gemstones, it is important to keep your jewelry clean and well cared for. Here are some tips for the care and cleaning of amethyst:

  • Although fairly durable, amethyst is not immune to scratching and wear. Store each piece of jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container to minimize the chance for scratches.
  • While it is rare that amethyst may fade, it is still best to keep exposure to bright light to a minimum.
  • Clean your amethyst jewelry with warm, sudsy water and a soft cloth.
  • Ultrasonic cleaners are safe, except if your gem has been dyed or treated by fracture filling.
  • Do NOT steam clean an amethyst as it should not be subjected to heat.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals. Household cleaners, perfume, hand sanitizers, hairsprays and chlorinated swimming pool water will damage the gem.
  • Take your amethyst jewelry to a professional at least once a year for a safe, good cleaning as well as a check for scratches, loose settings and a re-polishing.

Knowing how to keep your amethyst jewelry clean and safe from damage will help to keep your gems beautiful for years to come. Bridgewaters offers professional cleaning and checking as well as full service repair. Bring your beauties in to keep them in excellent condition.