Caring for Gems: Emerald

In our third installment of our five-part series on caring for gemstones, we will explore the care and cleaning of emeralds, the May birthstone. Check out our birthstone of the month post from May 5 for more information on the stone itself.

While emeralds are very durable, but are not as hard as diamonds, rubies or sapphires. These other gems can scratch an emerald. Most emeralds are enhanced with oil or resin to fill in cracks or inclusions and improve their clarity.

As always, it is important to keep your emeralds clean and well cared for. Here are some tips:

  • Wash your gems with warm soapy water, but do not soak them in soapy water. Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush to get to hard to reach areas.
  • Avoid harsh detergents or solvents such as alcohol, acetone or paint thinner as these may dilute or remove the oils/resins from the stone.
  • Avoid hot lights and other sources of heat as they may cause the oils and resins to dry out. Ask your jeweler if they remove the stone from its setting prior to using heat during a repair.
  • Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaners to preserve the oils/resins. The vibrations of these cleaners may also weaken stones that are heavily fractured.
  • Store your emerald jewelry in a separate soft bag or pouch to avoid other gems scratching it.
  • Regularly visit your jeweler to have your setting checked and diamond professionally cleaned. This helps to prevent the loss of gems in the case where your setting is damaged or the prongs holding your emerald are loose or broken.

Taking good care of your emeralds will keep them beautiful for generations. Bridgewaters offers professional cleaning and checking as well as full service repair. Stop by to have your gems checked and