How to care for Amethyst jewelry
by Ardamun Ramdeva
Amethyst in rings will collect soap film, oil and dirt at the back and between the prongs of the mounting and the gemstone. Film from lotions, powders, and skin oils dulls Amethyst and reduces its brilliance.
Caring For Amethyst Jewelry
A member of the Quartz family, Amethyst is its most highly valued and recognizable gemstone. This transparent, purple gemstone is widely regarded as the most beautiful form of quartz. One of the best-known uses of Amethyst is in jewelry. As purple is regarded as the color of royalty, Amethyst is perfect for use in royal jewelry. It has been widely used in the Crown Jewels of England and was also found in the jewelry of ancient Egyptians.
Amethyst is due to the presence of manganese in quartz. The darker colored Amethyst is more valuable and is usually referred to as Siberian. The paler purple gemstone is known as Rose de France. Amethyst is mined in Africa, Australia and some parts of South America. The South American Amethyst is larger in size, but the African gem is known for its darker colors in smaller sizes. It is also found in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, but the quality is not acceptable for use in jewelry.
Amethyst and Jewelry
Once ranked along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds as the most precious gemstones, today, Amethyst is valued much lower than the others because of its abundance. Its affordable price makes it a popular choice for jewelry. It has a hardness of 7 on the Moh’s scale and its color ranges from violet to pale-red violet.
Caring for Amethyst jewelry is a matter of common sense. Caring involves cleaning of your jewelry pieces. Amethyst jewelry needs to be cleaned periodically. Amethyst in rings will collect soap film, oil and dirt at the back and between the prongs of the mounting and the gemstone. Film from lotions, powders, and skin oils dulls Amethyst and reduces its brilliance. The lost luster and its brilliance can be restored by cleaning your Amethyst jewelry in a gentle dishwashing liquid and a soft brush. A rinse in warm water and drying with a soft cloth will return your jewelry and Amethyst to its former pristine condition.
Ensure that your jewelry is not subjected to random blows, such as during exercises. Avoid wearing jewelry while exercising. You can cause damage to your beautiful gemstone and dent and/or break the metal of the jewelry. Store your Amethyst jewelry while engaging in such strenuous activities.
Amethyst in your jewelry, in which your precious gemstone has not been enhanced in any way, may fade with long exposure to sunlight. Before using in jewelry, Amethyst is sometimes subjected to heat treatment to enhance its color. Yellow Amethyst is known as burnt Amethyst, as it turns to yellow when exposed to heat. Care needs to be taken to ensure that Amethyst jewelry, made with Amethyst that has been heated to enhance its color, is not exposed to high heat.
If cared properly, your Amethyst jewelry will give you years of wearing pleasure. There are chances that chlorine and salt water may discolor and fade the Amethyst in your jewelry. Ensure you leave your Amethyst jewelry at home when visiting your local pool or when spending a day at the beach.
In jewelry, Amethyst is used with sterling silver or gold. Care needs to be taken to ensure that these precious metals are also not damaged. Sterling Silver tarnishes naturally and needs regular cleaning. Store your Amethyst jewelry with sterling silver mounting, in a self-sealing plastic bag to slow down the tarnishing. Tarnishing can be removed by hand polishing with a soft cloth.
Hold your jewelry by the mounting and not by the Amethyst in it. This can cause the gemstone to loosen and there is a risk of losing it.
Amethyst Jewelry – Care and Cleaning
Fine Amethyst jewelry can last a lifetime. All it needs is proper care and cleaning. Cleaning your fine Amethyst jewelry is one way of keeping it bright and shinning, as it was on the day you first purchased it. Amethyst is fairly durable but still needs proper care:
* Clean your Amethyst jewelry regularly to remove the oil and soap film that distracts from its beauty.* Remove your Amethyst jewelry while exercising or playing sports. Your gemstone can be chipped or be jarred loose.
* Before wearing your jewelry, check for loose Amethyst.
* Avoid wearing jewelry during housework. Contact with household chemicals, specially ammonia-based, may discolor or damage your jewelry.
* Never store your jewelry in piles or together. This is to avoid scratching the Amethyst in your jewelry as well as the metal mounting. Harder gemstones, such as diamonds, can scratch Amethyst.
* Store your precious Amethyst jewelry in separate sections of the jewelry box or wrap them separately in soft cloths.
* Do not wear your jewelry in swimming pools and on beaches. The chlorine in the pool and the seawater can harm and discolor the Amethyst in your jewelry.
* Gold and sterling silver, the metals used with amethyst in jewelry have low hardness, from 2.5 to 4 on the Moh’s scale. Special care is needed to ensure they are not damaged and dented. Sterling silver being very soft can easily be marred by even fingernails.
* Do not soak your jewelry for extended periods in soap or other such solutions. It may harm the polish of your gemstone.
* Never ever use chlorine bleach to clean Amethyst jewelry.
* Never use toothpaste to clean your Amethyst jewelry. The abrasives in your toothpaste could mar the shine on Amethyst and the mounted metal.
If you do not want to risk cleaning your precious jewelry yourself, you can always have it cared for by a jeweler. There is no reason to believe that with care you may not be able to enjoy your Amethyst jewelry lifelong.
Amethyst is the birthstone of those born in February. Romans believed that Amethyst would guard against drunkenness. For this reason they had their drinking goblets made of Amethyst! Folklore has it that powers of Amethyst include: dreams, healing, peace, love, spiritual upliftment, courage, protection against thieves, and happiness.
For reasons of its purple color, in the middle ages only people of noble birth were allowed to wear Amethyst jewelry. Amethyst always played a key role in various cultures throughout history and was highly valued by the ancient Egyptians, the Hebrews and the Christian Church.