Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How To Care for Garnets

Red Garnet Earrings. Sterling Silver.  January Birthstone. Ruby Berries
deep red garnet earrings

Garnets are the birthstone for January. If you already own garnet jewellery or perhaps were given some for your birthday this month, looking after this stone with some simple steps will keep it in good condition for a long time.

Garnets are medium hard, ranging between 6.5 and 7.5 on Moh's Scale. Though exquisite enough for any special occasion, they are durable for everyday wear with certain care. 

However, you should store them separately to other gems so as to avoid scratching each other.

A harder stone such as diamond or topaz can mark the garnet, which in turn, can scrape the softer stones such as turquoise, opal and fluorite. If you can't store them in their own compartment of your jewellery box, then wrap them in cotton cloth.

As with all gemstone jewellery, put your creams, cosmetics and perfume on first to allow them to dry before donning your garnets. Likewise you should take them off first before removing your make up with cleansers.
Do not wear garnets when handling any type of chemicals, including household cleaners or when swimming, in the shower or sunbathing. Avoid excessive temperatures. Store them somewhere fairly cool.
To clean them, generally it is ok to use an ultra sonic cleaner, but please avoid steam cleaning. The safest method is to wash in mild soapy water. It should be lukewarm. This method is good for sterling silver, fine silver and gold too. If the stones are grimy you can use a soft toothbrush on them, but preferably not on the precious metal. Use your fingers or a sponge on the silver and gold. Rinse in fresh water then pat the pieces dry with kitchen paper or cotton.

Red Garnet Pendant. Sterling Silver Chain Necklace. Strawberry Wine
Garnet teardrop pendant
Garnets should last a very long time. Some garnet jewellery was discovered in burial chambers dating back to 3000 BC. Their beauty had not faded. So go on, don't hide your garnets,  but wear and enjoy them. 

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