Taking care of your silver and copper jewelry

Hand crafted chrysocolla gemstone on copper medallion with leather necklace

Taking care of your copper and silver jewelry

Air and other particles in the air cause a chemical reaction which may results in the discoloration of your copper and silver jewelry. Moisture from swimming or showering can also sully the color by forming dark circles on the surface like a watermark or stain.Acid released with sweat is another culprit.


Tips and tricks for copper jewelry:


My copper jewelry is made with 99.9% pure copper and will oxidize beautifully. 

If you like your copper darker with a nice patina, just enjoy wearing it as is but wash it from time to time with a mild soap and warm water then dry it. 

Some prefer their copper jewelry to stay shiny, if you like it this way then simply put some salt and white vinegar in the palm of your hand and rub gently your piece between your hands. It should quickly get back its original luster (less than a minute). Rince thoroughly  and dry pat. 

Alternatively you can use any copper cleaner available in stores.

This method is not to be used with pearls!


Tips and tricks for silver jewelry:


My silver jewelry is either Argentium silver, an alloy made of germanium (3%) and silver (97%) that is twice as strong as .925 sterling silver and tarnish resistant.

Or fine silver, that is 99% pure silver.

Regular wear can dull the look of your jewelry a simple fix is simply to put some salt and lemon juice in the palm of your hand and rub gently your piece between your hands. It should quickly get back its original luster (less than a minute). Rince thoroughly  and dry pat. 

Alternatively you can use any commercially available silver cleaner

This method is not to be used with pearls!

Caring For Gemstones

Caring For Gemstones

Citrine Gemstones

Lavender Amethysts

Citrine Gemstones

Coolgems jewelry a wide selection of hand crafted jewelry. Citrine necklace

  • Amber: Damp cloth and dry. Warm water and detergent is also effective.

Amber is an organic gem, sort of a fossilized and hardened form of resin from ancient pine trees.


  • Amethyst: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Most amethyst is heat treated to bring out best color, but it can crack as well as fade if exposed to high temperatures.


  • Aquamarine: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

This blue beryl also receives heat treatments to bring out its blue color. Heat can still cause color fading.


  • Carnelian: Moist cloth. Rub briskly with dry cloth.

Since wax won’t adhere to this tough variety of quartz, ancient people famously used this material to make seals.


  • Citrine: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

This heat-treated quartz will fade when exposed to heat.


  • Coral: Damp cloth and dry.

Another organic gem, made from the exudations of tiny marine animals. Extremely sensitive to flame and heat.



Jade gemstones

Lavender Amethysts

Citrine Gemstones

Yellow and green jade necklace set

  • Diamond: Ammonia-based cleaner. Warm water, detergent (grease cutting), and soft brush. Mechanical cleaning systems. 


  • Emerald: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Most emeralds are routinely bathed in warm oil after fashioning to improve color. Sometimes, dyes are added. Mechanical systems could boil out the oil. Inclusions in emerald often weaken the stone. Thus, mechanical systems can potentially cause breakage.


  • Garnet: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush. Although relatively hard and tough, garnets do have some heat sensitivity.


  • Jade: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush. Mechanical cleaning systems. (See Comments).

Both jadeite and nephrite are tough with little to worry about. They may withstand mechanical cleaning. However, acid treatments to improve color may weaken some specimens. Have a professional gemologist examine any pieces to identify treatments. Both jade varieties can take a high lustrous polish. Re-polishing requires professional equipment.



Lavender Amethysts

Lavender Amethysts

Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Amethyst and rock crystal necklace

Gemstones jewelry


Kunzite: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush


This spodumene variety has a distinct cleavage plane, which opens with little impact. Sunlight causes its lavender color to fade. This is definitely a “night stone.”

Lapis lazuli: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush


This porous material can vary greatly in appearance. It often receives dyes to improve color.


Malachite: Cool water, detergent, and soft brush.


Polishes bright but wear can cause finish to dull. Rub briskly with wood to help restore finish. Sensitive to acid, ammonia, heat, and hot water.


Opal: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush


Very sensitive to pressure and thermal shock (hot or cold), which causes crazing (surface cracking). This soft and fragile gem requires special care.


Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Genuine Pearls and topaz necklace

  • Pearl: Wipe with damp, soft cloth. Remove stains with a mild soapy solution on a rag. Don’t dip pearls into liquid. Dry thoroughly. Blow ou holes carefully. Moisture trapped there often causes discoloration.

These organic gems require special care to look their best. (Follow the links at the end of this article).


  • Peridot: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Acids (even from perspiration) and heat can damage peridot stones. Wear with care and protective settings, since surface scratches will diminish this gem’s finish.


  • Ruby: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush. Mechanical cleaning. (See Comments).

More and more rubies receive oil treatments. Be aware that mechanical cleaning could remove this oil. In addition, high heat could damage gems with many crystal inclusions.


Tanzanite

Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Turquoises and Pearls

Kyanite and pearls necklace

  • Sapphire: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush. Mechanical cleaning. Sapphire, like ruby, is gem-quality corundum. Thus, it generally receives the same treatments as ruby, so the same care advice applies. This gem may receive oil treatments, and inclusions may weaken its normally tough structure.


  • Spinel: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush. Mechanical cleaning.

Hard and durable, spinels should give you little trouble. They hold their beauty over time.  


  • Tanzanite: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Heat treatments create this gem’s stunning blue color. Tanzanite is fragile, relatively soft, and sensitive to heat and vibrations.

Turquoises and Pearls

Pearls and Topaz Gemstones

Turquoises and Pearls

Aquamarine, amethyst and peridot necklace


  • Turquoise: Wipe with damp cloth, then wipe dry immediately.

Avoid cleaning this porous gem material with soap, detergents, or cleaning solutions. They tend to penetrate the material, thus turning it green and/or an unattractive off-color blue.


  • Topaz: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Easy cleavage makes mechanical cleaning relatively dangerous for topaz. Both vibrations and heating may damage these gems. Jewelry stones may also have stress points from prongs due to improper settings.


  • Tourmaline: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Although reasonably hard gems, tourmalines tend to be brittle. The pink variety is often flawed and could be structurally weak, thus vulnerable to vibration damage. These gems are moderately sensitive to heat. Bi-colored crystals sometimes split at color junctures.


  • Zircon: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush

Prone to impurities, zircon can be affected by heat extremes. Nevertheless, fine blue and white zircon is heat treated.