“Emeralds! Aren't they divine? Jack gave them to me to shut up about Women's Lib.”-R. H. Lady Hamilton. 1860

Caring for Emeralds

Emeralds may be bezel set or set with accent stones surrounding them as they are prone to chipping.  Almost Emeralds are oiled to improve clarity and luster. This treatment is classed as an acceptable industry standard way of treating Emeralds, any other treatment combined with oiling is considered unacceptable and must be disclosed to the consumer.

Emeralds are very susceptible to damage and must be handled and cleaned with care. Heat can damage emeralds and may cause existing fractures to grow . Light and chemicals can cause the oils, resins, and polymers used to fill surface-reaching fractures to alter in appearance or deteriorate, it is estimated that above 90% of Emeralds are fracture filled, by glass, polymers or resins, this is only detectible by the trained eye.

 

So how do you care for such a beautiful stone, even if it has been treated?

 

* It is too risky to clean your Emeralds  ultrasonically, with hot water or steam. Ultrasonic cleaning weakens already-fractured stones while hot water and steam can cause oil or unhardened resin to sweat out of fractures.

* Using warm, soapy water coupled with gentle scrubbing is the safest way to clean emeralds.

 

* Never wear your Emeralds while cooking, cleaning or gardening.

 

* Never be immersed in harsh chemical cleaners even if it is diluted and never be exposed to high heat.

 

* Emeralds should be cleaned gently with a mild detergent solution in warm water and a very soft brush, a worn-out toothbrush is excellent for this. Soak the Emerald in the solution for no more that 10 minutes then use the soft brush to clean the emerald and mounting, rinse under warm clean water and pat dry. Never leave the Emerald immersed in the solution longer than recommended.  Cleaning should only be carried out no more that several times a year.

 

* If your Emerald requires re-oiling this must be carried out by a qualified jeweler.

© 2018 by Craig T. Palmer-Fairbairn. 

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