What to Consider When Shopping for Gemstone Jewelry
What woman doesn’t desire gorgeous gemstone jewelry? Before purchasing such treasures, however, you must weigh several factors that determine whether you get good value for your investments and continue to enjoy your jewels for years to come.
Shopping for gemstone jewelry is sure to be more rewarding if you take these considerations.
Each gemstone has a different hardness, meaning each has a greater or lesser likelihood of getting scratched, chipped or cracked when struck. Knowing a gem’s rating on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness is crucial. The lower the rating, the softer and more prone to damage a gemstone is.
If you fall in love with a gemstone with a Mohs hardness rating lower than 7, have it set in a pendant or earring so it doesn’t get knocked around as much as it would in a ring or bracelet. Softer stones can make beautiful rings and bracelets, but reserve them for special pieces you wear rarely.
Where do you live and travel?
Some gemstones crack or develop fine fissures when exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Opals are particularly susceptible to heat damage, so avoid jewelry set with those gems if you live in or regularly visit areas where the mercury often hits triple digits.
It should go without saying that each highly valued piece of gemstone jewelry needs to be stored in its own space so it doesn’t get scratched by other settings or stones. When acquiring new gems, ask the jeweler if precautions are necessary to preserve their appearance and value. Pearls, corals, shell cameos and other organic materials can dry out and crack when stored in airtight containers like sealed plastic bags or in safety deposit boxes that limit air flow.
How do you clean the piece?
Be sure to go over any special cleaning requirements for a gemstone with the jeweler before making a purchase. Ultrasonic waves and high-pressure steam can damage emeralds and rubies, for example. Those stones only need a gentle rinse with warm water and mild dish detergent to get them clean.
-Danielle Olivia Tefft