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Oct 20, 2020

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Tutorial / Advice

The Sweaty, Sticky & Salty: How to Clean Your Jewelry

Bright gold bracelets glinting under the beating summer sun. Lazy beach days and ice cream. Picnics in the park. Sexy golden chains settling into sweaty décolletage.

We love summer as much as anyone, but this is a season that can be rough on jewelry. And we’re not telling you anything new here: salt water, sand, sunscreen, melted ice cream, sweat and whatever else the heck you’re doing while the skies are blue and the sun is high. Kayaking? Learning how to dismount from a hammock gracefully? Eating BBQ? (Can we come?)

Lucky for you, we’re taking some of the guesswork out of cleaning and caring for your jewelry, so you can focus on perfecting that hammock routine.

Red Lights


If it’s under the RED LIGHT, stop and chill. We want you to use extra caution. In fact, most of these gemstones under this category should not be cleaned at all. With this in mind, we urge you to be mindful of how often pieces of jewelry with these gemstones are worn. We recommend not wearing these 24/7, especially while working out, gardening, cooking/baking, taking care of children, or heavy lifting. 

Caring for these gems includes a gentle wiping with a microfiber cloth and keeping them away from direct sunlight.

Red Light: opals, pearls, kunzite, emeralds, turquoise, coral, amber, tanzanite, lapis


Yellow Lights


You’re cruising but we’ve come up on some uncharted territory. Do we roll to a stop? Do we gun it? YELLOW LIGHT, be careful with items in this category. The gemstones featured here are softer than your gems that can be worn daily. 

Time to get sudsy. Grab a dish of warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Take the plunge, let your yellow light items soak for us to 30 minutes and then clean with a toothbrush, rinse, and let dry on a towel.

Yellow Light: quartz, amethyst, citrine, malachite, onyx, moonstone, topaz, garnet, tourmaline


Green Lights


GREEN LIGHT means go — all the gemstones in this category are good to go. They can be worn everyday, you can clean them without using as much caution as all the others. Although these stones are near the top of the hardness scale, they can still break, chip or fracture, as with any gemstone. So as with any traffic light, green does mean go, but you could have an accident at any time.

Use an ultrasonic cleaner for an even better clean — let jewelry soak in an ultrasonic for up to 30 minutes with dish soap, Mr. Clean or whatever the ultrasonic comes with as the cleaning solution. For diamonds bigger than a half carat steam clean with a steamer.

Green Light: diamonds, sapphires, rubies


We hope the traffic light mnemonic is the coolest thing you’ve discovered all week and will help you the next time you find yourself wondering how to clean your jewelry. Have any questions? We’re here to help — slide into our DMs @at__present, we’re all ears.

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