Hi Susanna,I was reading your blog about cleaning jewelry, and have yet another question. I've always been told NOT to clean my 5 karat Colombian emerald solitaire with anything other than lukewarm water and a soft cloth. Yet I don't see emeralds listed among the jewelry that should not be cleaned with ammonia-based window cleaner. Was I ill-advised, or were emeralds somehow left off the list?
NO, do not use anything but warm water and a soft cloth or soft toothbrush - and a mild detergent is okay, too. Ammonia-based cleaners are okay provided there are no degreasers in them. Many emeralds are fracture-filled with oils (a normal, accepted process for enhancing the stone), and a degreaser may undo the filling process. If you clean it with a degreaser, you may notice that there are some fine lines or fractures that were not previously there!
But never, ever use an ultrasonic cleaner or ultrasonic toothbrush on an emerald for cleaning. Even though an emerald is high on the hardness scale, the ultrasonic waves can remove the oils.
Good question! I probably left that off in error and should make a correction. Probably will do so by posting this query and answer. So thank you. I bet that your esmerelda is wonderful. Do you love green? I do. What cut is yours? When I was in Brasil I saw so many emeralds... so many stones of all sorts. And I was only in the big cities. Truly amazing. I wouldn't have known what to buy; I was only 21. Thank goodness the sellers come to the US to the AGTA show every year.
Susanna,Thanks for your answer. I actually don't wear the emerald enough for it to get particularly dirty -- I'm pretty scared of damaging it since I'd been told emeralds can be fragile. I bought mine from the jewelry shop in the Tequendama hotel in Bogotá and although it's huge, I don't think it's very good quality. It has plenty of jardin, and the color is a bit light. But it is an emerald.
Thanks again, A.