Caring for turquoise
Turquoise, revered for its mesmerizing shades of azure and historical significance, is more than just a gemstone; it's a testament to nature's wonder. This stone, formed through intricate geological processes over millennia, carries within it the whispers of ancient civilizations and the purity of the world's vast blue skies. It is crucial to treat high-quality turquoise with the respect and delicacy it warrants. Over time, the oils from our skin, environmental pollutants, and even everyday wear can obscure its radiant hue. Regular, gentle cleaning ensures that its beauty endures, unfaded and undiminished. Protecting this gem is not just about preserving a material possession, but also about honoring a piece of the Earth's legacy and the stories it silently shares.
How To Clean Turquoise Jewelry
1. Understand the Nature of Turquoise:
Turquoise is formed from the combination of water, copper, aluminum, and phosphorus. Its porous nature means that it can be susceptible to chemicals, water, and even air. It’s not just a stone; it’s a testament to nature's intricate processes. By understanding its composition and delicacy, you can appreciate why such meticulous care is needed.
2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:
Just as you wouldn’t expose fine art to direct sunlight, avoid subjecting your turquoise to household chemicals. Everyday products like perfumes or hair sprays contain ingredients that can seep into the turquoise’s porous surface, potentially dulling its color or altering its appearance. The golden rule? Jewelry goes on last when you’re getting ready.
3. Cleaning Process:
Soft Cloth Wiping: Using a microfiber or soft cotton cloth helps in ensuring that no micro-scratches appear on the stone while cleaning.
Mild Soap Wash: Opt for soaps without strong fragrances or colorants. Gently lather the soap, clean the jewelry, and then ensure it's rinsed thoroughly to remove any soapy residue.
Drying Process: Air drying might introduce contaminants. Instead, use a soft, dry cloth to pat down your jewelry piece.
4. Steer Clear of Extreme Temperatures:
Turquoise, like many gemstones, reacts to temperature fluctuations. Extreme heat can cause the stone to dry out, making it prone to cracks. On the other hand, rapid cooling can lead to internal stresses. It's always best to ensure your turquoise remains at room temperature whenever possible.
5. Safe Storage:
Anti-Tarnish Strips: If your turquoise jewelry has silver settings, consider storing it with anti-tarnish strips. These absorb pollutants that can cause silver to tarnish.
Individual Pouches: Storing each piece in a separate pouch ensures that they don't rub against each other, preventing potential scratches or damages.
6. Wearing With Care:
Think of your turquoise jewelry as a fine piece of art. While it’s designed to be worn and enjoyed, it's also crucial to protect it. Avoid wearing it during physical activities like gardening, gym workouts, or even heavy housework. Such activities can expose the jewelry to harsh chemicals, excessive sweat, or accidental knocks.
7. Regular Check-ups:
Just as you would with any prized possession, regular maintenance checks are vital. At least once a year, examine your jewelry for:
Loose settings: Ensure the turquoise is securely set.
Surface Scratches: These can sometimes be polished out by professionals.
Clasp functionality: For necklaces or bracelets, ensure the clasp is working correctly to prevent accidental loss.
8. Refrain from Ultrasonic Cleaners:
While ultrasonic cleaners are a boon for some jewelry pieces, they are not suitable for all. The vibrations produced by these machines can create microscopic fractures in softer gemstones like turquoise. Additionally, the water used can seep into the stone's pores, causing discoloration or weakening.
Owning a piece of high-quality turquoise jewelry is akin to having a slice of history and nature's magic. By deepening your understanding and refining your care techniques, you can ensure that your turquoise remains a cherished heirloom for future generations.