How to Care for Aquamarine Jewelry. The modern birthstone for March and the commemorative stone for 19th wedding anniversaries, the aquamarine has been associated with the sea because of its range of blue-green hues from nearly clear to sky blue. This beryllium gemstone is called the "mermaid's treasure" and, with proper care, can remain your treasure for years. Here's how to take care of your aquamarine jewelry.
Choosing Aquamarine Jewelry
Consult with a reputable jeweler before buying.
Be aware that certain gemstones are not aquamarines: "Brazilian aquamarine" is actually blue topaz, "Siam aquamarine" is actually heat-treated blue zircon and "mass aqua" is actually blue glass cut the way aquamarines are cut.
Purchase jewelry where the aquamarines are set in 18-karat gold or platinum. Less pure gold may cause the gemstone to discolor.
Wearing Aquamarine Jewelry
Put your jewelry on last and take it off first. Always complete your makeup before putting on your jewelry, so that the chemicals in hairspray and makeup won't damage it and you will have to clean it less often.
Handle your aquamarines as little as possible because the natural oils in your skin will dull their luster over time.
Remove your jewelry before doing any housework or yard work to prevent the possibility of breaking a clasp or the gemstone itself.
Avoid exposing your aquamarines to harsh chemicals. This includes both the chlorine in swimming pools and the chemicals used in shampoos and hair dyes at the beauty parlor.
Keep aquamarines out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures because the sun and heat will fade their color.
Cleaning Aquamarine Jewelry
Pour warm water into a basin and test it for temperature by dipping your hand into it. The water should be a comfortable temperature.
Add mild dishwashing liquid to the water. Some sources suggest adding ammonia to make the gemstones sparkle, but ammonia is also found in beauty salon chemicals in a strength that can harm aquamarines.
Place the aquamarine jewelry in the solution. Soak for no longer than 10 minutes.
Remove the jewelry from the cleaning solution and clean the stones with a soft cloth or toothbrush.
Rinse the jewelry with warm water and pat it dry.
Storing Aquamarine Jewelry
Wrap each piece of aquamarine jewelry in its own cloth. Ideally, the cloth should be pure cotton, as coarser cloth may scratch the gemstones.
Place each piece in its own compartment in your jewelry box, separate from other gemstones, as harder stones will scratch softer ones. Diamonds, corundum (rubies and sapphires), alexandrite and topaz are harder than aquamarine, while garnets are softer. Aquamarines and emeralds, both beryl gemstones, are of equal hardness and will scratch each other.
Store your jewelry in a cool place out of direct sunlight.