Cleaning & Care of Jewelry and Coins
Don't try to clean a rare or potentially valuable coin at home - you could damage its value! Bring any coins in their original condition to Perry’s Rare Coins and Collectibles Division and let our numismatists take a look.
Although diamond is the hardest natural material known to man, it is not indestructible. Diamonds can still chip, break and scratch other stones - even other diamonds. Never wear a diamond while doing housework or at the gym. Chemicals and sharp blows can weaken both the diamond and metal it is set in.
To clean your diamond, scrub it with a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water. A jeweler can also put diamonds in an ultrasonic cleaner or steam jet. As often as is convenient, bring your diamond jewelry to Perry’s and let our trained staff clean and check your stones. It can be difficult to tell when a prong or stone has become loose, and our jewelers can catch small problems before serious repairs are needed.
With their unique deep green color, emeralds are one of the most valuable gemstones. However, they are also one of the most fragile. Wear an emerald on special occasions, and take care to avoid any harsh blows. Because of their soft, brittle nature, emeralds are not recommended for every day wear.
Practically all emeralds are fracture-filled, meaning they have been soaked in colorless oil or resin to "fill" any surface fissures and improve the stone's clarity. To clean an emerald, gently scrub it with a soft toothbrush in mild, soapy water. NEVER put an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaning machine, or a steam jet – this will force the oil or resin out of the stone and cause it to dry out and crack. Store emeralds by themselves in a soft pouch.
There are four main varieties of opals used in fine jewelry: white, black, fire, and boulder. All varieties of opal are extremely soft, and are not considered "every day" stones. Opal has a relatively high water content, and must be carefully stored. Never store your opals in a safety deposit box or freezer. Lack of moisure, intense light, and sudden temperature changes can cause opals to dry out and fracture (known as "crazing"). Store opal jewelry by itself in a plastic bag, occasionally with a small drop of water. To clean, scrub opal jewelry very gently with mild soapy water. Never place an opal in an ultrasonic cleaning machine or steam jet.
Pearls are one of only a few precious gems that have been produced by a living creature. Other organic gems include amber and coral. Natural pearls (those that have formed without any human intervention) have become exceedingly rare due to oyster overfishing. The vast majority of pearls in the past two centures are cultured, meaning they have been grown by humans on pearl farms.
Made from layers and layers of nacre, pearls are soft and absorbent, and damage easily. NEVER expose pearls to perfume or body lotion – jewelry, especially pearl jewelry, should be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first thing you take off at night! Store pearls by themselves, preferably in a soft silk or suede jewelry pouch - never a plastic bag.
To clean pearls, wipe them gently with a moist cloth, or soak in Hagerty Pearl Cleaner, available at Perry’s. Remember, gentle use and periodic restringing will lengthen the life of your pearls and turn them from a special gift to a family heirloom.
Rubies and Sapphires
Sapphires and Rubies are both made from the same material – corundum. Corundum is a very hard, durable material – second only to diamond – and is excellent for everyday wear. To clean, scrub your rubies and sapphires with a soft toothbrush in w
arm soapy water, or bring them to Perry’s to clean with our ultrasonic and steam machines.