Second only to diamonds in terms of durability, sapphires are ideal in rings and bracelets as they stand up to daily wear. Made popular by the late Princess Diana with her stunning blue sapphire engagement ring, this vivid stone remains a highly favored gem by professional and casual collectors alike.
Here is a basic guide for keeping your sapphire shining:
Sapphires generally require very little maintenance, but grime does accumulate on and around the stone after frequent wear.
No special jewelry cleaners or polishes are necessary for removing the filth from your sapphire jewelry.
All it takes is enough warm water to cover the piece and a little degreasing dish detergent.
Do make sure there are no added moisturizers or abrasives in the soap as these can leave residue.
Gently swish the jewelry in the soapy water and let it sit for 10-20 minutes depending on how dirty your sapphire is.
If needed, use a soft bristled toothbrush to scrub any stubborn or hard-to-reach spots such as underneath the stone or around the setting.
Rinse with warm water and rub dry with a soft cotton cloth. If the stone still looks cloudy, you can repeat the process substituting a splash of ammonia or vodka for the dish soap.
If you do decide to use a jewelry cleaner, you can take a look at this jewelry cleaning kit — its manufacturer claims that it is safe to use with sapphires and most other popular gemstones as well as most metals used in jewelry.
Consider the Setting
The metal your sapphire jewelry is set in deserves consideration before you decide how to clean the piece. Some metals react badly to even the mildest of chemicals.
Gold and platinum are fine in soap and water. Just take care to dry the settings thoroughly to avoid loosening the stone and prevent water spots, which will affect how light shines through your sapphire.
Ammonia should not be used on gold very often, but occasional contact will not cause any significant damage.
Silver jewelry tends to be somewhat sensitive and needs extra attention to hinder tarnishing. Instead of soaking, rub you silver down with a professional polishing cloth available at most craft stores — here’s a brand that is popular.
Unlike the softer metals, silver can withstand mild abrasives, so if your jewelry needs a more vigorous cleaning, you can use baking soda to remove tarnish.
This will not harm your sapphire, but it is best to avoid using abrasive agents on the stone whenever possible.
Simply place aluminum foil in the bottom of a dish with your jewelry on top (the silver must be in contact with the foil), generously sprinkle baking soda over the silver, and then add enough hot water to cover the jewelry.
After a few minutes of soaking, all tarnish should be gone.
If your sapphire is of particularly high quality, it is wise to have it professionally cleaned and examined once every year or so.
Most jewelers will provide this service free if you originally purchased the piece from them.
Usually, they will use ultrasonic or steaming methods, which can cause permanent damage to your sapphire if it has significant inclusions, so make sure the jeweler inspects your stone first.
Your jeweler can also tighten any loose prongs or fix any problems with the setting to make sure your sapphire stays secure and protected while you enjoy wearing it from day to day.
Store your sapphire pieces separate from the rest of your jewelry as they can easily scratch other stones and metals or be scratched by any diamonds in your collection.
You can use small individual jewelry pouches like these or a medium-sized pouch like this one. A jewelry box with separate compartments like this one is also recommended for better organization and protection.
Proper storage will greatly help in keeping your sapphire pieces in good condition between cleanings.