Ruby is a very good choice for jewelry, as this gemstone is one of the most durable. Rated 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, ruby is one of the hardest gemstones. Let’s see how you should clean, store, wear, and care for your rubies.
Ruby, a variety of the mineral corundum, is a very tough gem. Rivaled only by diamond and moissanite on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, this durable stone easily stands up to the rigors of everyday wear.
Be aware, however, that like any gemstone, a ruby may chip or crack due to blunt impact. This is especially true when mounted in a ring or bracelet.
Therefore, removing your ruby jewelry before performing gardening and household tasks is always advisable.
How to Keep Your Rubies Beautiful and Clean
Wearing Your Ruby Jewelry
Because rubies are very hard, foreign matter accumulates on surfaces, causing a faded or cloudy appearance. Keep your rubies as clean as possible by applying lotions, perfumes and sprays before putting on your jewelry.
To eliminate dullness, clean rubies at home by applying a mixture of mild liquid soap and warm water.
Gently scrub your rubies and the jewelry mounting using a soft toothbrush. Rinse immediately with clean warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth for sparkling results.
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Solutions specially formulated for cleaning jewelry are readily available in most department stores at the fine jewelry counter. Be sure to purchase the proper solution based on the type of metal used in the fabrication of your ruby jewelry. Follow the label instructions carefully.
Click here to take a look at a versatile jewelry cleaning kit — the cleaner can be used on ruby and the polish can be applied to most metals used in jewelry.
A precious metal jewelry cleaning solution is usually suitable for white gold, yellow gold and platinum mountings, while some sterling silver jewelry cleaners may be designed to clean silver only.
These formulas may cause irreversible damage if not used correctly.
Consider investing in an ultrasonic cleaner to maintain the sparkle and shine of all your jewelry.
This handy device utilizes high-frequency sound waves, in conjunction with water or cleaning solutions, to remove accumulated dirt and oil from rubies and other precious gemstones (gems that are softer should not be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners).
Inspecting and Repairing Ruby Jewelry
If your ruby ring is the victim of a hard knock, take it to a jewelry store immediately and ask to have it checked under magnification for loose stones.
If you wear your rubies regularly, periodic checkups are important in order to make certain the stones continue to sit securely in their mountings.
Enlist a professional jeweler to tighten loose rubies. Jewelry repair is delicate work. This is one instance when DIY can cause irreparable damage.
Storing Rubies Properly
Avoid storing rubies in a container or bag with other gemstones. Lay them separately in a flat compartment to guard against scratching softer, more easily damaged gems.
For example, you can use jewelry pouches such as these to store your ruby items.
Also consider getting a good jewelry box with many compartments to store your individual pieces — this is a model that is quite popular.
How to Clean and Care for a Ruby Ring
1. Put your ruby ring in a bowl filled with warm water, with some soap or dishwashing liquid mixed in.
2. Let the ring sit in the soapy water for 15-20 minutes.
3. Take the ring out and clean the gemstones by rubbing them carefully with a cloth. You can also use a toothbrush provided it is soft.
4. Gemstone settings are best cleaned with a soft brush, as it allows you to reach the otherwise unreachable corners of the setting, where grime tends to accumulate. Be careful not to bend the ring’s prongs, if there are any.
5. Clean the ring’s body by scrubbing it gently with a soft toothbrush or a lint-free cloth. Take care not to scratch the metal, especially if it is a soft material such as gold.
6. After you’re finished, rinse the ring thoroughly with water. Dry it with a soft cloth.
You can also clean your ruby ring with commercial jewelry cleaner. Just make sure that the cleaner is appropriate for the metal your ring is made of and doesn’t contain anything that could damage your ruby.
Ultrasonic Cleaning and Steam Cleaning for Ruby Rings
It is generally safe to clean ruby in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, some types of settings can be loosened by the cleaning process, so make sure to check your gemstones afterwards.
Steam cleaners can also be used with rubies. Just make sure that the ring doesn’t have other gemstones that should not be steam cleaned.
Rubies that have been fracture-filled or covered with a color-enhancing coating should NOT be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. Clean such stones with water and soap only, carefully rubbing them with a soft cloth.
How to Store Your Ruby Ring
Store your ruby ring only after it is completely dry.
Keep your ruby ring in a jewelry box, ideally in a soft poach or a plastic bag, or wrapped in a soft cloth. Ruby is a pretty hard substance and few stones can scratch it (e.g. diamond), but it can scratch other gems.
Wearing Your Ruby Ring
Ruby is a very durable stone and is hard to break or scratch. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible to damage, though.
To be on the safe side, remove your ruby ring when doing housework or while engaged in any vigorous activity.
Keep ruby away from harsh chemicals such as acids.
To keep your ruby clean longer, do not put it on until you have applied your makeup, hairspray, etc.
Fracture-filled rubies usually contain glass, which can be damaged by a number of substances. If you have such a stone, take greater care of it, and keep it away from harsh cleaning chemicals and beauty products. Even substances such as vinegar, lemon juice, and ketchup might affect the appearance of the glass filling.