Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caring for Gemstones

Men and women buy gemstones to set in jewellery to be worn and flaunted on special occasions. The brighter and more pure these are, the more they will enhance the beauty of the whole piece and naturally of the wearer too. Great care should therefore be taken to store and clean precious jewelry after wearing them. Gems and gemstones set ornaments therefore need to be carefully chosen and carefully worn, cared for, properly stored, and cleaned with caution to keep them valuable and in good condition for as long as possible.

Choosing Jewellery - Rings and bangles are used constantly and do get knocked around even if worn only for festive occasions. Gemstones for these pieces should not be brittle or soft. Such stones, as for example, pearls and opals are better set in earrings, pendants or brooches. They can be set for special rings, but even then the stone should be in a closed setting for protection.

Diamonds are often held by four prongs or claws but this is not as safe as a six-prong setting. If one of the claws of a four prong setting breaks, the stone will fall out. When the claws get weak after constant wear, the stone should be reset instead of repairing the claw. Even during setting, the goldsmith should be warned not to over heat the stone, especially where platinum jewellery is concerned. A strong tap with a hammer can break or chip a diamond.

In the case of pear shaped or marquise diamonds, the pointed ends should be covered by the setting, or else the stone may chip off during wear. Closed settings are always safer, but the stone could chip or crack when the jewel is broken up for resetting or redesign. Soft gold such as 22-karat is better for closed settings or else the design should allow the stone to be removed without too much effort by the goldsmith.

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