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Cleaning Emeralds In Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners 

Do Not Put Your Emerald Gemstone Or Jewelry In An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

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We have had two buyers reporting of emerald gem stone damage in the past month. The first buyer had purchased an expensive emerald pendant with a price tag that was higher than 4,000 U.S$. She had taken the emerald pendant to her local jeweler for 'cleaning' and ended up getting 4 pieces of emerald, the center piece in the pendant had cracked in the cleaning process. Requesting advice from the Directstones support team, she went back to the jeweler and asked for the process used to clean the emerald jewel. She was told that the pendant was put in an ultrasonic cleaner, the gemstone cracked in a few minutes after remaining in the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.

ultrasonic jewelry cleaners danger and using suggestions
An ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is not suitable for cleaning emerald gems or jewelry with emerald gem stones.

The jeweler informed the buyer that gemstone had quite a few visible fissures (cracks) and this led to it's breaking. The jeweler was not willing to blame the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for the damage to the emerald gemstone. He claimed that he cleaned dozens of jewels each week in the very same ultrasonic jewelry cleaner attended to by the very same shop attendant. Statements like these could come from a casual jewelry buyer but are just not acceptable when made by a so called 'professional jeweler'. We need to understand the properties of each gemstone type to arrive at a fair and clean conclusion to what went wrong.

Emeralds will ALWAYS have cracks and fissures internally. This is a natural phenomenon and was not something specific to the particular emerald gemstone set in that expensive pendant. Some of these fissures can extend to the surface of the emerald or very near the surface. This physical property leads to the practice of treating emeralds with natural oils. The process of oil treating emerald gemstones has been known and practised for centuries. Gemological experts have accepted this treatment and you can safely presume, that 98% of the world's emeralds are treated in this way. The oils fill the fissures and help enhance the clarity and lustre of the jewel.

Now coming to how an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner works. When you place the emerald gemstones or emerald jewelry in the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, the high frequency ultrasonic waves that the device generates helps to loosen the dust and gime that might be present on the gemstone or the metal mounting. Now take this process with specific reference to an emerald, a gemstone known to have internal fissures and cracks. The high frequency waves generated by the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, attack the fissures and the natural oils in the gemstone. The oils put in by the treatment of the emeralds can ooze out of the gemstone, this will surely affect the beauty of the emerald. Something far worse than that, is the reaction the ultrasonic waves have on the fissures in the emerald stone. The cracks tend to expand and this causes the stone to break. This is why the expensive emerald gemstone in the pendant shattered into small pieces. So we can conclude that in the first case of the lady with the ruined emerald pendant, the jeweler is to blame.

The second person who had a problem with an emerald gemstone as it was being cleaned, has an interesting story too. The young lady received an emerald bracelet from her grand mother and treasured it for many years. Her boyfriend thoughtfully 'gifted' her a jewelry cleaner for Christmas. Neither the lady nor her boy friend were very knowlegeable about gemstones or jewelry cleaners, it turned out that the device was an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. The lady innocently dropped a bunch of jewelry into the ultrasonic cleaner and turned it on. All seemed to be going well as the water in the cleaner started showing signs of dirt coming off the jewels. A few minutes later, she turned off the ultrasonic cleaner and picked the jewels out placing them on a piece of soft cloth. The emerald gemstone bracelet that was also put in the ultrasonic cleaner was very special for her, so she started her inspection by picking it up. She was dismayed to find that more than half of the emeralds in the bracelet had deep visible cracks - these were surely not present when she put the emerald jewel in the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. The reasons for this were two fold, the ultrasonic waves pushed out the natural oils that had been used to treat the emeralds, this made the cracks more visible. The second reason was that the high frequence waves generated by the jewelry cleaner expanded the cracks and fissures in the emerald.

In this case the lady or the boy friend were directly involved in the sad incident, but could we really blame them? The ultrasonic jewelry cleaner was advertised as an interesting 'gift' item, the boy friend was aware that the young lady loved her jewelry. In our opinion, ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are devices meant for gem and jewelry professionals. They should not be sold to casual buyers, as they can at times ruin expensive jewelry.

It has come to our notice that some jewelers are recommending low frequency vibrating cleaners as safe for cleaning emeralds. Buyers want to know if such devices that actually do not emit ultrasonic waves are safe for cleaning emerald gems and jewelry. Please read this paragraph carefully before you rush to any conclusion. While these low frequency vibrators do not generate ultrasonic waves, there is no standardization in their specifications. Keeping this in mind, we would suggest that they not be used by the general public for jewelry that they do not wish to be damaged. If your jewelry looks dull and lifeless and cannot be cleaned by using simple water and a soft cloth, it is the right time to get professional help to clean them. Do not try anything being a simple clean on your own.

The above report on the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner and it's effects on jewelry and gems has been compiled by the experts at Kaisilver. We have always tried to educate the buyer rather than to make a sale. While this brings us lesser orders, it gives us immense satisfaction in ensuring that the buyer makes well informed buying decisions. Do write to our support experts at sales@kaisilver.com if you have any queries or doubts related to gems and jewelry. There is no need to make any purchase from us, so do go ahead and get the benefit of our expertise.  


We custom cut all gems in the shape and size that you need. There is no minumum order requirement for value or quantity, even single gemstone orders are welcome. You can buy just the loose gemstones or request for a complete custom jewel to be crafted in gold or sterling silver. The design for your jewelry can be yours or ours.

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Custom Cut Emerald Gems .... EMN-01

Emerald Diamond Gold Ring ... RG172

emerald heart ring, claddagh gemstone ring gold or silver mens emerald ring, gold or sterling silver emerald ring for men

Emerald Heart Ring Claddagh .... RG144 

Mens Emerald Gold or Silver Ring ... MAN71  

Related Resources:

Emerald Oil Treatment     Emerald Gems    Recognizing Emeralds   Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners    Emerald Rings


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