by Staff Writer
Turquoise is valued in many cultures and often used in jewelry and other decorative items. A natural stone, turquoise comes in beautiful shades of blue and green, and each piece is distinct. Although turquoise jewelry is not difficult to clean, because it is a natural stone, turquoise is sensitive to many cleaning chemicals, including soaps. Most turquoise jewelry has silver for the setting; however, some artists use gold or gold-plated silver in their gemstone jewelry. Gold requires little care, but silver may tarnish. Cleaning turquoise gemstone jewelry gently and frequently, once a week if worn daily, will help keep the piece looking its best. These tips on cleaning turquoise can protect your gemstone jewelry and ensure that it is always ready to wear.
Dampen a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush in clean water. Do not add any cleaning products to the water or the toothbrush when you are cleaning jewelry that is decorated with turquoise, as chemicals can damage the gem. A children's soft-bristle toothbrush works well.
Gently scrub the surface of the stone with the brush. Rinse the brush under running water and then gently clean the silver or gold parts of the jewelry. When you are cleaning jewelry that has turquoise embellishments, do not leave it to soak in water. Turquoise is a porous gemstone that absorbs liquid.
Dry the whole piece well with a soft towel. Moisture that remains on the jewelry may dull the turquoise or tarnish the silver. You may want to leave the gemstone jewelry out to air-dry after toweling to be sure that it is dry.
Polish the jewelry, especially metal parts, with a jewelry polishing cloth. Don't use harsh anti-tarnish chemicals on the metal as they might come into contact with the gem.
If you can't find a jewelry polishing cloth, use a clean, tightly-woven microfiber polishing cloth to polish the metal parts.
When you aren't wearing your turquoise, keep it in a fabric-lined jewelry box.
Prevent damage to the turquoise by removing it before bathing, swimming or working with cleaning chemicals in the home. Avoid knocking the jewelry against hard surfaces; this may crack the stone or damage the metal prongs that hold the turquoise in place.