Each month of the year has a signature gemstone which are also called birthstones. Below we have listed each month for you as well as how to care for each stone. The care instructions are fairly similar for many of the gemstones.
Garnet is not the hardest mineral on the Mohs Scale which means you should be extra careful not to damage your piece of precious jewelry. As for cleaning, it is recommended that you use a warm soapy water to avoid scratching, damaging or wearing the stone. As any other piece of jewelry, you may take this piece to a jeweler for them to clean it.
Amethyst is a harder gemstone and therefore is suitable for all jewelry types. Cleaning, like garnets, it is recommended you use warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic can be a tactic used to clean this gemstone, however it is not the most common. Because you should not apply this gemstone to heat, steam cleaning is not recommended.
This gemstone is even harder than amethyst, which helps with the prevention of scratches and damage that can occur. Cleaning this gemstone is usually easy due to the hardness of it. As usual, warm water with a non-detergent soap is always the safest way to clean. Unless the gemstone has fractures, ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning are a common strategy used.
As many know, the diamond is the hardest gemstone/mineral in existence. Diamonds are the most common stone used in jewelry and they are very easy to clean. The safest way is by using a warm soapy water. It is highly recommended that you take your diamond to a jeweler semi-annually in order to have your piece inspected and/or cleaned. Many jewelry stores give you a warranty on your purchase so be sure to read over your warranty before cleaning or making repairs to your diamond.
Emeralds are fairly high on the Mohs scale hardness, but not as high as a ruby or diamond which means they require a little more care when wearing them. Be sure to not let your emerald take any hard blows so that it does not fracture or break. When cleaning this particular gemstone, it is recommended that you use only warm water and a non-detergent soap because most of them are fracture filled; this means that ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning are way too risky and can damage your emerald.
Because of them being an organic gem, pearls are very delicate and need special cleaning care. Pearls may be soaked in warm water with a mild, non-detergent soap and set out on a paper towel to dry. Pearls may be wiped down with a soft cloth. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaner, an ultra-sonic cleaner, or steam cleaner to clean your pearls; this has the potential to completely destroy your pearl jewelry. Also, be sure you do not wear your jewelry while it is wet or hang it out to dry as this can cause silk or string to stretch or break.
The ruby is almost as hard as a diamond on the Mohs scale, coming in ranked at a hardness level of 9. As always, cleaning with warm soapy water is safe. For rubies, often times using an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner is acceptable due to the hardness of the stone. However, you should always have your ruby inspected by a jeweler before you do that because if it is damaged, ultrasonic and steam cleaning can further damage your precious gemstone.
Peridot is one of the softer gemstones on the Mohs scale, coming in at 6.5-7. Because of this level of hardness, it is not recommended that you wear this every day because it increases the chances of your gemstone being scratched or damaged. As for cleaning this gemstone you should only clean it with warm soapy water because if you ultrasonic or steam clean this piece, it is too soft of a stone and will most likely damage it.
Sapphire, like a ruby, is hard on the Mohs scale, coming in at a hardness of 9. Because of this, it is okay to wear your sapphire every day because it is less likely to scratch or become damaged like, say, a peridot might. To clean this stone, warm soapy water is the number one recommendation. If the stone is untreated, you may use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. However, if this stone has fracture filled points anywhere on it, you must stick a damp cloth to clean it so that these points do not become more prominent.
Opal is a very soft gemstone, coming in at a 5-6.5 on the hardness scale therefore, this type of stone is not ideal for every day wear because of how easily it can become scratched or damaged. Because of how delicate this gemstone is, the only acceptable way to clean it is with warm water and a non-detergent soap. Cleaning this gemstone any other way risks permanently damaging your precious piece.
Topaz is fairly high on the Mohs scale, coming in at an 8, however because of its cleavage, it is not the most durable stone and is not recommended for everyday wear. Because of the lack of durability of this gemstone, you should avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaning completely. Warm water with a non-detergent soap is recommended to safely clean this gemstone without risking any damage.
Tanzanite is a 6-7 on the Mohs hardness scale, but like topaz, has a lot of cleavage. Because of the cleavage and lower durability rating, it is recommended that you pay extra attention to what you are doing when wearing this stone. A hit too hard to tanzanite will more than likely break the stone all together. Again, like topaz, the cleavage maximizes risk for damage when cleaning which is why you should never use and ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Always use warm water with a non-detergent soap when cleaning tanzanite.