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Gem stone hardness is based on a standard called the Moh’s scale. The higher the Moh’s scale number, the harder the stone is. When the Moh’s scale was developed, early gemologists tried rubbing one stone against another to see which stone caused scratching on another. Quartz (the stone that makes up sand) is rated at 7 on the Moh’s scale, and that is why any gemstone with a rating of less than 7 is easily scratched (Such as coral, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl & turquoise). Also, some stones can be quite porous (Such as opal, pearl, and turquoise). That is why you shouldn’t leave these kind of stones immersed in water for too long. There are many different coloured gemstones - some require specific care and cleaning procedures. Here are some general care and cleaning rules which apply to all-coloured gemstone jewellery.

• Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced by one or more traditionally accepted practices. These treatments affect how you should clean and care for your coloured gemstone jewellery.

• After wearing, wipe your gemstone jewellery thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will enhance the gemstone's luster and ensure that your jewellery is clean before storage.

• Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches.

• Do not expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water or harsh chemicals such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones. Hair spray and perfume cause jewellery to become dull.

• Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on coloured gemstone jewellery.

• Sudden temperature changes can cause some gemstones to crack.

• If you lead an active lifestyle, take extra precautions with some types of gemstone jewellery. Emeralds and opals, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores.

• Some gemstones can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, particularly organic gemstones such as amber, coral, pearls, and also opals.

Common stones that are damaged in sunlight, these include:

• Amethyst: becomes paler
• Ametrine: may change colour
• Aquamarine: becomes paler
• Aventurine: translucent types often lose colour
• Beryl: brown or orange types may change to pale pink
• Citrine: may change colour
• Kunzite: becomes pale or loses colour
• Rose Quartz: becomes paler
• Smoky Quartz: becomes paler
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