Polishing turquoise requires a gentle, patient approach to bring out the stone’s inherent beauty without causing any damage. As a relatively soft gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6, turquoise is prone to scratching and can be harmed by harsh abrasives or cleaning agents. When polishing, it’s essential to handle turquoise carefully and work slowly to achieve an attractive luster without causing cracks or discoloration.
Before polishing, inspect the turquoise for any weak spots or irregularities that could tear out. Gently clean with mild soap and water to remove any dirt or residue from the surface. Some experts recommend pre-soaking turquoise briefly in a weak hydrochloric acid solution to dissolve oxides, but test on an inconspicuous area first. When ready to polish, work slowly with light pressure. Use a soft cloth impregnated with a mild abrasive like aluminum oxide, or a fine polishing compound on a buffing wheel. Check progress frequently, and stop polishing once the desired luster is achieved.
Proper care is also vital for maintaining the polished look of turquoise over time. Avoid exposing the gem to solvents, ultrasonic cleaners or high heat that could lead to discoloration or surface damage. Store polished turquoise safely apart from other gems and metals to prevent scratches. With the right gentle approach to polishing and ongoing care, the striking blues and greens of turquoise can be enjoyed for many years.
How to prepare your Turquoise for polishing
First of all, you need to get your turquoise ready for polishing. The best way that we have found to do this is by soaking the stone in a mild acid solution such as lemon juice or vinegar overnight. This will ensure that any dirt and other impurities are removed from the surface of your gemstone before it is polished.
- Place a small amount of jeweler’s rouge on the corner of a soft cloth
- Begin to rub your turquoise in small circles, applying gentle pressure as you go
- Gradually make your way across and down the gemstone until it is fully polished. Do not apply too much pressure or go over the same area more than once.
- Once you have finished polishing, rinse your turquoise under warm water and dry it with a clean, soft cloth. It should now be looking nice and shiny!
- You can also polish other stones alongside or mixed in with the turquoise such as malachite or lapis lazuli to add color.
Tips and tricks
- A lot of the advice above is also applicable to other types of gemstone or jewelry (like amethyst). For example, you can use sandpaper instead of jeweler’s rouge to get a more matte look with your turquoise.
- If you are using something abrasive on top of polishing cloths then they must be washed thoroughly to get rid of any chemicals.
- If you are looking for a traditional turquoise polish, then make sure that the type of abrasive or method you use is not too harsh. You will need to take your time and allow the gemstone to gradually become shiny over an extended time to avoid damaging it.
Best practices for maintaining the shine on your stone
Once you have finished polishing your turquoise, you must take steps to maintain its shiny appearance and prevent the polish from wearing off over time.
- It can be a good idea to store your gemstone in an airtight container such as a bag or box when not being worn. This will avoid any dust or other particles from settling on the stone and wearing away at its polish.
- You should try to avoid exposing your turquoise jewelry to extreme temperature changes such as leaving it in a hot car or near a heater or opening an outside door into a cold room. These kinds of conditions can cause the gemstone’s surface to crack over time, which will make it much harder to polish.
- You should not wear your turquoise gemstone when engaging in activities that might result in the stone coming into contact with harsh chemicals or substances such as bleach or chlorine. Doing this can damage its polished surface and cause permanent staining over time if left untreated.
If you follow these tips and tricks, then you should find that your turquoise jewelry is easier to maintain and keep in perfect condition for longer.
Detailed Care for Turquoise Jewelry
Turquoise is a precious gem that requires particular care. Being a porous stone, it is susceptible to discoloration, damage, and even changes in its natural color. To help keep your turquoise jewelry looking its best, you need to know how to properly care for it and address any imperfections that may arise.
Polishing turquoise is an art, as the gem itself is a beautiful yet delicate stone. It requires a gentle touch, which is why jewelers often opt to use a polishing wheel. The aim is to buff and shape the stone, enhancing its high polish shine without causing scratches or altering the stone’s natural beauty.
A popular compound used in polishing turquoise is called ‘zam.’ It’s a cleaner and polish often used by gemologists and lapidary experts because it provides a good buff and high polish to a gem without being too harsh.
Step-by-step polishing process:
- Dampen a soft cloth or rag and apply a small amount of zam to it.
- Gently rub the cloth over the turquoise cab (short for cabochon), working in small circles and avoiding too much pressure.
- Continue this process over the entire surface of the gem.
- Once done, rinse the turquoise under warm water. Ensure that you remove excess water from the turquoise as it is a porous stone and may retain water.
- Dry your jewelry with a clean, soft cloth.
Turquoise cabs and slabs should ideally be polished using a series of different polishing compounds. Begin with coarse grit to remove the outer edge of scratches and imperfections, then gradually move to finer grits to achieve a high polish.
Cleaning turquoise is equally as important as polishing it. The gem’s porous nature means that it can absorb oils, soaps, and even dye, leading to discoloration or changes in color.
When cleaning turquoise, refrain from using abrasive cleaning agents or even mild soaps. Opt instead for warm water and a soft cloth. Some jewelers recommend a solution of baking soda and water as a gentle cleaner for turquoise.
- Dampen a soft cloth in warm water. If using baking soda, mix it into a paste with water and apply it to the cloth.
- Gently rub the cloth over the turquoise and silver, if present, removing any deposits or tarnish.
- Rinse under warm water, ensuring all baking soda or other cleaning agents are removed.
- Pat dry with a clean cloth, ensuring no excess water remains.
Remember, it’s essential not to expose your turquoise to high heat or prolonged sunlight as it could cause the color to change or the stone to crack. Turquoise and silver jewelry should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Maintaining Your Turquoise Jewelry
Maintaining your turquoise jewelry’s shine involves a few steps. You need to clean and polish your jewelry regularly and avoid exposing it to harsh substances or conditions.
Tips for maintaining the shine:
- Keep your jewelry away from harsh chemicals, including cleaning agents, sunscreen, and even some soaps. Turquoise is a porous stone and can absorb these substances, leading to discoloration or damage.
- Avoid high heat and direct sunlight, as these can also cause discoloration or cracks in the stone.
- Store your turquoise jewelry in a cool, dry place. Consider using a jewelry box with a soft lining to prevent scratches.
- Regularly inspect your jewelry for scratches or other damage. If you locate any, consult with a gemologist or jeweler for repair advice.
Following these steps will help ensure that your turquoise jewelry remains as beautiful as the day you got it. Remember, the key to maintaining your turquoise is regular care and avoiding anything that might damage this delicate gem.
Caring for Your Turquoise Jewelry
Turquoise is a stunning gemstone that comes in a range of greenish to sky blue hues. While not as hard as diamonds or other precious stones, this opaque gem has a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6, making it durable enough for jewelry. However, the porous nature of the turquoise stone means it requires some special care.
It’s generally safe to clean turquoise cabochons or beaded jewelry as long as you follow a few precautions. Avoid using harsh solvents or chemicals that can seep into the stone and cause discoloration or damage. Ultrasonic cleaners should also be avoided, as the intense vibrations can grind away at the stone’s surface.
For routine cleaning, use a soft dry cloth to gently wipe away any dirt or residue. If more extensive cleaning is needed, you can wash the turquoise with mild soap and warm water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth. Check for any cracks or surface damage after cleaning.
I’m thinking that a short soak in dilute hydrochloric acid may also be effective for removing stubborn grime or oxide buildup. But test a small area first and never leave turquoise soaking for more than 5-10 minutes, as prolonged exposure can alter its color.
To help prevent scratches, store turquoise jewelry safely apart from other gems and metals. Try lining a jewelry box with anti-tarnish cloth. Also avoid exposing turquoise to high heat, harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaning, which can cause cosmetic and structural damage over time. With proper care, your turquoise jewelry will maintain its striking color and beauty for many years to come.
Turquoise is a beautiful gemstone that can be polished to bring out its true beauty. The process of polishing the stone, however, requires some preparation and patience. In this blog post, we’ve discussed how you can prepare your turquoise for polishing and what steps need to be taken after it has been cleaned to maintain its luster and shine! Whether you want to polish the stone yourself or have someone else do it for you, try our tips on maintaining the shine on your stones so they don’t lose their sparkle over time. Have any questions about these best practices? Reach out anytime – we’re here to help!