Most high street jewellers will provide an ultra sonic cleaning service for your jewellery but this is not a suitable method for all stones particularly pearls, emeralds and opals. If you want to clean your ring at home soak it for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water with a drop of very mild detergent then clean it using a paint brush or very soft toothbrush. Special care must be taken with stones such as opals or emeralds.
There are so many very beautiful and unusual natural gem materials which we try to promote in the use of jewellery. As far as we are aware the stones used by us are from a natural source created by nature.
Although Susannah is a qualified gemmologist it is not always possible to individually test every stone so we do have to rely on the reputation of our suppliers, we are therefore very careful who we deal with in this respect. Equally should you purchase stones or jewellery from another source make sure you feel confident that the supplier is reputable so that should problems occur at a later stage you have some recourse.
Often gem materials are enhanced to improve their colour or clarity. Some of these treatments are deemed acceptable and some are not. For example most blue sapphires are heat treated to enhance their colour -this is deemed to be an acceptable practice. This is also the case in the oiling of emeralds to improve their clarity and colour.
However, other forms of enhancement such as the fracture filling of diamonds must be disclosed and the price should reflect such treatments.
The reproduction and synthesis of gemstones is a highly sophisticated and often well managed process - quartz is laboratory manufactured in huge quantities for industrial use. As long as synthetic processes are disclosed there is no problem.
Be aware that to the untrained eye a synthetic blue sapphire has the same appearance, atomic structure, and an almost identical refractive index and specific gravity as its natural counterpart, there is however a considerable difference in its value. The bottom line is to trust the person you are buying from.