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    03.20.2020
    [Coronavirus (COVID-19)] Are hand sanitizers safe to use on jewelry?
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    [What kind of hand sanitizers are safe to use on jewelry?]



    • There are largely two varieties of hand sanitizers, (1) alcohol-based, and (2) non-alcohol- based. Alcohol-based sanitizers are generally considered gentle enough to use on jewelry (but there are exceptions / restrictions depending on the material of your jewelry, pls read on for details).  Non-Alcohol-based sanitizers use chlorine-based compounds that could react with water and release free chlorine. Free chlorine radical is very reactive and could cause tarnishing of jewelry, especially pieces created from sterling silver. Further, halogens are known to cause stress corrosion cracking in low karat golds.


    • NOTE: You should be using alcohol-based sanitizers (containing at least 60% of alcohol) for COVID-19 when you don’t have access to water and soap (which is the most effective way to kill coronavirus. You don’t have to use antibacterial soap, plain soaps work fine!). Non-alcohol-based sanitizers are not helpful in fighting the coronavirus.


    [What materials can you use hand sanitizers on?]



    • Alcohol-based sanitizers are benign enough to use on surfaces of precious metals such as gold, silver (including 925 sterling silver), and platinum. You can also use alcohol-based sanitizers on tungsten and stainless steel jewelry.


    • However, repeated rubbing & use of sanitizers on plated jewelry (including white-gold, which is generally coated in white rhodium) could wear off the plating.


    • Most precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires can be wiped down with sanitizers and alcohol safely, and will not be damaged. (**But pls note that the results can differ depending on the quality & treatment of the gemstone, so we recommend that you consult with your local jeweller first.**) 


    [What materials should you NOT use hand sanitizers on?]



    • Emeralds, while being a precious gemstone, usually contain natural flaws that are often filled and hidden with oil. Therefore, hand sanitizers, alcohol, acetone and other such harsh cleaning will remove this oil and affect the stones’ appearance (**Use lukewarm water and mild soap to gently clean your emerald jewelry.**).


    • We strongly advise against using sanitizers on organic gems such as pearls and amber & corals, as well as stones with high water content such as opals, and porous stones & minerals such as turquoise, lapis lazuli, malachite & howlite. It could dry out the gems, lead to surface damage, cracking, discoloration, affect the surface lustre, etc.


    • Jewelry made from plastic such as acrylic or base metals such as copper should not be cleaned with hand-sanitizers or alcohol. It can lead to fading, cracking, corrosion and other variety of issues.



    **We know how much your jewelry means to you, so we ask that you be properly informed and treat your precious pieces with love and care! Stay safe everyone.**


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