Preserving Precious Stones: The Ultrasonic No-Go List

Three boulder opals are displayed on a textured wooden background

Confession time! Who hasn't had a gem-related mishap at some point?

Whether you were an eager apprentice or just caught up in the hustle of a busy day, we've all been there. 

While the ultrasonic cleaner is your trusty sidekick in the workshop, there are a few gems that should keep their distance from its enthusiastic vibrations. As caretakers of these precious stones, let's look into which ones deserve a more gentle approach.


Their fragile and intricate structures call for a cautious touch. Vibrations from the ultrasonic can cause opals to break and water penetration in doublets and triplets, something we definitely want to avoid.


Porous and poised, these gems of the sea take offence to the heat, chemicals, and ultrasonic waves that the cleaner dishes out. Keep them pampered with a milder method – they deserve nothing less.


While known for their lush green hues, they also come with natural inclusions and fractures. Most emeralds are oiled to some degree which can be sensitive to heat. The ultrasonic’s intensity can disrupt the emerald's delicate features as well as these treatments, so it’s best to play on the safe side and avoid subjecting them to the sonic frenzy.


A rare beauty with captivating violet/blue tones makes it a truly special gem. However, it doesn't fare well with the vibrations and heat generated by the ultrasonic. Avoiding this helps prevent potential fractures and future tears.

So, what's the solution? A gentler approach with a little extra caution goes a long way. Skip the ultrasonic for these gems. Instead, opt for a manual method using an old toothbrush, warm water and mild dishwashing detergent. Let’s leave the more resilient gems for a round in the ultrasonic.

Got a gem mishap story to share? We'd love to hear it – drop a comment below.

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