Gemstones are formed naturally and are minerals, with various chemical compounds which with pressure, heat, across ages, form beneath the surface of Earth. They are a gift from Mother Earth and possess innate healing energies. Gemstones and crystals have adorned jewellery, have been kept loose at home to work their magic with positive vibrations and have been worn as rings, pendants/lockets, bracelets, amulets by people for astrological purposes or simply to let the energies of the gemstone act to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. There are various kinds of gemstones, some are hard, some porous, some can break easily or scratch easily and many such characteristics.
Gemstones should be cleaned on regular intervals to keep them clean and shining. For gemstones worn as rings, pendants etc for astrological reasons, if the gemstone is not clean, the Sunrays cannot enter to act and give the desired benefits. In rings especially deposition of soap, lotions and dirt accumulate on the backside/ bottom when worn on a daily basis.
It is recommended to consult a qualified jeweller before you use any of the methods of cleaning gemstones as the jeweller can advice what is suitable for the particular gemstone.
Ways to clean Gemstones:-
- Gemstone rings – The most popular method is, take a bowl of water with very mild detergent and soak the ring in it for some time. With a soft toothbrush(a baby toothbrush is good), clean the dirt gently from the gemstone at the back of the ring. Wash away the soap in a bowl of clean water and pat it dry with a dry soft cloth. Many advice uses of lukewarm water for soaking but that depends on the type of gemstone to be cleaned.
Caution- Do not soak gemstone in the sink or do the cleaning near the sink. Always use a bowl. Some also opine that a ceramic, glass bowl should be used for cleaning astrological gemstone rings.
The method of cleaning should be chosen as per the type of Gemstone.
- Gemstones like Pearl, Amber, Howlite, and Coral are soft and porous organic gemstones and should not be soaked in water. Ultrasonic and ammonia cleaning are also not suitable for them. They can be wiped clean with cloth. Soft stones are sensitive to chemicals and may get damaged with cosmetics, perfumes, hair spray etc.
- Opaque crystals such as Lapiz Lazuli, Malachite, Turquoise, and Onyx are opaque and special care should be taken to clean them. Chemicals, acid products or jewellery cleaners are not suitable for them. Simply use mild soap water, rinse with water and wipe it dry with a cloth.
- Ultrasonic cleaners are also popular for cleaning gemstones. But it is advised to consult a jeweller before that. Gemstones like Diamonds, Rubies, and Sapphires can be easily cleaned by ultrasonic method. Emerald, Pearls, Peridot and Opal will get damaged with the ultrasonic method.
- Ammonia cleaner – Single-crystal gemstones like Diamond, Sapphire, and Rubies can be cleaned with just a small drop of ammonia in water to clean and make them shine.
Energy Cleaning of Gemstones
As gemstones have their own natural energy vibration, they also absorb the vibration of other people and even the thoughts of people. When a gemstone is bought, it has gone through many hands, in many places and has been affected, therefore, it becomes very important to cleanse the gemstone energetically to get them back to their original energy form before we start using them to get the benefit of their healing energies and vibrations.
While being used, a gemstone may feel slightly heavier, there may be a fractional rise in temperature when held, which indicate it is time to cleanse the energy of the gemstone. One may also intuitively feel that the gemstone is not feeling well, the vibration has depleted. If these are some of the indications from the gemstone then it requires to be cleansed.
There are many methods which are used for energy cleansing by people all over the world. The elements of water, air, earth are great cleansers of energy which are used for cleansing gemstones.
Some common and effective ways of cleansing gemstones energetically are:-
1) Water – Gemstones can be cleansed by holding it in a flow of water and intending that the trapped energies be cleansed. Tap water generally is not pure and also may have chemicals mixed so use boiled water after cooling it down or bottled mineral water or when it is raining the crystals can be cleansed in the rain. Natural sources of water like River, Spring or Creek water are also used to cleanse gemstones. Water which is standing still, like a pond or lake water should not be used. Warm or hot water should not be used. Pour the water from bottle or mug on the gemstone with the pointed end or faceted side down. Hot or warm water should not be used to cleanse gemstones.
2) Earth – The gemstone can be buried in soil with their pointed side down and left overnight. Earth cleanses deeply. So it can be used for gemstones which need deep cleaning. This can also be done by filling up a vase with soil and keeping the gemstone buried in it or in planters filled with soil. How long the gemstone should be kept buried depends on how deeply it requires to be cleansed.
3) Smoke – Gemstones can be cleansed by burning Sage or Cedar smudge sticks or Sandalwood incense sticks. The smudge stick/incense stick can be held with one hand and with the other hand hold the gemstone and let the gemstone pass through the smoke back and forth for a few times. Smudging is considered one of the best methods of cleansing gemstones. People who use gemstones for healing should ideally cleanse the gemstone after each healing session.
4) Sunlight – Keeping the gemstone in Sunlight for a certain duration of time to cleanse the energy of the gemstone. The Sunrays are very powerful in cleansing old energies. However, caution is warranted as there are many gemstones whose colour fade in the Sunlight, like, Amethyst, Coral, Rose Quartz, Citrine etc. So it is best to check whether the gemstone will withstand the Sunlight cleansing before using this method.
5) Moonlight – Cleansing gemstones in Moonlight is also an ancient and popular method. The gemstones can be placed in Moonlight on Full Moon and New Moon. The best way is to put it outside for the Moonlight to fall on it. Otherwise keeping it on window or balcony is also effective. However, the window has to be open. The gemstone can be left out to bathe in the Moonlight overnight or at least for 4 hours. It’s a good idea to hang gemstone bracelets, necklaces on branches of plants or trees under the Moon.
6) Sea Salt – This is a method which is considered the most traditional as sea salt has been used. As a purifying agent for illnesses and for negative energy cleansing as well.
Before using this method, it is of utmost importance to know about the hardness(Mohs) of the gemstone. Gemstones like Calcite, Turquoise, Selenite, Malachite and some other gemstones cannot be cleansed in saltwater.
To cleanse with dry Sea Salt – Take Sea Salt in a glass container, keep the gemstones, point down and cover it with more Sea Salt. It is advisable to keep the gemstones in the Sea Salt overnight. For gemstone necklaces dry Sea Salt method should be used and not wet Sea Salt method.
Plastic or metal containers are not used for this method or any energy cleansing method
To cleanse in wet Sea Salt method – Boil a spoon of Sea Salt in one cup water. Each of the gemstones that need to be cleansed, let it cool down completely to room temperature. In a glass or ceramic bowl, pour the Sea Saltwater and place the gemstone with care so that the glass does not crack. Keep the gemstone submerged for a minimum of three(3) hours. If possible, keep it somewhere where there is Sunlight. Table salt should not be used in this method. In case Sea Salt is not there, Kosher salt can be used but of course, it is less effective than Sea Salt. Once the cleansing process is done, take the gemstone, wash in running water to remove salt and pat dry with a cloth.
7) Herbs – Another unique and natural method of cleansing the energies of gemstones is to bury the gemstones in herbs. Like Sandalwood, Sage, rose petals, myrrh and frankincense. The gemstones need to be kept buried in herbs for a longer duration of time for thorough cleansing as herbs clean gently.
Cleaning of the energy of gemstones is quite a bit about what method draws you to cleanse the gemstone/gemstones. As gemstones too are natural formations their energies need to cleansed at frequent intervals, to have the benefits of its power of healing.