How do sanitisers affect Gems and Jewellery?

Should we take off our wrist-wear and rings to wash our hands? Will sanitizers damage jewellery?

As you are perhaps aware, there are two types of sanitizers we keep hearing about today – with and without alcohol. Then again, you come across products with varying percentages of alcohol. Experts recommend sanitizers with a minimum of 70% alcohol to clean out pandemic type viruses or germs. So, let’s now focus on sanitizers with alcohol and their impact on jewellery.

First, the good news! Sanitizers with Alcohol do not have any negative impact on yellow gold or white gold and platinum (which is almost always plated with Rhodium to enhance the whiteness and give it a nice sheen). Non-alcohol based sanitizers contain a chemical that is Chlorine-based. Chlorine, as you may be aware is used in swimming pools to keep the water clean and that’s the reason we advise our clients to remove their jewellery before getting into a treated-water/ public or club pool. Chlorine causes metals to crack and damages the prongs loosening gemstone settings.

While at it, a small word of caution on the use of sanitizers on porous gems such as emeralds, corals, pearls, turquoise, lapis-lazuli, opals, rhodochrosite, aventurine or fractured gemstones of slightly lower quality. You must remove them using non-alcohol based sanitizers that may come in contact with the gemstones. When you remove your rings or wrist-wear near a sink, do remember to wear them back before you leave the area!

Diamonds of course being the hardest of gemstones are not affected by any sanitizer though you need to be mindful of the settings.
Fortunately, the best sanitizers around are alcohol based, which means you can wear jewellery while staying germ/ virus free! However anything you do, do it mindfully – care without panic is the mantra! Stay safe!

The Gemstone Team at C. Krishniah Chetty Group

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