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During the purchasing of fine spledid jewelry, we are often so captivated by its awe inspiring magnificence, that we neglect to inquire as to how to care for it. Frequently overlooked by many is that jewels, like many other coslty purchases, requires and deserves special attention.

By understanding a gem's inherent make-up, its durability, we can take precautions that will keep its beauty and value. A gemstone's durability can be broken down into three major factors: Hardness, Toughness and Stability. Hard stones are less susceptible to scratching and chipping, whereas, tough stones are more resistant to breaking. Last of all, stable stones cannot be
harmed by heat, light or chemicals.

Taking into consideration the durability of each gemstone, the following is a collection of jewelry care tips prepared by Orchid Gems to benefit all who appreciate exceptional jewelry.

What to Wear, When to Wear

Naturally, most of us choose jewelry to match our clothes or occasion to enhance our appearance, but it does not end there. There is more than meets the eye. Keeping in mind the durability of each gem, we have to consider the placement of the jewelry on our body, the activity at hand, and the enviroment in which we intend to wear our jewelry.

The Placement of Jewelry

Softer gemstones include amber, coral, pearls, opal, malachite, lapis lazuli, garnet and shell; all of which are prone to scrapes from harder jewels. Consequently, if a diamond - the hardest gem - worn on the ring finger is likely to scratch an emerald ring next to it. If pendants that contains medium to soft stones are worn, while dandgling from a long chain, will very likely find these stones to be chipped or scratched.

It is noteworthy to understand that extreme caution is to be exercised while wearing pearls when using perfume. The high alcoholic content of perfume can damage them. Pearls should, therefore, never rest on a perfumed part of the body, or clothing to be sprayed with perfume.
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