Jewelry Cleaning Around the World

  • May 08
Jewelry Cleaning Around the World

Women worldwide are drawn to jewelry that shines. But how women approach jewelry cleaning varies from place to place, because different cultures admire different varieties of jewelry. With Chinese New Year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the jewelry most beloved in the Chinese market and – of course – how to clean it.


Gold Jewelry

Gold is a precious metal worldwide, but China has become the world’s largest gold market. In China, gold is associated with purity, beauty and power. Gold is most commonly used in Chinese wedding jewelry, but as the middle class grows, there is more demand for gold bangles and motif pieces.

What to Know:

  • To safely clean gold jewelry, it is important to know how pure the piece is. Twenty-four karat gold, or pure gold, is very soft and prone to scratching and bending. Therefore, most jewelry is made by alloying gold with another metal like silver, copper or nickel.
  • The closer a piece is to 24 karat, the more carefully you should handle it.
  • Do not apply much pressure with a jewelry cleaning brush or polishing cloth, which could cause the piece to lose its shape.

How to Clean Gold Jewelry:

  • To remove grime and oils, Gem Glow Fine Jewelry Cleaner is safe for most gold pieces.
  • If the piece is gold plated or gold filled, Gem Glow Delicate Jewelry Cleaner is a better bet.
  • A Gem Glow Gold & Silver Polishing Cloth should be used to buff the piece to a beautiful shine.


Jade Jewelry

The Chinese culture has adored jade for millennia. It is known as the royal stone, the Imperial Gem, acting as a symbol of status, purity, health and spirituality. A Chinese proverb states that “Gold has a price; jade is priceless.” The demand for this precious stone has only grown, and Jade is comparable to diamond and gold in the west, some pieces fetching $3,000 or more!

What to Know:

  • Jade is the generic term for jadeite and nephrite, falling between 6 and 7 on the Moh’s scale
  • Care should be taken to avoid using harsh cleaners and scratching the stone.

How to Clean Jade Jewelry:

  • We recommend cleaning jade jewelry in Gem Glow Delicate Jewelry Cleaner or Gem Glow Fine Jewelry Cleaner.
  • Clean with a quick soak or by wiping with a soft cloth moistened with the cleaner of your choice.
  • Because many jade pieces have intricate carvings, you may need to use a small jewelry cleaning brush to gently remove grime from the crevices. Our Gem Glow Jewelry Cleaning Stick would be perfect for the job!



The Chinese discovered the luminescent pearl when diving for food millennia ago. Pearls have been integral to Chinese culture, featured in beautiful jewelry and said to represent purity. In fact, a gift of pearl jewelry was given to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC. The Chinese were also the first to develop cultured pearls almost a 1000 years ago.

What to Know:

  • Pearls are beloved for their luminescence which is the result of the layers of nacre formed around an irritant inside a mollusk.
  • These layers are very delicate, which requires special care when cleaning.
  • Pearls are ranked at a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, so are very soft and susceptible to scratching and damage.

How to Clean Pearls:

  • Pearls should be cleaned using Gem Glow Delicate Jewelry Cleaner.
  • Strung pearls should not be soaked in a liquid formula but can be wiped with a soft cloth dampened with the cleaner. Our Jewelry Care Wipe, which utilizes a gentle formulation is a great solution for pieces that cannot be soaked.
  • Pearls should also be wiped down with the outer layer of our soft Gem Glow Gold & Silver Polishing Cloth after each wearing to remove any build-up of oils or grime.