How to Clean Amber & Silver Jewelry

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Amber stones are often placed in silver settings.
Amber stones are often placed in silver settings. (Image: Amber image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com)

Jewelry makers often choose to construct sterling silver settings for amber stones as an aesthetic complement to the stone. Amber rates 2.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, the same as ivory. When cleaning and caring for a sterling silver piece that contains a fragile amber gemstone, adhere to specific cleaning guidelines to preserve the beauty and integrity of both the setting and the stone.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 small containers
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 to 3 drops of mild liquid soap
  • Soft flannel cloths
  • Silver polishing cloth
  • 1/4 tsp. olive oil

Cleaning Sterling Silver

Fill a small container with 1/4 cup of warm water. Add two or three drops of mild liquid soap to the water and agitate it with your fingers to form suds.

Dip a portion of a clean, soft cloth into the soapy water and gently rub the silver with the cloth. Avoid touching the amber with the soapy cloth.

Pat the sterling silver setting dry with a soft, dry cloth.

Inspect the setting for dull or darkened areas, also known as tarnish. Rub a silver polishing cloth in a circular motion over the tarnished areas of the setting, taking care not to touch the amber gemstone.

Cleaning Amber

Fill a small container with lukewarm water. Dip a portion of a soft flannel cloth into the water to wet it.

Wipe the amber gemstone with the moistened portion of the cloth.

Dry the stone with a dry section of the cloth.

Pour 1/4 tsp. of olive oil into a small container and dip a section of a clean, soft cloth into the oil.

Polish the amber with the olive oil. Buff with a dry portion of the cloth, then store your jewelry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store amber and silver jewelry in a pouch or a separate part of your jewelry case to avoid scratching the stone.
  • Air and light will tarnish silver. Consider this when storing your jewelry.
  • Do not spray perfume or hair spray while wearing amber jewelry. Either substance can cause a white coating to form on the gemstone.
  • Never use ultrasonic cleaners or commercial jewelry cleaners to clean amber.

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