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Gem Cleaning Resource


Here are your cleaning instructions for your uncleaned unsearched rough mine run gems. First, your satisfaction is our top priority if you have any questions or concerns regarding your order please email and let us know.


Your Treasure hunt is here and now the fun begins! The material is fresh out of the mine and is dirty, uncut and uncleaned.

Cleaning instructions
The first thing you do is wash them thoroughly with warm water, a mild soap and brush. Dish soap, a strainer and toothbrush works well. Once everything has been washed it is best to evaluate while still wet under a good light. This should give you a good idea of what you have.

After you have washed them there should be some gem rough in plain view. Depending on the Gem type there can also be a lot of matrix that could be covering up some very nice gem rough. Matrix looks a lot like actual rock except with Emeralds the matrix can also be a softer black substance.

Hold each piece up to the light to see if it has a gem potential or you could overlook something.

Next you remove the matrix. One way to remove the matrix is with a Rock Tumbler. If you do not have one I have seen them for sale on online for as little as 20.00. Another good way to remove the matrix is with a Diamond File. Especially regarding Ruby and Sapphire since they are harder than most gems and can be difficult to tumble due to that. Diamond Files are readily available online and inexpensive. The matrix can also be broken open with a hammer to reveal the gem rough within but be careful not to damage it. Because the matrix can also be soft especially the black matrix on Emeralds another method is to flake the matrix off with a knife or large sewing needle. A dremmel tool with a diamond tip also works well.

The method you use to remove the matrix is not important and sometimes it takes all of the above to fully remove it. The most important thing to know is that the best stuff is often found inside the matrix.


About Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds


Rubies and Sapphires

Rubies and Sapphires are grouped together because the only thing that really makes them different is their color. Rubies and Sapphires are both a mineral called Corundum. When Corundum is of a red origin it is called a Ruby. When it is any other color than from a red origin it is called a Sapphire. Rubies range from bright red to orangey red to a purplish red. Sapphires most desired color is a corn flower blue but Sapphires come in all colors except red. Rubies and Sapphires rate a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness only a diamond is higher. Since they are so hard tumbling them can be difficult. The preferred way to clean them is to file away the matrix with a Diamond File.




Emeralds belong to the Beryl family of minerals and owe its green color to amounts of Chromium and Vanadium Elements. Gem quality Emeralds are so rare that they are considered to be worth more than diamonds. Regarding Emeralds: The darker the green color the better the grade. Dark green rates AAA (best), green rates AA (good) and light green/blue rates A (average)


Amethyst: Amethyst is the name given to the variety of quartz which is transparent and light to dark purple in color.


Topaz: Topaz is a silicate mineral that is valued as a gemstone.  It is formed by fluorine-bearing vapors given off during the last stages of the crystallization of igneous rocks.  Topaz comes in many colors.


Tourmaline: Tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral and can have elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline gem stones come in many colors.


Aquamarine: Aquamarine ( water of the sea) is a gem quality variety of the beryl family.They come in a variety of colors ranging from blue or turquoise to and with a seawater/green tint color combination.


Ametrine: Ametrine is a combination of Citrine and Amethyst. Color range is yellow, orange and purple. Many times side by side.


Moonstone: Moonstone is typically a silicate. Moonstone can come in a variety of colors, ranging from green, pink, grey, white, brown and blue.


Citrine:  Citrine is a variety of quartz. It ranges in color from brown to a light yellow.


Peridot: Peridot is a variety of olivine. Peridot can come in a variety of green ranging from olive to yellow-green to brownish green. The depth of green relates to the amount of iron presant in the crystal.


Garnet: Garnets are nesosilicates.  Garnets are most common in red, but can range in a wide variety of colors.