Jewelry care tips:how to take care of pearls, an organic material to be worn carefully

5 August 2014 |

Pearls brightness is unique, and gives an elegance touch to every lucky woman wearing them. Pearls are not fragile, but consider they are vulnerable: as an organic gem composed of calcium carbonate, pearls fear acidics substances, such as:

  • the chemicals found in cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume. Dress, style your hair, apply your make-up, and spray on your perfume before you put on any pearl jewelry. Put your pearls on last and take them off first.
  • perspiration. To prevent pearl’s luster be harmed by skin’s perspiration, avoid wearing them during the hottest days of the year, and during your exercises.
  • fruit juices, vinegar, and a number of other acidic substances sbould be kept far from pearls.

As a good practice, before returning your pearls to the jewelry box, always wipe them gently with a soft cloth.  And, in case in case your pearls get exposed to acid, immediately wipe your pearls clean with a soft cloth with some drops of water. Otherwise, the acid will break down the crystallized calcium of the pearl, ruining its luster and causing long-term damage.

Be very careful in using soaps to clean pearls: harsh cleaners can destroy the pearl, and a harder brush can also cause scratches. Avoid also standard tap water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that can damage the surface of your pearls.

Avoid long-term exposure to strong light or heat above 140°F (60°C). These elements can dry out your pearls, causing them to crack.

Let’s now consider the best storage options:

  • Keep your pearls in a separate compartment, away from other jewelry. Other gems may scratch the surface of the pearls if they come into contact with them.
  • Consider storing your pearls in a silk bag, velvet-lined box, or satin-lined pearl folder, avoinding cotton or whool bags. Never store pearls in a plastic bag, that could emit a chemical that, over time, will cause your pearls to deteriorate.
  • Avoid jewelry boxes with windows that expose your jewelry to light. Long-term exposure to sunlight can cause your pearls to turn yellow.
  • Do not keep pearl stored in a safe or safety deposit box for an extended period of time. These dry conditions will dehydrate you pearls, causing them to develop small surface fractures. Remember the saying that “pearls want to be worn”!

Finally, consider to have your pearls restrung every one or two years, especially if you wear them consistently. Even if you do not notice visible signs of wear on the strand, the string will likely start to fray by then.

“A Pearl is a Living Jewel”

Kokichi Mikimoto