Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26
  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta GA metro area
    Posts
    101

    Default Soaking Pearls overnight in saltwater to revive them?

    I was talking to a girl at lunch today and she was so exicited because she found some pearls this weekend at a yard sale. She said they looked "old and crusty" so yesterday she called her jeweller who told her to soak them overnight in salt water to rehydrate them. She mentioned that they were soaking today while she was at work and hoped they would be "done" tonight so she could wear them tomorrow.

    Gasp!! Is this even possible?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Posts
    4,771
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Oops! The jeweler should have told her to just peel the pearls with a pair of pliers. Does she even know what type of pearls they are?

    This is a classic example of some one in the trade not being able to answer a question about pearls honestly... this way, "I really don't know, you should check pearl-guide.com".

  3. #3
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Raisondetre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    972

    Default

    Geez, I'd have thought soaking in mineral oil would work better. People should really know than to believe what others say. It's so easy to research online.

  4. #4
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    I'd think twice about soaking akoyas in salt water, let alone overnight. I think their stabilization processes make them imcompatible with water of any kind.

    Salt is dehydrating. I have used a salt slurry to clean my natural Persian Gulf pearls, but they did not sit in the solution, they just slooshed in it until the pearls were clean. THEN I rehydrated them with several baths of pure water and let them sit in the bathroom.

    I would not try salt with PPB's- cultured saltwater pearls. Why risk drying them out...they could detach from their foundations, if dry enough.

    I have heard of corn oil used on FW pearls and mineral oil, but mineral oil is actually kind of drying too.

    For CFWP I like to use plain water to rinse and a light coating of a pure, refined veggie oil, such as jojoba and other very fine oils that are good for human faces. I mean a very light coating. I rub a little on my palms and pass the pearls through my hands. You do not want a build up of grease on your pearls.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  5. #5
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Raisondetre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    972

    Default

    Mineral oil is actually one of the most basic moisturisers used in alot of skincare products. Oils themselves do not rehydrate. They merely form a film to seal in a moisture. There are a few oils that are good for human skin, with a lipid profile that is more miscible with the cell membranes, but it may not always be good for pearls due to the acidity. Extra virgin olive oil, squalene and rosehip would be my top choices for skin, but I generally would not use them for pearls. Rosehip has a bit of retinioid in it. Jojoba is generally too heavy for good skincare.

    I wouldn't soak pearls in anything. They have been treated at the source, and anything else is maintenance. Washing them and then patting on a thin film of oil like Caitlin says is the way to go.

  6. #6
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    Mineral oil has actually been a basic cosmetic oil only since petroleum began to be refined.

    It is not the best ingredient for human skin- Heavy use of mineral has caused lesions in the liver and lymph nodes because the mineral oil is is not processed and transformed by humans, its droplets are so fine, they just physically sink through the skin into deeper and deeper tissues until it actually, physically, drifts into the liver or lymph nodes, which are not set up to process it.
    .
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...romoid=googlep
    What's more alarming, fine droplets of mineral oil can go through the intestinal wall and reach the liver and lymph nodes, where, doctors suspect, they may cause dangerous lesions. Autopsies have revealed such droplets in patients' tissues.
    Although this study referred to those who had intense contact with mineral oil. I do not think it is best for human use or anything else that comes into contact with humans such as pearls.

    Pearls and human skin oils are traditionally said to be very compatible, so I would want to use an oil that enhances both. As I have extremely thin, delicate skin which gets inflamed by cosmetics easily, I have investigated oils for use on the skin for 40 some odd years. Age has just exagerated my youthful problems!

    Jojoba, though thick by itself, is actually made up of droplets that are individually capable of easy absortion by delicate skin. Jojoba, alone, is very compatible for skin use and has a history of thousands of years of use- in contrast to mineral oil. It is a native remedy here in the southwest desert country, but easily cultivated and available everywhere.

    My favorite skin oil and one I do not react to with redness or irritation is Linda Sy's "Vita oil for delicate skins" Its main ingredient is jojoba oil followed by lecithin and other vegetable oil and ingredients that make it clear yellow, thin, and easily spreadable. I love it and my pearls love it.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 06-28-2007 at 09:49 PM.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  7. #7
    Casey.R
    Guest

    Default

    I don't know about pearls, but I do know about skin. I make my own lotions ( soap too ), and I probably wouldn't use mineral oil as an ingredient. Olive oil I love, I use in in everything along with shea butter and almond oil. Some oils can be more drying than others.

  8. #8
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    This is the first reference I found for jojoba oil. It matches my sentiments exactly. While the original processors of my CFWP can use corn oil as an inexpensive alternative, once I get my pearls home, when and if I need something, I use jojoba oil sparingly, which does provide a kind of hydration, while mineral oil allows dehydration.....

    Jojoba oil and its Many Benefits Guest Author - Carolyn Schweitzer


    Women have been using Jojoba oil as a beauty treatment for decades, if not centuries. Native Americans used to extract the oil from jojoba beans as a treatment for cuts, sores and bruises, as well as sunburn. It has been applied to both face and scalp to help prevent evaporation and provide lubrication for dry, flaky skin. It absorbs easily, is non-greasy, and is very pleasant and soothing no matter what your skin type. Many women claim that jojoba oil also has a minimizing effect on pores!

    Jojoba oil, like other natural oils, is considered a "natural moisturizing factor". Just like the lipids that are naturally found in your skin, it helps fight surface roughness, flaking, and fine lines. But it isn't reserved just for those who have dry skin. People with acne-prone skin, who suffer more than others from clogged pores and blackhead formation, tend to avoid oil-based products like the plague. They assume that all oil-based products will make their acne worse.

    Not so! Due to the unique molecular structure of jojoba oil, not only will it mix readily with the skin's natural oils, but studies have shown that it can even inhibit the growth of certain types of bacteria associated with acne.

    Jojoba oil is also soothing for skin conditions like rosacea and sebborheic dermatitis, and will not cause flare-ups. By helping to reinforce the structure of the skin's outer layer (the epidermis), jojoba oil -along with the natural oils produced by the skin- is extremely helpful in the healing process. Natural oils help prevent individual cells from losing moisture, and aid in keeping the skin smooth and supple.

    Another oil that benefits the skin and has a low comedogenic (pore-clogging) factor is Almond oil, which also makes for a great massage oil. However, it hasn't been shown to have the antibacterial benefits of Jojoba oil.

    You can purchase Jojoba oil in it's pure form as a cold pressed extract. It's a pleasant, odorless oil that resists going rancid, so it's shelf life is excellent. A little dab is all you need, gently massaged into your skin!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta GA metro area
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Well, I saw the pearls. Interesting developments.

    They were definately still "crusty" but she said much cleaner

    Around the holes when I looked closely, there is some peeling of the nacre.

    I am guessing these are a set of 1950-60's cultured salt water pearls -- they are a graduated strand which I believe was really popular back then and the clasp looks like gold.

    Good news. Her husband didn't think that was the right thing to do, so he took them out of the water behind her back and left them to dry on a towel.

    She was pleased with them. She thought they were so much cleaner. I send her some links to this site and to some pearl vendors so she could see what really good pearls look like. I am hoping she will read this forum and become a convert.

    It is sad that some jewelers don't really know anything about pearls. To the end user, pearls are jewelry and jewelers are like docotrs -- they should know every thing about all jewelry. Anything they say people believe.

    Great discussion on oil. Thanks everyone.

  10. #10
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    Hi Casey
    I agree with you about making cosmetics and using natural veggie oils. The ones you mention are great for skin. There is no oil that is easier to get than EVOO, which is available about anywhere. You'd have to go to a co-op or health food store for almond or jojba, or, as I now do, get them on line.

    My favorite , Linda Sy vita oil, is available online. It is the next best thing to homemade.

    Anyway, I would not soak saltwater cultured pearls in anything, for any reason.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Posts
    4,771
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I agree, they should never be soaked. The pearls sound like akoya, and those should not even be soaked in freshwater.

    Your friend should just be thankful the jeweler did not tell her to feed the pearls to a chicken and wait... remember that urban legend, Caitlin?

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta GA metro area
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Ok -- Jer--
    You gotta cough up the Urban Legend. You caught my attention.

  13. #13
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    The urban legend is that you feed a pearl to a chicken and when it comes out the other end, it will be ................?????

    Anyway, Chickens have crops, a little sack in front of their wish bone where they keep little stones or pieces of oyster shell to grind their food as they have no teeth. A pearl fed to a chicken would stay in the crop until it was ground up or the chicken was killed.....

    We thought it might be possible that the action in the crop would put a grind on the surface of the pearl, but since you have to kill it to get the ground pearl out, it seems about as sensible as burning down the hut to roast the piglet......
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  14. #14

    Default

    I read through this whole thread and am still lost.

    I think their stabilization processes make them imcompatible with water of any kind.
    Caitlin, could you explain the stabilization process and why would that make Akoyas incompatible with water?

    In general, what other pearls are incompatible with water?

    Thanks,
    pernula

  15. #15

    Default

    May be I should clarify the general question part more:

    What pearls are compatible with pure water soaking and contact?

    What pearls are compatible with salt water soaking and contact?

    If one was to bring pearls to the tropics and the pearls get exposed to sweat (salt water) and rain?

    Thanks so much,
    pernula