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Thread: How are your Freshwater Pearls holding up?

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    Default How are your Freshwater Pearls holding up?

    what's your oldest freshwater pearl jewellery and do you wear it everyday?

    and does it still look as new/good?

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    Great topic! I've always wanted to know. I do wear mine everyday. I noticed recently that the luster has diminished somewhat despite being very careful about cleaning and putting them back properly. However, they are quite hardy and are not as easily scratched as I had thought they would be. Even the akoyas that I have are not 'hurt' by swimming pool water and everyday shampoo.
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    Hanaleimom's Avatar
    Hanaleimom is offline Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Default luster

    I've read, somewhere online and also on a pamphlet from a Tahitian jeweler, that you can use a drop of olive oil on your pearls. I don't remember if the purpose is to bring back luster or not. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? Thanks.

    Airdancer, you wore yours everyday but how long in terms of months or years did it take to diminish the luster?

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    Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Olive oil, like other vegetable oils, is weakly acidic...I would hesitate, personally, to deliberately put an acidic substance on the pearls on any regular basis. I would think it would eventually diminish the luster.

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    Hanaleimom's Avatar
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    I found this link on pearl care from Perles de Tahiti. See question # 9.

    http://www.perlesdetahiti.net/site/en/621.html

    It says that you can polish them with a drop of oil, but does not say which oil?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanaleimom View Post
    Airdancer, you wore yours everyday but how long in terms of months or years did it take to diminish the luster?
    Oh, they are not noticeable at all to lots of other people, I must strongly qualify. In fact, everyone thinks they are quite lustrous. But I can see that they don't look as shiny as the first day I took them out of the box. I bought them a month ago. I wear this same strand everyday to the office, perhaps the body oils affected it. I don't know. But I found that my earrings still look great.

    I would like to try the olive oil method to bring back the fantastic shine - read it here too. I will have to look for a cheap strand to try it!
    Last edited by airdancer; 03-22-2008 at 01:23 AM.
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    Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It's a good idea, I think, to occasionally wash the cloth that one uses to wipe one's pearls. Eventually the cloths get dust on them; dust commonly contains quartz which is much harder than pearls and will scratch them.

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    salem is offline First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Hello,

    I remember Jeremy wrote about a product a few months ago that I wanted to try. I recently noticed some of my freshwaters needed a pick me up. So I was wondering, has anyone tried the Pear Doctor? It is associated with TPO and think it is worth a try. I would be scared to use olive oil myself, but then, I don't have a strand I want to risk. Hey, I guess I could use some of my craft pearls.

    Anyway, here is the link to the other thread.
    http://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2206

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    airdancer, 1 month isn't a long time, did you try cleaning them with soft cloth?

    anyone else have their FW pearls longer and wear them consistently?

    i'm really curious since i've read a thread about a lady who wore out her mikimoto strand to the bead in 7 years.......wondering if anyone owned a FW strand and wore them for 7 years.....

  10. #10
    jerin Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by v_ni View Post
    airdancer, 1 month isn't a long time, did you try cleaning them with soft cloth?

    anyone else have their FW pearls longer and wear them consistently?

    i'm really curious since i've read a thread about a lady who wore out her mikimoto strand to the bead in 7 years.......wondering if anyone owned a FW strand and wore them for 7 years.....

    The bit about the Akoyas is quite true, my mom had a beautiful strand, which she did wear only on formal occasions, after about 10 years the were worn down to the nucleus.

    I hav a lot of freshwater strands, though not one that is older than 3 years, so I canīt say how long they will hold their luster and "good looks" but I too noticed on some strands that their luster is not the same as it was from the beginning, it must have to do with more than one factor, I think. Bodyoils or acidity may be just some of them, but as we all here on the forum are caring very much for our pearls and wipe them with a soft cloth, there must be some other reasons as well. Perhaps it has to do with treatments done to the pearls before.... and after some years I think the strands would need a new polishing anyway, but unfortunately private persons donīt have a tumbler with bamboo bits so perhaps the "Pearl doctor" from the Pearl-Guide is a good idea, Sunshine cloth has been mentioned earlier too, I personally have not had the guts to try it on my strands, they are all high-end (AAA + up), so I donīt want to risk scratching them. As for olive oil, I wouldnīt do it. Plain clean (chlorine-free) water perhaps would be enough. Donīt wet your strand but just take a moist cloth to wipe of all thatīs on the pearls. And if you want to clean them thoroughly, take castill soap and chlorine-free water, but after that you have to restring your strand/s.

    If cared for as mentioned I think they will hold up quite well.

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    Update: tried the olive oil on a cheaper strand. It does look like it has more glow but that's just a trick of the eye. It doesn't improve the luster - ie, the tightness of the reflection.

    Thanks for the pearl doctor link - I forgot about that! Maybe when I get a really really really expensive strand, I'd get that kit.
    Last edited by airdancer; 03-22-2008 at 11:33 AM.
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  12. #12
    Pearlgully Guest

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    In a prior post (can't find right now), I said that I occasionally dab a drop of olive oil on my pearls. Back in 1999, I went to the French Polynesian islands and it was there that I read about the olive oil. It was in a book and also on several "Caring for Your Pearls" cards given to me when I purchased pearls. Here's a quote from one card ".........Occasionally, after drying them, rub the pearls with a few drops of olive oil placed on a chamois. The oil will restore the pearl's luster and keep them from drying out." I have only seen olive oil recommended on Tahitian paraphanelia. AND.......yes, I followed those instructions and lovingly rubbed my pearls with the stuff. (Years ago I was more neurotic than I am now.) I too, have some very high-end pearls. Do they look any better? Honestly, I can't tell. They don't look worse, either; they look the same as when I bought them. I am not recommending anyone try olive oil, I'm just sharing my experience.


    Gail
    Last edited by Pearlgully; 03-22-2008 at 11:42 PM.

  13. #13
    jerin Guest

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    Hi Gail,

    that does sound reassuring but if there is no difference I will not try it! I think the silk or what one has strung the pearls with may get oily too and if it is a white strand, perhaps it looks yellow?!

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    Raisondetre's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the olive oil fills in the porous surface of the nacre and makes it look better. It also prevents evaporative dehydration assuming there is still some moisture left in the pearls in the first place. A little bit won't do any harm. Most pearls are oiled anyway.
    Aspiring ninja. Go Storm Shadow!

  15. #15
    Casey.R Guest

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    Hmmm, Well ....I had a small dyed black pearl on a pendant that I bought 10 years ago and it still looks okay but I haven't worn it much lately and it's at my mothers house right now so I can't check.
    My akoyas are 4 years old and are holding up very well.
    I have a pair of freshwater earrings, also dyed black, that look terrible. they are also about 10 years old but I wore them ALL the time and didn't know how to care for pears back then. The rest of my pearl collection is from wthin the last few years.

    I hope that with proper care they last a long time.

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