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Please help: Wedding pearl "emergency"

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  • Please help: Wedding pearl "emergency"

    Hi all. Hoping this forum could help with a small pearl "emergency" we are facing. My fiancee has a pearl / sapphire engagement ring that needed to be re-sized before her upcoming bridal portrait session. This ring was custom made by a jeweler, so we went to the same place to have it re-sized. After receiving the ring back from the jeweler and returning home, it seems the pearl had a white film on it, almost as if they used a gold cleaner on the entire ring.

    Unfortunately the jeweler is not open again before my fiancee travels out of state for the bridal portraits, so I'm looking for the best solution we can do in this situation. We used a gentle jewelry brush and water to get as much off as we could, but even after losing the white film, the pearl does not look as lusturous as it was. For all you experts here, what is your best recommendation to both clean the white film off the botton of the ring near the base, and then return the luster to the pearl?

    I've attached photos, both of the ring before we had it re-sized and after, showing the white film on the bottom of the pearl, and overall dullness. Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    You could try washing the pearl with a solution of mild soap in bottled water (to avoid hard water minerals and chlorine). A liquid soap many have found useful for washing pearls is Dr. Bronner's unscented. Our local supermarket carries this, as do local health food shops, but if you can't find it in your area, just use any mild soap and water. I've even used baby wash. Soak the pearl for a few minutes, and wipe carefully with a microfiber cloth. Rinse in more bottled water.

    Just don't use detergents, and if you have hard water (as we do) do not use tap water to clean the pearls. Hard water minerals leave a film when they combine with soap.

    If that doesn't get it off, honestly I would go ahead with the photos but angle the ring in such a way that the white near the base doesn't show in the photos. Afterward I'd take it back to the jeweler who resized it and ask him to replace the pearl.

    Over the years it's likely the pearl will need replacing anyway. The ring will be the same ring she got engaged with, but the pearl can be swapped out as needed.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 08-28-2017, 12:52 AM.

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    • #3
      I asked my husband and he said the jeweler probably put a paste called Heat Shield on it. He says it should come off with water, but you already tried that so try the mild soap/water and wiping with microfiber cloth.

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      • #4
        Heat Shield would not protect a pearl, unfortunately. Ideally, he should have removed it and then glued it back in.

        Personally, I would remove the pearl, clean it thoroughly without the setting getting in the way and then replacing it. It isn't hard.

        ETA - what a lovely ring!
        Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes
        My blog

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        • #5
          This white sediment looks like Cyanoacrylate glue response to humidity around a stiking... Does your jeweller use that ?
          In this case, it's not easy to remove this dusting, and the best whithout take any risk (in principle...) for your pearl is to wash it a moment in lukewarm water with a very little bit of soap. Then, the glue soften enough to be attacked by pure acetone, harmless for the pearls. To do that, you put your ring in a little bath of acetone and brush, inside the bath, sediments with just a toothbrush, not other kind of tool.
          Careful : if it's sticked with cyanoacrylate glue, your pearl can remove itself... It will not be serious if it don't go to a bad place...
          Last edited by ericw; 08-28-2017, 12:23 PM.
          Pearls carver
          www.instagram.com/pearlew_ericwindeck
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          • #6
            What is the size of the pearl? If it doesn't clean up well can you replace the pearl? The engagement rings is lovely.

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            • #7
              Beautiful ring, sad story. So sorry this happened to your pearl. What solution, if any, have you come to?
              Pattye


              PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

              facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

              SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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