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Caring for Your Pearls

Pearl Care

Pearls are the world's only organic gem and are composed of calcium carbonate. This means special attention is required to ensure pearls will stay beautiful and last a lifetime.

Pearls Require Special Care

Because pearls are an organic gemstone, they are different from other gemstones and precious metals. They are softer and more delicate, and they can therefore be more easily scratched, cracked, and damaged. In addition, substances such as perfume and hair spray -and even natural body oils and perspiration- can dull a pearls' luster or cloud their brilliance. For these reasons, your pearls may require a bit of special care.
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Be Careful with Cosmetics and Your Pearls

It's a clever idea, for example, to apply perfume, hair spray, and other cosmetics before wearing your pearls. In this way, you can minimize the amount of these products that will meet the pearls. After wearing your pearls, wipe them with a soft damp cloth to remove any traces of cosmetic products or body oils. Wash the pearls periodically with a mild soap and a soft cloth, to remove any accumulated build-up.

Also be careful with Household Cleaning Agents
This is especially important for pearls worn on rings since we usually manipulate these chemical agents with our hands. Many of these cleaning agents contain harsh chemical substances (ammonia) or of acidic nature and can attack and damage your pearls. Your best option is to remove your jewelry items to avoid damage or to purchase and use cleaning agents that are safe on pearls.

When washing dishes, be ready to remove your pearl ring, to avoid both water and the detergent from slowly creeping inside the pearl's drill hole, eventually causing the pearl to fall off at the most inappropriate moment! If you own pearl rings, be sure to check how well the pearl sits on its jewelry setting, at least once a year. If the pearl feels ever slightly lose, remove the ring, store it in a Ziploc bag and take it to your jeweler for resetting. Or, if you are bold enough, you may do this yourself: our forum offers great advice on resetting jewelry pieces.

If you own a jewelry store, avoid using harsh cleaning solutions when cleaning your display cases, try to avoid spraying the cleaning agent directly on glass and instead spray directly on a cloth/paper towel and then clean the glass surfaces of your cases.

The following video can show you the damaging effect of a "window cleaner":

Store Your Pearls Separately

Because of their delicate nature, pearls should be stored separately, away from hard jewelry items, to prevent scratches or other damage. If possible, store them wrapped in a soft cloth or in a soft-lined container, pouch, or jewelry box.

Have Your Pearls Restrung and Knotted for Safety

To prevent strand breakage, it's a good idea to have your pearls restrung periodically -perhaps once a year or so if you wear them often. Knotting the strand between each pearl will prevent all the pearls from falling off the strand in the event the strand breaks. Also, knotting prevents the pearls from rubbing against one another and causing damage. A little bit of care can go a long way toward ensuring that your pearls remain safe and bright for years to come!


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