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Guide to Cleaning and Caring for Pearls

Caitlin

New member
I must add... Thank you Caitlin!
Also for complex designs that would cost a bomb to have restrung, if you could find someone willing to do it, powerpro is ideal.
I know I've strung some longer necklaces that I really wouldn't want to have to do again.

I am the world's worst salesman, but the PP speaks for itself, if you buy some. The tip I will be the most famous for........!;) TeeHeee!

So Lloyd, as Wendy said, this is not the first thread on Power Pro. Look around on the Lowly Beader's Forum for lots more and even controversy with the silk lovers! Ooooooh, it got really tense for awhile! Those silk lovers are incredibly loyal!:D:D
 
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Pearl lover 98

New member
Hi,

I have a lot of pearl jewelry from my mother and she never told me how to take care of it. I have a very nicestrandof south sea pearls that are worth a lot and recentl noticed that it has a lot of indentations and little spots on the whole strand that it didn't have before. Can I everse this damage? I am so frustrated when I saw this.

I'm desperately needing help.

Thanks.
 

pattye

Pearl Scholar
Hello Pearl lover 98, Welcome,

Could you please put up a close up photo so we can see what you are talking about? Use a white paper towel for a background, and the macro setting on your camera. Have you avoided spraying the pearls with hairspray and perfumes when you wear them, by putting them on last? Pearls can have natural indentions, but it would be most helpful to see a photo.
 

KennyLieu

New member
Hi Amanda,

its the fall season in California. Should I still left a damp tissue in my jewelry box? Should keep that tissue wet through out the season. I pay so much money for my pearl and I don't want it to be damage. I want my pearl to last a life time.

-Kenny
 

Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
Hi Amanda,

its the fall season in California. Should I still left a damp tissue in my jewelry box? Should keep that tissue wet through out the season. I pay so much money for my pearl and I don't want it to be damage. I want my pearl to last a life time.

-Kenny

Kenny, you don't need to put a damp cloth in your jewelry box. Amanda was referring to long term storage in a safe (or safe deposit box) which can be a very dry environment.
 

pearl-man

New member
HI
Unlikely. wearing them may mprove the luster. Over the years I've seen 1960"s 1970-"s Japanese Akoya become creamer. For what ever reason the pink color faded. I think they are prettier especially if worn a lot.

Norm
 

pearl-man

New member
Hi
I must take issue with you about acetone. it may not affect the crystalline structure but the organic area is different. Be safe just use clean water. Washing a finished strand just
transfers the dirt to the silk. When restringing they should be transferred to a cotton cord which cleans the inside of the holes quite well.
 

pearl-man

New member
I would personally suggest finding someone in your local area that can string pearls well. Knotting pearls well takes practice, and if you only have a few strands that need upkeep, you would be better off with a professional stringer. Treat the strand like the cleaning of your fur coat (faux fur coat - sorry, the Angelino coming out in me), about once a year. Unless you have a keen interest in beading, the $10-$30 you will spend on the reknotting will outweigh the cumbersome task of learning to string.
Silk is not as important as many think. In fact, the large majority of stringers "double knotting on silk thread" are either using nylon or a silk nylon blend. I do not really believe one is better than the other - one just sounds better. Almost anything coming out of Asia (both Japan and China) is not strung on pure silk.

Our firm has knotted and strung since 1939. Started by my mother. I've done it since, hurts to say, and silk-silk-silk-silk. We don't need to double know because we stock 10 or so different weights of silk from OOO to FF....The brand of FFF is Gudebrod. The brand of Japanese silk is Tire and the weight is grams per 100 meters, I think, . If the correct silk size is used double knotting is not necessary and if the double knot is not on top of and is next to previous knot. you have a problem to redo the knot. Whats done right and proper in this day and age has slipped by the wayside but still exists no matter what field, If you want cheap you get crap, and blah blah blah.....too much coffee.
Norm
 

Mogget

New member
Baby South Sea exposed to fire

Baby South Sea exposed to fire

Hello,

Someone told me that exposing your pearl to fire can help determine if it's real. So we tried one using a lighter (just a few seconds) but after doing so we read somewhere that this is bad. What can I do to my pearl now? Part of the surface kind of changed. I don't see any cracks but I think that part of the surface have small bubbles and are now dull.

There are also scratches on the pearl since the jeweler who made the pearl earrings had to mark them so we know that it's the pair we bought (We burned it after we brought the pearls home). Need help please! :(
 

Caitlin

New member
Golly mogget, I hardly know where to start. This is a disaster!

First, they weren't actually baby south sea pearls, thank goodness- that is a just a sleazy name for freshwater pearls.

What ever possessed you to hold a fire to it?

Whatever possessed your so called jeweler to make marks on a pearl?

Or why is your trust so low, he needed to prove he didn't switch them out?

You can't fix the fire damage done to the pearl or the scratches.

My advice, write this pair off,start over again and buy some freshwater pearls from someone honest.
 

Mogget

New member
Golly mogget, I hardly know where to start. This is a disaster!

First, they weren't actually baby south sea pearls, thank goodness- that is a just a sleazy name for freshwater pearls.

What ever possessed you to hold a fire to it?

Whatever possessed your so called jeweler to make marks on a pearl?

Or why is your trust so low, he needed to prove he didn't switch them out?

You can't fix the fire damage done to the pearl or the scratches.

My advice, write this pair off,start over again and buy some freshwater pearls from someone honest.

We were told that Pearls measuring 8 to 9 millimeters are called baby South Sea pearls. Googled it and it looks like it's not an official term used for smaller south sea.

About the scratches from the jeweler, he had to mark it (according to him) since we had to pay and come back the next day since it had to be drilled and the made into a pair of earrings. He didn't have ready made ones. Almost everything was in it's "raw" form. Hence the markings.

About the fire, for the life of me, I don't know why we tried it. I guess out of curiousity and ignorance and I'd give my arm to go back in time and not do it.

Someone suggested that I can go to another jeweler and have them "buff" the discoloration and scratches. Before I do that, I thought it best to ask around for anything else to be done...Sigh, yes this is a disaster...
 

perlinda

pearl lover
Mogget, I'm sorry about your experience. "Baby South Sea pearls" is the term some sellers use for freshwater pearls, because they're trying to deceive people into thinking the pearls are actually SSP.

I've seen jewelers used lighter to take off South Sea pearl from gold mounting, and the pearl came out fine. However I've been informed that for freshwater pearls, fire/lighter won't burn it but will leave marks/discoloration. Maybe you can try buffing them, but I'm afraid that as Caitlin said, there's nothing you can do to fix the pearls to their original state. It's better to find replacement, since loose freshwater pearls in 8-9mm size are abundant and can be quite affordable.
 

Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
Mogget, that is a sad story!

I do not understand a jeweler needing to mark the pearls just to identify them as yours. He could just as easily have put them in an envelope or bag with your name on it to avoid mixing them up with someone else's order until he was ready to work on them-- and then he could return them to the marked bag or envelope afterward to be sure the right ones were returned to you.

Unless it was you who asked him to mark them, because of not trusting him? If that is the case, find a jeweler you feel you can trust next time.

I've never heard of exposing pearls to fire deliberately-- wow!
 

KarinK

New member
Hi Mogget,

Where are you located? It is interesting for the story. I'm guessing it's somewhere outside of Europe/USA. The easy way to test if pearls are real rather than fake is to gently rub them against each other or against a tooth. If they feel slightly gritty rather than smooth they are real pearls.

You can try to check the prices of single FW pearls the size you've got using the links of the vendors on this site. That should give you some idea of the replacement value. In case of FW they are solid nacre so it might in theory be possible to polish them, but I don't know if it'll be worth the effort.

Take heart! You're certainly not the only one here on PG who found their way here through mistakes.

- Karin
 

pearl-man

New member
cleaning and stringing

cleaning and stringing

cleaning and stringing

Our firm has strung pearls for 4 decades during my tenure and an additional 3 decades before I was old enough to know a pearl from a rock.
If your pearls are not clean. Restring them. Temporarily string on cotton and wash under running water with one end hooked over the tap. Rinse and use a cotton towel to dry. Stringing on cotton will clean the holes. Washing on the cord while still wearing just moves the grime to the silk. Not a worthy practise.
Dear all

I have a question for Zeide:

I have read on various websites that when caring for and cleaning pearls, one should use a damp soft cloth (dampened with diluted soap solution) and then "rinsed" with another damp soft cloth (dampened with clean chlorine free water only) and then dried with another soft cloth.

However, I have also seen on some websites advising that if the pearls are really dirty, they should be rinsed under running water. My query is two fold: (a) what is the proper way to clean pearls and (b) can pearls be placed under a tap of running water (since I thought if water were to get into the drill holes then it will ruin the pearls)?

I would be grateful if you could please let me know.

Many thanks.

Moishai.
 

pearl-man

New member
Hi
There are a couple look alike synthetics that may give you more wear but. also accumulate more grit to eventually misshapen
the hole or other damage . look at it as though you were changing the oil as you do in your car. Necessary inconvenience.
We can offer todo them. but I refrain from advertising on this forum. Little bit heavier silk mite help.
Norm. aka. peal-mn
 

AWeng

New member
Has anyone heard of "moisturizing" the pearls with natural oils? A friend of mine soaked her pearls in pure olive oil (or something like that, I don't remembered) and said it'll help maintain the pearls' luster and nacre so it won't chip or peel... Is this true? I know that pearls need to "breathe", so they can't be placed in air-tight containers or in the safe for too long. If this is the case, won't the oils stop pearls from breathing like clogging our pores? LOL
 

KarinK

New member
And how does you friend like the new colour of the once-white silk thread :)

The topic has been up before but so has many topics during PG's lifespan. The conclusion last time was that's not a good idea to use any kind of oil with pearls - other than the oil that comes naturally off the skin when you wear them.

Some oils even harden and could potentially leave a layer on your pearls. Personally I wouldn't.

- Karin
 

Hanaleimom

New member
I had rubbed olive oil on one strand and didn't like the result. It seemed the oil even attracted dirt and dust faster. I didn't even think it was more shiny. Maybe it's all in my head but it looked dirty, coated. So I eventually wiped it with moist cloth to get rid of the oil.
 
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