How Do You Store Your Pearls? Show Us!

MotherOfPearlTrumpet

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One of the most challenging parts of loving pearls is storing them in a ways where they are safe from the elements AND you can actually remember what you have in your collection. After all, we want to wear what we have! I love wearing my pearls so much I actually purchase outfits to match my pearls! Does anyone else do this?

I thought this would be a good thread to start and see if anyone would like to share good ways to store and reference their collections. I'll give you all some time to respond and in the meantime I'll take some photos and share how I've tackled this challenge.

Warning, I am a bit OCD so I know my system won't appeal to many of you, but based on the comments on the "Show Us Your Pearls" thread, you all are looking for better ways to store your collections.
 
Storing pearls properly is important to maintain their luster, prevent scratches, and avoid damage. Here are some tips on how to store your pearls:

  1. Keep them in a soft pouch or a separate compartment in a jewelry box: Store your pearls in a soft pouch or in a separate compartment of a jewelry box to prevent them from rubbing against other jewelry and getting scratched.
  2. Avoid exposure to sunlight and high temperatures: Store your pearls in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or high temperatures. Heat can cause pearls to dry out, crack, and lose their luster.
  3. Keep them away from chemicals: Avoid exposing your pearls to chemicals, such as perfume, hairspray, and makeup, as these can damage the pearls' surface and cause discoloration.
 
someone told me Olive Oil can protect the luster, but never try it.. :) i saw my chines friend and some Japaneses using like bean from (chemical) and swing it in the machine ...
 
No photos, but I actually store them in the typical rectangular presentation boxes that pearl necklaces or earrings typically come in.
I label each box so I know what's inside.
That's a great idea. I'm so OCD I'd want each box to be exactly the same. Hahahaha. Labeling is pretty important though, otherwise you find yourself rummaging through everything to find the strand you want to wear. How many pearl necklaces do you own, if you don't mind my asking?
 
someone told me Olive Oil can protect the luster, but never try it.. :) i saw my chines friend and some Japaneses using like bean from (chemical) and swing it in the machine ...
Wow, I've never heard of oiling the pearls. I live in a pretty humid climate so no worries about them drying out. but I do wipe them clean after wearing. I'd fear any kind of oil would ruin the silk or nylon thread/knots pretty quickly. The oils from our skin are most likely enough to keep them beautiful.
 
That's a great idea. I'm so OCD I'd want each box to be exactly the same. Hahahaha. Labeling is pretty important though, otherwise you find yourself rummaging through everything to find the strand you want to wear. How many pearl necklaces do you own, if you don't mind my asking?
I haven't counted! Lots! :D

Right now as I write, a plumber is replacing our kitchen faucet. That's where our money is going these days-- home repair-- not into getting more pearls!
 
I think olive oil would stain your clothes and the silk used for knotting the pearls. And olive oil can go rancid. I think my natural skin is the perfect moisturizer for my pearls, but I also live in a very humid climate.

I keep my pearls in soft cloth pouches with multiple interior pouches. They hold multiple strands, but keeps the necklaces separate. They take up less space than the presentation boxes, and I can keep pearls I wear layered in the same pouch for quicker access.

My earrings go into those day of the week pill boxes with snap lids. One or two pair per "day."

My rings are in a drawer with a velvet lining and a way to hold the rings upright. Sort of velvet furrows.
 
I think olive oil would stain your clothes and the silk used for knotting the pearls. And olive oil can go rancid. I think my natural skin is the perfect moisturizer for my pearls, but I also live in a very humid climate.

I keep my pearls in soft cloth pouches with multiple interior pouches. They hold multiple strands, but keeps the necklaces separate. They take up less space than the presentation boxes, and I can keep pearls I wear layered in the same pouch for quicker access.

My earrings go into those day of the week pill boxes with snap lids. One or two pair per "day."

My rings are in a drawer with a velvet lining and a way to hold the rings upright. Sort of velvet furrows.
My mother in law had these drawstring bags with the multiple pouches inside, those are great because you can see multiple strands at once when opening the drawstring.
I DO THE PILL BOXES TOO! That way I can see my earrings and enhancers. I did line the bottom of each compartment with a piece of that craft foam (white) with adhesive on one side. That way I'm putting them on a soft surface so they don't get scratched. The arthritis pill boxes with the flip open top are GREAT. I keep my rings in those boxes too.
 
someone told me Olive Oil can protect the luster, but never try it.. :) i saw my chines friend and some Japaneses using like bean from (chemical) and swing it in the machine ...
I don't recommend it. Especially not with Olive oil: it oxidizes and smells rancid.
Oil gets inside the drill hole and helps detach the pearl from its setting or even ruin the thread (in a necklace).
But, for loose, undrilled pearls a bit of mineral oil is really good! Soak the pearl for a minute, let it sit with the oil that covers it overnight and then clean it with a clean cotton cloth, place the pearl(s) inside a plastic bag and voila!
 
Cool! I absolutely did not know this about mineral oil and hydration. I don't have many undrilled pearls, but I will try it with the couple I do have. Sounds interesting.
 
DOCUMENTATION:
When I first got started and had completed about 5 projects, I realized that I wanted to
1) have a record of what I owned, what I paid, and it's value and
2) make sure that someday, when I'm gone, I would have an appropriate history and identifications of my pearl collection.

So, I started documenting each piece/ensemble with the photos you see on my thread "My Pearling Story" (with some additional photos of the 14K symbols, etc.). I also included:
1) where I purchased the original piece (because I almost always take a necklace apart and use the pearls and clasp in different projects),
2) how much I paid for the original piece,
3) an inventory of gold or non-gold beads and other findings (so I and those after me know if these are real gold claps/diamonds/beads or vermeil/rhodium silver/CZ stones),
4) the cost of any additional findings or storage boxes/folders, and
5) the diamond and gold quality/rating and specifics (14K, 18K, Platinum, color/cut/clarity of the diamonds). Finally, there is a "what I paid for everything" cost line, and then a 2022-23 valuation cost line. (I had to take all my mother-in-law's jewelry to a store to determine if it was real/fake/and what the gold content was...many items were not marked-it was time consuming and felt like a burden for the store that helped me).
By having a record of all this, my children will know (and I can remember) the value of what is wrapped up in these pearl necklaces and ensembles.

Someday I also plan on writing a "name" on each paper copy indicating whom is to receive it upon my departure from this world. I want these pieces to be enjoyed after I'm gone as much as I enjoy them now!

The other wonderful bonus is that I have accurate digital and printed documentation of what I own as well as a library I can flip through to decide what I want to wear each day! I keep these binders on a shelf in my closet and I try to make sure and rotate what I wear. I guess my accounting/musician/OCD side is really showing right now.

Probably way more work that any normal person would like to do, but I thought it was a fun project that yielded an outstanding library of my jewelry. It also allows me to share my collection with you all, and other friends who show interest in my "pearling" endeavors. I take photos of the strands I give away too, so I can remember what I've given away and when.
 
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Ehh... So, I have piled my 5 strands and a couple of wired pearls strands on two beautiful wooden trays on the counter in my bathroom. They look beautiful and it reminds me to wear, something I wouldn't get to doing otherwise. I am well aware that it is not optimal though at least there is no sun, they don't get near perfume and it is temperate, but they are beautiful to look at and it makes happy several times a day.
 
Ehh... So, I have piled my 5 strands and a couple of wired pearls strands on two beautiful wooden trays on the counter in my bathroom. They look beautiful and it reminds me to wear, something I wouldn't get to doing otherwise. I am well aware that it is not optimal though at least there is no sun, they don't get near perfume and it is temperate, but they are beautiful to look at and it makes happy several times a day.
Whatever works best for you!!! I would love to see all mine out all the time, because that would make me so happy too. Jewelry should bring you joy, and it sounds like your truly does. Thanks for sharing.
 
I recently found a pearl rope necklace of my grandmother's in a pouch with the original receipt. Nice to have provenance.
Don't you just love it when they save the receipts. I recently inherited my husband's mother's and grandmother's jewelry. It wasn't much, but there was an "installment payment" receipt for one of the rings and it was so sweet to see her $25 payments over the course of about a year for a small diamond dinner ring. In the days before credit cards. Love this ring's history.
 
Ehh... So, I have piled my 5 strands and a couple of wired pearls strands on two beautiful wooden trays on the counter in my bathroom. They look beautiful and it reminds me to wear, something I wouldn't get to doing otherwise. I am well aware that it is not optimal though at least there is no sun, they don't get near perfume and it is temperate, but they are beautiful to look at and it makes happy several times a day.
Karin I still remember the picture of your beautiful wooden trays! I will have a home where I will have my favorite pearls on display like this one day :) For now they are all together in a easily accessible place, must be easily accessible beacause I take some of them out everyday to play:)
 
Wow, I admire your storing system and diligence @MotherOfPearlTrumpet! I have a folder on my Ipad with all my pearl pieces and some of the layering pictures I like, I do have some pictures that show vendor pictures and real-life pictures and then I have a “future projects” folder.
That sounds way smarter than paper copies! At least when you update your files (like every time I make adjustments to a strand) there wouldn't be a need to adjust the file AND reprint! That is one downside to my system. But like photo albums, it is nice to have a "hard copy" of the strands.
 
As promised, here are photos my storage system. Most pearls are stored in those simple flat pearl folders, marked with what's inside (Avery File Printer/Label printed on Clear/Black Avery File Label Tape). The pearl folders were the best price at nilecorp.com and they come in white/black/pink/gray. My cheaper or mixed bead necklaces are in the pink or gray folders. When there are matching earrings an/or an enhancer for a strand, I store those in little white cotton pouches that I make/sew out of 2" twill tape (earrings have a divider seam-see photo). That way the pearls won't get scratched and can be stored with their corresponding necklace.
My more expensive strands are stored in those lovely blue velvet center open display boxes (room for the larger South Sea pearls and more protected). Obviously don't need as many of those storage boxes. Found the best price on the blue velvet boxes on Amazon.
Pearl storage system
Pearl filing and storage system
storage necklace box
storage necklace box
storage pearl ring
 

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