Pearl Maintenance

Pearls are actually organic gems and can be very strong. However, they are also more delicate than other gemstones and metals. They are softer and can crack and can be scratched which dulls them. Women that wear oils, lotions, powders are dulling the shine of their pearls.  To that point, women should put on their pearls last (after putting on their cosmetics) and take their pearls off first.

In fact, even perspiration can dull their shine. If you want your pearls to endure this entire onslaught then you have to treat them and take care of them. Try not to expose the pearls to materials and substances that can harm them including vinegar, chlorine, ammonia, hairspray and cosmetics. Make sure you put on your makeup before you put on your pearl jewelry.

After you wear the pearls clean them with a warm soft damp cloth and remove the oils and debris.  As tempting as it may be, try not to hold the cloth and pull/draw the pearls through the cloth.  Allow the pearls to draw thoroughly.

If you want to keep your pearls strong then you should have them re-strung every year.  White silk thread is what is used to string a pearl necklace (silk thread makes pearls lay more naturally than synthetic thread). Consider what happens to a collar of a white shirt after you wear it. Imagine if, once or twice a year, you wore a white silk shirt—you did not clean it and you put it back in the closet.  Bacteria, skin cells, skin oils, perspiration, lotions, etc. go to work on the silk cloth and actually yellow and disintegrate the fabric. This is what is happening to the inside of your pearls.  It is pretty nasty stuff.   And besides, new silk will make your pearls look fresh and new.

Ideally, you should apply a very thin coat of coconut oil (keeping the oil off the silk thread) to retain the luster and condition of your pearls.  Then, wrap your pearls in a soft cloth before you put them away . You can also put them in a soft lined pouch or protective box. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, baking soda or other harsh elements to clean your pearls. Never keep pearls next to heaters or in strong sunlight because they will become brittle. Never put pearls into a plastic bag. It will emit a chemical and cause the pearls to erode.

You don't want to leave them in a safety box for long periods either. The condition in the box will dry out the pearls and they could fracture. Pearl strands should be stored laying flat and not hung so as to avoid stretching the silk thread.  What's the best thing to do for pearls?  Simple.  Wear them.  Pearls are organic--pearls enjoy exposure to air.   And, what may seem contradictory to what was written above; the natural skin oils help prevent pearls from drying out. 

 It is not hard to care for your pearls. If you follow these simple instructions for caring for your pearls, they will last you many years and give you and your family enjoyment for generations to come.

Subpages (1): Stringing