You know that jewelry you sometimes take off and toss right into your jewelry box? Don’t do that with your pearls. While pearls are resilient, resistant to shock and can stand up to constant wear, they are also delicate and require special care. With the proper care and attention, your pearls can easily last for generations. And proper care and attention means treating your pearls as the precious gems they are.
Because pearls are organic creations, they are highly susceptible to acid, alkaline and extreme humidity. That means you want to keep them out of range when you’re applying makeup, hair spray, perfume or any other health or beauty product.
Perspiration can also harm your pearls’ luster, especially if you allow it to remain on the pearl’s surface for an extended period. Gently wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after each wearing to remove perspiration and other surface buildup than can eventually cause damage.
Wearing Your Pearls
Since you want to keep your pearls away from cosmetics and other substances, they should always be the last accessory you add to your outfit. You also want to pay attention to your agenda while you’re wearing your pearls, as they are not well-suited for every activity or environment.
Skip the pearls if you’re bathing, swimming or otherwise putting them at risk of getting wet, as water can weaken the silk thread on which they’re strung. Direct sunlight and high temperatures can also cause damage, so remove them before heading to the beach, a steam room or sauna.
Storing Your Pearls
Pearls are easily scratched, and storing them next to sharp objects, metal jewelry or other gemstones is asking for trouble. So is storing your pearl jewelry without first fastening the clasp or securing the pins. Each piece of pearl jewelry should have its own compartment in your jewelry box.
Transporting your pearls is best done in a soft jewelry pouch, and you don’t want to leave your pearls in safe deposit boxes for extended periods. Not only can the safe deposit box environment dehydrate your pearls, but your pearls would be much happier if you were actually wearing them.
Cleaning Your Pearls
Never subject your pearls to cleaning solvents, chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, all of which can damage your gems. If your pearls start to lose their radiance, head to a jewelry shop for a professional cleaning.
Maintaining Your Pearls
Even with diligent care, delicate jewelry often requires a bit of professional maintenance. Pearl necklace threads can stretch or loosen, with restringing recommended every year if you wear the necklace frequently. Clasps, prongs, screws and pins on other jewelry pieces can come loose. Carefully check the condition of your pearl jewelry each time you wear it, bringing it to a professional jeweler if anything appears amiss.
Properly caring for your pearls may take some effort, but those efforts will be well worth it when you have gorgeous pearl jewelry to enjoy for years and years to come.
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