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7 Tips on How to Care for Pearl Jewelry

By Olga Shevchenko December 20, 2021 Makeup and Fashion

At our age, the majority of us have a box or a drawer (!) full of various jewelry. Often, this jewelry is kept in one place – necklaces, earrings, bracelets are tossed together. However, jewelry, whether it is fashion jewelry or fine jewelry, is fragile.

There is a false impression that as jewelry is made of metal and gemstones, it will withstand any treatment. However, whether it is diamonds, a gold or Sterling silver chain, fashion jewelry or colored gemstones, each piece deserves to be treated properly if you want it to last.

First, a piece of jewelry may represent a memory of a milestone in your life, and you cherish this memory. Then, it has value. As well, you want to pass it as an heirloom to the members of your family. It’s so nice to see your daughter or granddaughter wearing a piece of jewelry that you have given to her!

Have You Heard About La Peregrina Pearl?

Pearls, whether natural or cultured, are very delicate or soft in comparison to other gemstones. However, pearls may last for centuries. Do you remember La Peregrina pearl?

It was found in the 16th century near the coast of Panama. This white pear-shaped pearl with a size of a duck egg is one of the most remarkable and rarest natural pearls. Meaning “wanderer” in Spanish, its name itself alludes to its frequent travels across the world. And it belonged to queens including Bloody Mary.

Among others, La Peregrina belonged to Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of Napoleon. Eventually, this famous pearl adorned Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor.

This story proves that although being a delicate gemstone, quality pearls may last for centuries. However, we should know how to take care of our pearls.

Actually, this is not difficult at all. Here are 7 tips on how to take care of pearl jewelry.

Tip #1: Keep on Its Own

Don’t toss pearl jewelry in a jewelry box with other gemstones. Otherwise, the pearls may get scratched or damaged. Also, don’t put your pearl jewelry in contact with other jewelry, and don’t drop it.

Tip #2: Wrap in Soft Cloth

Lay your pearls flat to avoid your strands from stretching out. I keep my pearls in a separate soft-lined jewelry box or a soft-cloth pouch or in a soft cloth.

Tip #3: Avoid Chemicals

Don’t put your pearls in contact with chemicals. Composed mainly of calcium carbonate, pearls are very sensitive to chemicals. Acids will eat away the nacre of your pearls and they may become dull and lose their luster. Even lemon juice or everyday chemicals like body lotions and creams will damage your pearl jewelry.

Hence, put on your pearl jewelry after you have used your cosmetics. Moreover, it is highly recommended to take off your pearls before diving in the swimming pool, taking a shower, or even doing exercises (your own perspiration may damage the pearls, too).

The first rule of pearl jewelry care: Put on your pearls last and take them off first.

Tip #4: Pearls Need Moisture

Don’t keep your pearls in a sealed plastic bag or in a safety deposit box. Pearls grow in water and have water in their composition (2-4%), so they need moisture. If stored in a dry environment, your pearls’ nacre may get dry and crack.

If you store your pearls in a safety deposit box, I recommend that you to take them out of it and place them in water for some time. Your pearls will love the bath! Afterwards, don’t hang your pearls but place them flat on a towel – otherwise, the thread may stretch.

Tip #5: String Maintenance

Check and restring your pearl necklace or bracelet regularly. If you often wear your pearls, the string may stretch or loosen. And it is recommended to have your pearl jewelry restrung once a year.

Your pearls should be knotted separately. Otherwise, they may rub against each other damaging the nacre. Moreover, if the strand breaks, the pearls will not fall off and you will not lose them.

Tip #6: Wear Your Pearls

Wear your beautiful pearls! As pearls grow in water they will love the moisture (your natural oils) from your body!

Tip #7: Clean Your Pearls

Clean your pearl jewelry. How to do this properly? Particularly, in the time of the pandemic? That would be the topic of my next article.

Where do you keep your pearl jewelry? Do you take special care of your pearls? Have you noticed any damage on your pearls? What do you know about pearl care and what would you like to know?

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

Olga Shevchenko is an FGA certified gemologist and jewelry designer. Founder of Jewelry Olga, she designs and creates unique pearl jewelry in Montreal (www.pearljewelryexpert.com). Knowing that jewelry is a powerful fashion accessory, Olga teaches women how to choose it and look classy and beautiful at any age. Contact Olga at info@pearljewelryexpert.com.

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