Pearls Are Organic Substances
Pearls are delicate organic gems that are made of the natural product called calcium carbonate. This product is drawn from the lake or river by the mussel that the pearl lives inside. We want to help you keep your pearls looking their very best, so take a look at the following important information.
Your pearls were once living and growing so you will need to make sure that, as with all living things they stay out of harm. The products that harm pearls most are perfume, hair spray, cosmetics and face creams. Apply these products before your put on your pearls and pearls should also be the first thing you take off. These personal products and other household chemicals (especially chlorine), if sprayed near pearls, can build up on the pearl and cause damage to the luster. The nacre can become marked, dull, pitted and generally lose that luminous luster that defines a pearl.
The Rule of Pearl Care
To ensure the best, long-lasting quality of your pearls follow this rule: Put pearls on last, take pearls off first.
Put the pearls on after you have applied make up, perfume and hair sprays, never before. Don't spray your perfume on the neck area where the pearls will actually sit and avoid touching your pearls when you have just applied hand cream. If you need to re-apply products, take the pearls off for a moment then put them back on.
Make pearl jewelry sets the first thing you remove after a night out, before you wipe your face and neck with cleansers or night creams. As you remove your pearls wipe them with a soft damp cloth. Buff them occasionally with a silk cloth to enhance their shine and luster. Handle them gently and be careful not to store them or brush them up against other jewelry. Don't forget, your pearls are precious gems!
More Rules of Pearl Care
Purchasing a silk pouch and this is the best way to store your pearls. Velvet lined boxes with separate compartments are also safe to use. Your pearls may arrive protected by bubble wrap, but you should never store the pearls in any plastic material long term.
If you throw pearls into a jewel box full of other tangled jewelry, your pearls will soon lose their lustrous sparkle, the surface will become scratched and could damage.
Never put your pearls jewelry on top of a fireplace, television set or a radiator as the heat will discolor them, often turning them brown overnight. Avoid steam cleaning them. Store strung pearls flat as they won't stretch so quickly as when hung.
Don't store pearls in a very dry room, nor in a safe deposit box. Pearls appreciate a little moisture so wearing them regularly is important.
For the majority of people, the best place to keep your pearls is on your body! Wearing your pearls gives them the chance to breathe and a clean skin produces natural oils that pearls love. Body warmth and the expression of this fine natural body oil through the skin keeps the pearls looking good. HOWEVER - while some people can improve the look of pearls there are unfortunately others have a more acid balanced skin type and such acid skins can sometimes cause pearls to lose their luster. Regularly wiping the pearls after use can slow the process down enormously. This is very important as body perspiration is acidic and can eat away at the nacre. Alcohol content of perfume can also extract the moisture from a pearl leaving it brittle.
Jewelers can clean your pearls for you or you can buy a special pearl jewelry cleaning solution.
Don't clean pearl jewelry using any of the jewelry cleaners made especially for gold or silver on the market. Such products usually contain an ammonia base which damages your pearls. Also don't use the ultrasonic cleaning sets as the vibrations can make the pearls rub against each other which causes damage.
If the pearls are old and the luster is dulling wipe them with a soft damp cloth that has been dipped in a very gentle natural soap solution, next wipe them with a detergent-free damp cloth, then allow them to dry flat surface. After the pearls have dried, a cloth with a very small bit of olive oil wiped over them will help restore some luster.
Taking good care of your pearls will ensure they look good for years to come!