Pearls, both natural and cultured, are an organic product. And that means that, like most other products of nature, they need the proper care in order to maintain their beauty. So how exactly do you keep your pearls and pearl jewellery in good condition?
Avoid high temperatures
The mother of pearl which surrounds a pearl actually consists of thin layers. These layers are held together by an organic material called “conchine”. If a pearl is exposed to higher temperatures for a prolonged period of time, the conchine can dry out which will affect the colour and lustre of the pearl in a negative way. So store your pearls in an environment with modest temperatures (out of direct sunlight) and do not wear your pearls while sunbathing.
A pearl’s surface can easily be affected by chemicals. Think of household detergents, cleaning products, the chlorine in swimming water. But also cosmetic products, perfume and even your own perspiration can damage the mother of pearl layer.
Before and after wearing your pearls
If you are going to wear your pearls, make sure you put them on after bathing, after using hairspray or perfume and after you have put on your make-up. After wearing pearl jewellery (especially pearl necklaces) it is important to clean the pearls with a soft, damp cloth. If necessary, you can wipe off your pearls with a little bit of alcohol to remove any dirt or skin oil. Always put your pearl jewellery back into their own jewellery box: never store pearl jewellery together with other jewellery pieces to avoid scratching.
Periodic maintenance of your pearl necklace
When you are wearing a pearl necklace, the moist from your skin will also moisten the conchine in the outer layers of the pearls. So wear your pearl necklace at least two or three times a year. This will avoid the drying out of your pearls.
Pearl necklaces which are worn on a regular basis should be cleaned once or twice a year in lukewarm water and with a mild detergent. Afterwards, let the necklace dry for at least 24 hours. Furthermore it is advisable to have your pearl necklace properly cleaned and the knots checked by a jeweller or goldsmith annually.
In general, consider the following “rules of thumb” to keep your pearls pretty
- Wear your pearl jewellery regularly to avoid the mother of pearl layer drying out.
- Avoid your pearls to come in to contact with cosmetic products, perfume, hairspray, cleaning products or other chemicals.
- Do not wear your pearl jewellery while taking a bath or shower or while swimming.
- Do not wear your pearl jewellery during activities which will cause perspiring.
- Always clean your pearls after wearing them
- Store your pearls in a separate jewellery box to avoid scratching by other pieces of jewellery