How to Care for Your Pearls

The life of a pearl is a precarious one. A natural pearl is a production of circumstance – an irritant, like a grain of sand, enters a mollusk and is lubricated, creating layer upon layer of nacre coating – and care needs to be diligent in order to preserve this soft organic gemstone.


Follow these steps to keep you pearls in their best condition:

1. Put them on last and take them off first

Pearls are a natural gem and are very porous. This means that they absorb the oils and chemicals that contact them on your body. Hairspray and perfume are not good for your pearls either! If you follow this first rule when getting ready, your pearls will thank you. Make your pearls the last piece of jewelry you put on and the first thing you take off. Even limiting the wear time just a little bit can help pearls last for a lifetime.

2. Only use cleaners specifically for pearls

At the end of every wear, you should gently wipe off your pearls to remove any oils from your body. When wanting a deeper clean, you need to be extremely cautious about what goes on them. Acidic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and window cleaner are way too harsh for this organic gemstone.

Instead wipe down with distilled water – as tap may carry too many chemicals – or a cleaner specific for pearls that can be recommended by your jeweler. Also, never let your pearls soak. Eventually, this can break down the outer layers of the gem and leave it looking anything but pristine.


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3. Only use soft cloths when cleaning

In the same way that pearls are sensitive to chemicals, their surfaces are also sensitive to aggravation. When wiping down your pearls, use a soft cloth like microfiber or simply a cotton pad, to avoid scratching their beautiful nacre coating.

4. Store them separate from other jewelry

Obviously, pearls are delicate, and there is a decent amount of protocol to follow when wearing them. But, what about when you take them off? After gently wiping them down with a soft, slightly moistened cloth, store them separately from your other jewelry.

Hard gemstones and metals are able to scratch your pearls if they come in contact, so it’s best to lay your pearls out in a different compartment. When traveling, be sure to store them in a silk or velvet pouch.

But, no matter what, don’t be afraid to wear your pearls! They are a stunning creation of nature and deserve to be shown off. Just be sure to show them some TLC when you get home. 

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