Often referred to as a gift from the sea, pearls have captivated the hearts of jewelry lovers for thousands of years. Organic in nature, pearls are delicate and require a certain level of care to keep them looking their best. While it’s important to be mindful when cleaning and storing gems and precious stones of all varieties, pearls need a little extra TLC.
Here’s what we suggest:
Unlike diamonds, pearls are very fragile. If not cared for properly, they may lose their luster or become scratched or stained. As a general rule, pearls and chemicals do not mix. Pearls should be kept away from products containing acid or alkaline, such as cosmetics, perfume or hairspray, and household cleaners and detergents containing bleach, alcohol, vinegar or ammonia.
Pearls are sensitive to temperature and may dry out or crack when exposed to extreme heat, direct sunlight or dry environments. As such, pearls should not be left on hot surfaces or stored in airtight containers like safety deposit boxes. In fact, one of the best things you can do for your pearls is to wear them! The temperature and moisture of your body will help to improve their luster over time.
Cleaning and Storage
Frequent exposure to dirt, chemicals and other irritants can erode the nacre, or layers, of your pearls. To avoid this, gently wipe your jewelry with a soft, clean cloth after each wear. Pearls should never be cleaned with water, an ultrasonic cleaner or with anything abrasive, such as a toothbrush or scrubber.
When you’re not wearing your pearls, they may be carefully stored in a soft bag or jewelry box with divided compartments. Because certain pieces may get tangled or scratched when improperly stored, fasten all clasps and separate them from other pieces.
As with all fine jewelry, general maintenance is needed to preserve your pearls for generations to come. Before wearing, make sure that clasps, prongs and fasteners are in working order. Because pearls are often strung on silk thread, which can stretch and break over time, we recommend having your piece restrung every one or two years, if worn regularly. If only worn occasionally, every two to five years is probably adequate. As a general rule of thumb, if the pearl can visibly slide between the knots, it’s time to think about restringing. Our experienced gemologists are trained in pearl restringing and will happily take care of your treasured items!
Jeff Johnson & Co. is a full-service jeweler located in Upper Arlington, Ohio. We specialize in custom engagement rings, keepsakes for significant moments, and giving new life to family heirlooms. Our gemologists are trained by the Gemological Institute of America, and they work closely with each customer to ensure that we meet your vision and beyond. Stop by our showroom at 5025 Arlington Centre Blvd. (off Henderson Road), call 614-459-8890, or jjandcompany.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Jeff Johnson & Co.