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How to Care For Pearls and Pearl Jewelry

How to Care For Pearls and Pearl Jewelry

Pearl jewelry are a timeless accessory; that works well with any outfit. They can add a hint of glamor to the simple black evening gown, or a romantic touch to a casual, everyday outfit.

Pearls are as delicate as they are beautiful. Quality pearls can last you a lifetime, with proper care. Some even prefer them over diamonds. Being able to tell the difference between a pearl that’s going to last, and one that’s going lose its qualities in a few months is both science and art.

Cleaning them is not a tough process, but you do have to be very gentle and pay attention to the products you’re using. If you follow the steps, you can be sure your pearl jewelry stays beautiful and dazzling for years to come.

What gives pearls their unique luster is an individual substance that coats the outer bead. This element is called nacre. Depending on how the pearl was formed, this layer of nacre varies in thickness. It takes a while for this layer to form, so if the pearl was removed from the oyster too soon, the nacre shelling could be fragile so that it can get damaged more easily.

Care For Pearls and Pearl Jewelry

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It is this layer you’ll want to think about when you start polishing your pearls. Here are a few things you should consider when cleaning pearls:

  • Make sure the cloth you’re using is very soft and doesn’t leave lint. You can use the same kind of cloth you use to wipe eyeglasses or other delicate surfaces;
  • Try using a dry cloth, if it the pearls is not very dirty;
  • If you do have to use water, be sure your pearls are dry before putting them away. Moistness can stain them, and it’s going to make it much harder to clean them in the future. Most pearl necklaces, especially older ones, use silk strands. These strands can also be damaged if they stay wet for too long;
  • Avoiding using very harsh cleaning substances. Use mild detergents only if you have to. Some experts say the best cleaning product for pearls is salt water;
  • Put your pearls on after you’ve perfumed yourself. Perfumes usually contain alcohol, and that can damage the nacre coating. Same goes for makeup and certain skin care products. If your pearly are particularly old, you may want to wear them above your clothes, not against the skin;
  • Don’t keep pearls in jewelry boxes, next to other pieces of jewelry, especially if they’re made of metal. The rough surfaces of the other parts can damage the delicate outer layer of the pearls. The best way to keep pearls is to hang them in a place where they can’t get damaged.

Pearl Jewelry velvet or silk

If you want to wear pearls, but are unsure as to what design you want, consider buying a collection of loose pearls. You will have to be extra careful when storing them. It’s best if you keep them in a jewelry box that’s padded with a soft material, such as velvet or silk. Maintain the box in a safe place, where it doesn’t risk getting moved around a lot. That way, you’ll be sure they’re going to look fabulous, no matter when you decide how to use them.

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Of course, you can always consider preserving your pearls’ vintage look. Vintage apparel is all the rage right now, and all sorts of celebrities are going for a retro vibe so that you can try it out yourself. But even if you do want to maintain that old, family heirloom look, you’ll still want to avoid damaging them.

The natural patina can be preserved in much the same way you maintain a pearl’s shine. Avoid the washing phase, as this can remove that aged outer layer that gives vintage pearls their characteristic look.

Pearls can be the perfect gift for women of any age. They’re elegance and refinement is balanced by their delicate, and simple appearance. Pearls can be worn casually, or at special events. Because they are such an understated piece of jewelry, they are a very versatile accessory. Natural pearls come in a variety of colors, so you have plenty of options when choosing the piece that suits your style. With proper care, these piece can last forever.

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