There is a saying - and it is true!
Leaving a Pearl jewelry in a security box for a long time may cause Pearls to dehydrate and become crumbly. The ultra-dry conditions in security boxes may dry out your Pearls and cause them to craze and to develop small fractures in the surface. Extremes in humidity or dry air, both can damage your Pearls. The surface of a pearl is soft and is easily damaged. Pearls set in rings and bracelets are more subject to scuffing and scratching than pearls set in brooches, earrings, necklaces or strands. A pearl ring or bracelet should be considered a special-occasion piece, not for "daily wear" and DEFINITELY not to be worn while working with the hands.
It's not that Pearls do not like competition! But Pearls should never be tossed on top of or next to other gems in a jewelry box. Pearls are organic gemstones that are exceptionally cohesive and shock-resistant, but may be scratched by contact with sharp objects or other gemstones.
Try to lay your Pearl jewelry separate from other gemstones - preferably keep them in a compartmentalized jewelry box. Try to find one that has a soft lining, rather than wood or plastic. Pearl strands should be stored separately from other jewelry because the surface of a pearl is soft and easily scratched by other gems. A silk bag, velvet-lined box or pearl folders (a satin lined leatherette envelope with snaps to hold a strand in place) are all good places to store pearls. Your local jeweler is a good source for these items. NEVER store pearls in a plastic bag. Some types of plastic emit a chemical that will cause the surface of your pearls to deteriorate. Don't store pearls in a safe or safety deposit box for long periods. Pearl strands should be stored flat rather than hanging so the thread won't stretch out prematurely.
Pearls are also vulnerable to acids and alkaline. The Pearl's luster can also be harmed by perspiration. To prevent this, before returning your Pearls to their jewelry pouch, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.
To extend their life avoid letting your Pearls come into contact with cosmetics, lipsticks, hair spray or perfumes. NEVER apply perfume or hairspray when you are wearing pearl jewelry, especially a strand of pearls. Always put on your jewelry as a final touch, after applying make-up and styling hair.
courtesy of Getty Images
Despite the iconic look in this picture, this is a poster of what NOT to do with your Pearls. By all means, you should always avoid putting lipstick on your Pearls, and please, at all cost avoid biting on them. A good rule of thumb is that pearls are:
When taking off a pearl ring, grasp the shank, or metal part, rather than the pearl. This will prevent the pearl from loosening from the setting and furthermore protecting it from coming into contact with skin oil or hand lotions on your hand.
We recommend having you Pearls professionally cleaned. However, if you need to spruce them up for an event - lay the strand flat on a clean soft cloth or towel and gently brush it with another soft, wet towel. Let the pearls air dry. Don't move the pearl strand or ring until it is completely dry.
→ Only use jewelry cleaners labeled as safe for Pearls.
→ Never use an ultrasonic cleaner for Pearls.
→ Never steam-clean pearls.
→ Never use (or expose pearls) to dish or wash detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda, or ammonia-based cleaners (like Windex).
→ Never use toothbrushes, scouring pads or abrasive materials to clean pearls.
→ Do not wear pearls when their string is wet. Period!
→ Do not hang pearls to dry. Lay them flat.
→ Take your pearls off when applying cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume, or when showering or swimming.
→ Avoid wearing pearls with rough fabrics.
→ Have your pearls restrung, once a year, if you wear them often.
Pearl strands should be restrung every one to two years or more often if the thread begins to bag or fray. Silk and nylon beading threads are the most commonly used materials for stringing pearls. Knotting between beads offers the most security for your pearls; no matter where the strand breaks, you only stand to lose a single bead. The look of the knotted strand is not to everyone's taste, however. Whether you string your pearls with or without knots, the first three or four beads on either side nearest the clasp should be knotted because this area takes the most wear and is the commonest place for a strand to break.
No matter which medium they are strung on, and no matter how well it has been done: your pearl or bead necklaces/bracelets WILL potentially break. Why? They're only held together by a thread or monofilament limited to match the hole size of the smallest beads in your item. Even the strongest thread is aging and getting weaker. By wearing your piece (which is what you absolutely should do), the string is exposed to abrasion from bead holes, body oils, cosmetics and simple wear-and-tear. That’s why it is important to have your jewelry restrung from time to time, just to avoid the strands breaking in an inconvenient setting or time.
Have your pearl items restrung and you'll never have to worry about losing any pearls again.
Few Things To Know When Going to Re-String Your Pearls:
Be prepared to have your pearl and bead jewelry restrung occasionally in order to maintain its beauty and best value.
– Chinese Proverb