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How to Care for Pearls

How to Care for Pearls
Under the right care and conditions, quality pearls will last thousands of years. There are some fossil pearls, dated 60 to 70 million years ago, that still retain their luster. However, pearls are different from most hard gemstones because they are much softer and contain organic material and water. If exposed to excessive dryness, pearls may actually crack. In addition, acids and other chemicals can easily damage pearls.
In order to protect your pearls:
  • Always store your pearls in the Dahlia silk pouch or jewelry box. This will protect them from scratches from hard jewelry items, such as metals and other gem stones. Pearls need some moisture so do not store them in a sealed container (such as a safe). If you place your pearls in a safe, keep a glass of water in the safe so the pearls do not dehydrate and lose their luster. Do not keep pearls near heaters or in areas that receive strong sunlight.
  • Keep pearls away from excessive water such as in the bathroom or shower. The water may cause the hand-knotted strands to stretch or weaken the epoxy in the pearls settings.  
  • Ultrasonic or steam cleaning may damage the delicate luster of pearls. Most jewelry cleaners have ammonia and therefore should never be used on pearls. Instead, gently wipe pearls with a slightly damp white, cotton cloth or use a mild, non-detergent soap and lukewarm water. Never soak your pearls in water. You may also gently buff jewelry with a clean polishing cloth.
  • Apply all cosmetics or perfumes at least 30 minutes before wearing your pearls.
  • Do not expose pearls to chemicals, perspiration, or dirt. Pearls are porous and may absorb these liquids.
  • With regular wear, the hand-knotted strands will stretch, weaken, and become soiled. We recommend restringing and cleaning your Classic pearls periodically (every one to two years depending on frequency of use). Individual knotting will prevent all the pearls in a strand from falling off should a break occur. Knotting also prevents the pearls from rubbing against each other.
  • A pearl that has become damaged or stained can sometimes be restored to its former beauty by removing the outer layers of a pearl to expose new, unblemished layers. This risky process is known as pearl peeling.