Pearls require special consideration when storing and caring for them. This is because they are grown in nature. Some pearls develop naturally when a foreign object gets lodged in an oyster or clam. The object is covered by a substance called nacre until a milky pearl is formed. While it is possible to find a natural pearl, cultured pearls are becoming the norm. These are man made pearls that are grown and harvested in farms. The foreign object is inserted into the oyster and then nature takes over. The longer the pearl remains in the soft inner lining the larger and more valuable the pearl becomes.
The unique way that a pearl develops made it a mystery to many for a long time. Currently much is known about how pearls are formed, and that information helps determine how to store and care for them properly.
Because pearls are natural objects they require more delicate care than metal jewelry. For example, you should avoid having your pearls come in contact with manufactured chemicals, including, hair spray, perfume, make up, or skin care products. You should put on your pearl jewelry after applying these products, as they may damage a pearls luster and color.
You should always take your pearls off before washing yourself, or applying additional makeup, creams, or lotions. As soon as you remove your pearl jewelry you should wipe them down with a clean cloth. This cloth should be soft and free from lint. Never rub pearls with an abrasive cloth as it may wear off the layer of nacre.
If your pearls get dirty, you can take them to a jeweler to be professionally cleaned, or you can clean them yourself with a cleaner formulated especially for pearls. Do not use regular soap as that may damage the pearls. You should also avoid solutions that contain bleach, ammonia, or other harsh detergents. Refrain from putting your pearl jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner of any kind.
Other household products, such as citrus juice or vinegar, can also damage pearls. Heat can also be harmful to pearl jewelry. Heat can crack and discolor precious gem.
You should also pay close attention to how you remove your pearl jewelry. You should always grasp the metal part of the piece to remove it carefully. If you touch the pearl constantly when taking your jewelry off you can loosen the gem and may risk losing it. In addition the oils from your skin can damage the pearl.
In addition, if you wear your pearl strands regularly, you should have the stringing checked by a jeweler. The cord should be checked for integrity. If it is showing signs of wear or damage you should have it repaired or replaced. The string should be knotted between each pearl to prevent the loss of all of your pearls if the cord breaks. Likewise, if your pearl is on a ring, you should have the mounting checked as well.
When storing your pearls, there are several factors to consider. You should avoid storing pearls with other jewelry that may scratch or damage the pearl. Store them alone in a jewelry bag or cloth pouch.
Refrain from storing your pearl jewelry in locations with dry air as this may damage the pearls as well. Most safety deposit boxes contain dry air so you should avoid storing your pearls there.
Pearls are soft and delicate by nature; therefore, they should be taken care of and stored cautiously. It is important to clean and care for your pearls so they will remain beautiful and bright for years to come.
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