Pearls are threaded on a silk thread, and over time the silk thread becomes worn. What was once a tightly formed necklace will start showing a little bit of slack and distance between each pearl, so by introducing a knot between each pearl you will prolong the life of the strand. Also, the pearls won’t be rubbing up against the next – this causes friction, which can weaken the integrity of the silk thread. By also having a knotted strand, you will safeguard your pearls – should the strand break, you are most likely to only lose one bead as opposed to a handful of them. To prevent strand breakage, it’s a good idea to have a strand restrung periodically, this, of course, depends on how frequently you wear your pearls.
HOW CAN PEARLS BE DAMAGED?
The pearls delicate nacre is easy to scratch and damage with hairspray, perfumes, cosmetics, body oils and perspiration. It’s best to apply makeup, perfume and hairspray before putting on your pearls as all of these will strip the pearl of its lustre, dull its beauty and its luscious shine.
Storing pearls alongside your other pieces of jewellery, and items such as diamonds will increase the risk of scratches and damage. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone with a Mohs Hardness of 10 while a pearl has a low rating of 2.5 – 3. That’s quite a difference in durability.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN A PEARL NECKLACE?
Cosmetic products and body oil can build up over time on your pearl necklace. By using a damp cloth and gently wiping your pearl strand with it, you can keep your pearls looking their absolute best for decades. In fact, you can also wash the pearls with a small amount of water and mild soap along with a soft cloth periodically to remove any accumulated build-up – it’s best not to do this too frequently though as this can also affect the integrity of the silk thread.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE MY PEARLS?
Because of their delicacy, store pearls separately, away from hard jewellery items, to prevent scratches or other damage. Moreover, storing them in a pouch or wrapping them in a soft cloth and storing them in a jewellery box will prolong their beauty.
SUMMARY: CARE & MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR PEARLS
- Gently wipe pearls with a soft, microfiber cloth after wear.
- If required, use warm soapy water (pure soap only) to remove any makeup, then ensure pearls are completely dry.
- Avoid wearing pearls in water (salt or fresh water) as it will perish the silk.
- Water will perish the silk they are strung on or the adhesive used to attach them to earring fittings. The chemicals used in chlorinated water will permanently damage the finish of the pearl. Resulting in a dull pearl with no lustre.
- Store pearls in a pouch and box supplied. Avoid storing pearls with other jewellery. This is to prevent rubbing against other pieces that may cause scratching on the surface of the pearl.
- Check stringing of pearls and restring when necessary. Pearls should be restrung every 24 months depending on the frequency of wear. An indication if pearls need to be restrung is by assessing the knots between each pearl. If they appear to be stretched or frayed, it’s time to restring.
- Avoid direct contact with perfume, makeup, tanning and lotions to avoid tarnishing, marking or discolouring the pearls. If the pearls are exposed to any of these, you may wipe them over with a soft damp cloth.
A little bit of care goes a long way towards ensuring your precious pearls remain lustrous in the years to come.