Care and Handling of Pearls

Pearls are sensitive jewels that rate 4.5 hardness on the “Moh Scale”. They can therefore be scratched by careless handling and should be kept separate from other jewellery with their clasp closed. Storing them in a small velvet bag is will give them excellent protection. The outer pearl layer is called the Nacre. It is a natural substance, which can be damaged or dissolved by contact with certain chemicals such as: silver cleaner, harsh abrasives, perfume, alcohol, hairspray and swimming pool water (as it contains chlorine). These are among the most common causes of damage to pearls. If pearls accidentally come into contact with these chemicals, immerse them into water immediately, and have them re-strung as soon as possible. If they are worn often, every few months the strand can be cleaned by placing the whole string of pearls on a damp (not wet) towel or cloth, and gently rolled until their surfaces are clean. Do not pull on the thread when it is damp as it will stretch, creating an uneven strand that is easily broken and the necklace will require restringing. With good care pearls should give you a lifetime’s service.