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  • Ruth

Wearing and caring for pearl jewellery

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Diamonds are "forever", whereas pearls? Not so much. But please don't be scared to wear them! Pearls may not be forever, but with proper care, yours can last centuries.

String of pearls flat lay with scallop shells

Life is short, wear the pearls

Pearls make you look good. Their reflective nature allows them to take on the colours of their surroundings, giving a flattering luminance to your skin. I like to think of them like ring lights, casting a gentle glow. You can combine pearls with almost any style, and because of their reflectiveness, they work with whatever colour you're wearing.

Left forgotten in a box, pearls can dry out, decay and lose their shine, but by wearing your pearls, you can help extend their life! Wearing pearls exposes them to your body’s natural oils, which helps keep them shiny and in good condition.

Although pearls love a bit of skin contact, there are a few things they don’t love. Beauty products, grease, cleaning chemicals, and too much heat can dull pearls over time. Pearls are also vulnerable to scratching and other surface damage.

To keep your pearls happy, please don’t wear them when cooking, cleaning, exercising or bathing. Apply makeup, perfume and hairspray before putting on pearls, and try keeping them out of contact with these products. Pearls also hate the dry heat from heat-styling tools. I know; they're high-maintenance, but they're also worth it.

Pamper your pearls

It’s easy to take care of your pearls. Get into the habit of wiping your pearls with a clean, soft cloth after each wear — a good tip for all your jewellery.

When storing your pearls, wrap them in a soft linen or natural fibre cloth. You can also place them in a pouch with some air ventilation; airtight containers can contribute to pearls turning yellow.

When they need a bit more of a clean, this is what I do:

1. Grab two soft, clean cloths.

2. Mix a solution of lukewarm water and add some mild detergent.

3. Dip your first cloth into the water and gently wipe down the pearls.

4. Dip your second cloth into fresh lukewarm water and wipe the pearls down to clean off any soap residue.

5. Place your pearls on something soft and let them air dry before returning them to storage. Air drying helps to preserve the elasticity of the silk thread.

Gentle and conservative cleaning is the way to go, and absolutely no hard scrubbing!

And you get bonus points if you take your pearls to a jeweller every few years. They can check the piece's integrity, re-string the silk for you if necessary and give it a deep clean.

So, please don't be afraid to wear pearls. Although they need some extra love to maintain their glow, with proper care, your pearls will shine for 100s of years.


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