While diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, pearls have been recognized as specially prized gems for centuries longer than any cut stone. Like any jewelry of value, pearls require proper care to keep them looking good. Here are a few guidelines that will ensure that your pearls’ luster lasts a lifetime.
- The golden rule of pearl care is to always put your pearls on as the last thing you do after getting dressed to go out and conversely, always remove them prior to undressing. That means, put your pearls on only after you’ve applied makeup, lotion, perfume, hairspray or hair products.
- If you notice your pearls look dull or dirty, you can easily clean them using a mild all-natural baby soap mixed with distilled water. Using a soft damp chemical-free micro-fiber or 100% cotton cloth, carefully wipe the pearls clean. Using another clean cloth, pat them dry and lay them flat to dry completely.
- Always wipe your pearls with a soft untreated cloth to remove any dirt or perspiration before putting them away.
- Pearls are a soft gem and be easily scratched. Be sure to store them away from other jewelry or harder metals which could scratch the pearls’ surface. Wrap your pearls in a soft cloth or chamois pouch.
- If heavier cleaning is needed, bring your pearls to a reputable jeweler so they may properly inspect and clean your pearls. Look for a jeweler that uses environmentally friendly products specially designated as safe for pearls.
- Restring pearls on a regular basis to maintain a clean and strong necklace. Be sure to have each pearl knotted separately with silk so they do not rub together which could cause damage or abrasions to the pearl nacre. If pearls are very small, knots between each pearl may not be desirable or necessary.
Coco Chanel famously said, “Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but pearls will make you glow like moonlight.” To make sure your pearls continue glowing, here are guidelines on what not to do.
- Don’t store your pearls in an airtight package or safety deposit box. Pearls need some moisture. If the environment is too dry, your pearls might dry out and peel, crack or become brittle.
- Don’t store your pearl in plastic. Plastic emits vapors that could discolor your pearls or cause deterioration.
- Avoid exposing your pearls to chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, vinegar, perfume and cosmetics. Keep your pearls far away from spray tanning, bug spray, and sunscreen.
- Don’t wear your pearls in the shower, bath, sauna, pool or ocean. Avoid submerging your pearls in water which could weaken the string increasing the chance your necklace breaking and losing your precious pearls.
- Don’t wear your pearls to sleep, exercise or play sports which could weaken the string or increase the risk of breakage.
- Never clean your pearls in an ultrasonic cleaner or using a steam cleaner.
- Don’t leave your pearls in places with excessive heat, humidity or near places with direct heat such as the fireplace or stove. Don’t store your pearls in areas of direct sunlight. UV rays can damage your pearls.
- Don’t attempt to clean your pearls with abrasives such as ammonia, baking soda or Windex.
- After wearing your pearls to avoid entangling, don’t crumble them up and throw them in a drawer. Gently remove them, wipe them off, and store them in a box lined with a soft material such as velvet, satin, cotton, or silk. Be sure the necklace is closed to avoid the clasp getting hooked together with other jewelry items or clothes. Always, handle your pearls with care so they will stay in perfect condition for many years to come.
Caring for Your Add-A-Pearl Necklace
Remember that pearls are precious gems. The better you take care of them, the longer they will shine bright and beautiful. Like all fine jewelry, special care and good judgement is helpful to ensure your pearls will last a lifetime and always look their best.
Add-A-Pearl necklaces are unique because they are often started for babies and meant to last forever. Because they are frequently gifted to babies, special discretion is needed in properly caring for each necklace.
As with any other high value jewelry, good judgment is needed in deciding the right age a girl is responsible enough to handle her own necklace. If she understands the value and meaning, use individual discretion to decide the right age. Before granting her full ownership, be sure she can work the clasp herself to avoid pulling or tugging too hard causing it to break. Let her know the necklace must be opened before she puts it on. It won’t fit over hear head.
Typically, we recommend ages 5 or older are mature enough to wear their necklaces on special occasions. Keep in mind, caring for Add-A-Pearl necklaces requires all the same guidelines as caring for all other pearl jewelry. Do not shower, bathe, sleep, swim, or do sports wearing an Add-A-Pearl necklace. With a touch of care and good judgement, her necklace will last forever!