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The pearl is a soft gem. The less expensive it is, the more fragile it is, because inexpensive pearls have a thin layer of nacre from being harvested prematurely. The minimum thickness of nacre for a pearl you intend to keep for more than a few years of frequent wear should be .35
millimeters; .5 is better.
Proper care means protecting them from contact with rough fabric or any type of acid. Never clean them in ordinary jewelry cleaner, ammonia or vinegar. In the jewelry box, keep them away from contact with other pieces of jewelry. Ideally they should be put in a soft cloth
bag; but never use a plastic bag - this will seal out air and hasten deterioration.
After each wearing, wipe your pearls with a soft cloth to remove body oil, makeup, and pollution. Wear your pearls at least once a month, the humidity from your body does them good. If you wear your pearls on a regular basis, have them professionally cleaned every year to prevent dust,
powder, and skin oils from accumulating in the bead holes. Have the beads re-strung (and the clasp checked) the moment you notice the string stretching or looking deteriorated. Always apply your perfume and hair spray before you take your pearls out of the bag.
As mentioned, wearing your pearls on a regular basis seems to improve their luster.
The advice on pearl care comes from jewelry experts Linda and Perry, as well as from our frequent visitors. If you'd like to add anything to pearl care, or have us add a topic of interest for you, email us at