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Home > Cultured Pearls Guide > Pearl Care

Pearl Care

Pearls are soft and delicate gems. They have Mohs 2.5-4.5 (Mohs is the classic 1-10 hardness scale, for example, diamond is 10, and talc is 1). They need to be handled carefully. Here are some tips on how to care for your pearls:

• Put your pearl jewelry in a soft bag, a velvet box or a satin pouch. Pearls should not touch other jewelry or hard objects. If you plan to wear pearls on your clothing, wear clothing with soft materials. Avoid wearing pearls on rough materials such as wool.

• Since pearls contain calcium carbonate, they can be damaged by acidic substances. Protect your pearls from chemicals such as: vinegar, alcohol, ammonia, hair spray, bleach, perfume, chlorinated water, and cosmetics. You should put on your pearls after you have applied makeup, hair spray and perfume. It is best to wear pearls on your clothing, not directly on your skin.

• Places to Avoid wearing your pearls: Hair Salons, Cooking, Gym, Swimming, and in the Shower. Pearls are porous in nature they will absorb fumes and acidity.

• Pearls also contain small amount of water and protein, so keep them from high heat and dry places. Avoid harsh sun exposure.

• Pearls contain organic substances and need fresh air and moisture to stay lustrous. Wearing your pearls at least once every month will help prolong their life and luster.

• Wipe pearls regularly with a soft damp cloth; this will help mitigate the pearls’ absorption of perfume, oils and dirt.

• If you scratch a pearl, gently rub olive oil on the scratched area.

• If you wear pearls frequently, it is advisable to restring the pearls every one or two years before the silk thread weakens.

Regular care will greatly extend the life of your pearls.

For more scientific information about pearls, please see the American Museum of Natural History.


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