I LOVE pearls… always have, and presumably always will; they are also a proven favourite with my clients, from simple and sleek designs for those drawn to a classic/modern look to dramatic and encrusted designs for those with a style that is a bit more quirky – with the “blossom” range being a firm favourite for brides!
With their glorious lustre, range of colours, sense of nature, and the smooth forms that suit an array of styles, what’s not to love, right?! Well, the only potential drawback I can see is that they can be rather sensitive, so correct care is a must; in saying that, with proper care pearls can give their owner a lifetime of wear!
Pearls are structurally strong due to the way they are formed with concentric layers, but their surface is rather delicate and scratches easily as it is roughly the same hardness as a fingernail.
TOP TIPS to care for your pearls:
WEAR THEM – natural body oils keep the pearls moisturised which helps them keep their lustre (shine); but do take them off before doing anything hands on or when you may come in contact with products/cosmetics/chemicals/water/sweat. Many do not think of the consequences of water, as the pearls certainly come from that environment, but water can easily cause damage to threads and adhesive. (though seawater is beneficial to oyster pearls as it naturally rehydrates them, but sadly it would also considerably shorten the life of the silk/glue holding them).
BEFORE – before putting them on, make sure your skin is free from all chemicals. Allow your hairspray, moisturisers and perfumes dry before putting on your pearls. Build up of cosmetics and scents can dull the lustre of your pearls and can eventually eat away at the nacre. Even fake tan and perspiration are detrimental to pearl health, so please make sure your skin is clean and dry.
AFTER – after wearing, use a microfiber or chamois cloth to clean them gently, removing any residue of products / perfumes / perspiration. Always hold the metal / setting part of your pearl jewellery (especially stud earrings which are easily pulled by the pearl themselves) as this will help to prevent the pearl from coming loose or even falling off.
STORAGE – between wearing store your pearls alone somewhere soft (ie a silk bag, or in the box provided when you bought them) so they don’t run the risk of getting scratched; do not hang them (this can stretch the string) and do keep them somewhere they can “breathe” as limited air-flow will begin to dull the lustre, and environments that are too dry/hot will eventually cause cracking or yellowing).
CHECK THEM - Yearly clean/check up by an expert is a must; this may include re-stringing as the threads can easily become stretched and/or weakened (the British Pearl Association recommends re-stringing pearls annually). Here at Kathleen Jackson Jewellery we offer a full range of cleaning and maintenance services for all your jewellery, including pearls, so get in touch with any questions you may have.