Caring for pearls

The person, who buys a fine pearl jewellery, is supposed to like it and what he likes, he takes care of it. Never forget that pearls are produced by a living organism. The pearls are not as hard as most of the gems. On the Mohs scale, a diamond has a hardness of 10 degrees, while the pearl merely 3,5 to 4,3. Therefore protect your pearls from direct contact with the rest of your jewelry and other hard objects which could scratch the pearl surface. Store your pearls in a pouch with soft lining or at least wrap them in a soft tissue. Pearls contain 2-3% water. It is not advisable to wear it for a long time in a hot and dry environment, mostly in the full glare of the sun, because it can be dehydrated and the nacre layers can be cracked. If you store your pearls in a safety deposit box, place a damp cloth in the box and re-dampen it when needed. On the other hand, due to the organic conchioline which binds the aragonite crystals, nothing happens if you drop the pearl on stone or concrete but it will bounce. Some people have an acid perspiration which is harmful to pearls. The acidity can attack the calcium carbonate and the pearl will dull. It is advaisable to moisten the pearls from time to time by soaking them in water then to wipe them gently with a soft cloth. Occasionally put some drops of olive oil on a chamois skin and wipe them off. Be very careful with vinegar which is part of salad dressings. Should it drip onto a pearl ring, wash it in warm water using soap, rinse it in clear water and wrap it in tissue paper to dry.
Make it practice to put on your pearl jewellery after applying perfumes and hair sprays and to wipe them before putting them away.
Special silk is used for stringing valuable pearl necklaces. They should always be strung with knots tied in space separating each pearl. Pearl necklaces that are worn frequently should be restrung once a year or when the silk looks worn.