Most of us have pearls and we love them. So, here are simple rules to make them last forever passing them onto new generations.
The following considerations can also be used for taking care of mother of pearl and coral. These are organic gems as they are all formed by calcium carbonate, which gives them a soft surface that is easily damaged, especially by acids like sweat, perfumes, vinegar, fruitjuices, etc. Thus, these gems require more care and should be stored separately to avoid scratching. Silk bags, velvet lined boxes or satin lined pearl folders are good options. Rings and bracelets are more subject to scratching and their use should be minimized to special occasions.
Pearls, being easily deteriorated when coming in contact with household cleaners, perfumes, cosmetics and hair care products, should be the last thing to put on and the first to take off.
They should not be stored in safety deposit boxes for long period, as they dehydrate producing small fractures on the surface. Never should be stored in a plastic bag as chemicals from the plastic will damage them. Pearl strands should be stored flat to avoid stretching the thread.
Pearls should only be cleaned when a soft cloth is no longer enough to remove the dirt. This should be done with a mild soap like baby shampoo and a natural bristle manicure brush only used for this purpose and kept clean. Then rinse well with cool water for at least 5 minutes.