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TAKING CARE OF BLACK PEARLS

Taking care of Black Pearls

Here are some dos and don’ts for taking care of black pearls.

Preservation
Pearls are made by a living thing. So they should be worn. The more you wear them the more it enhances their beauty. However you cannot wear them all the time of course so preserving them during the times you are not wearing them becomes important.

Pearls contain calcareous crystals which have a sensitivity to skin and various acids and chemicals. They also contain water and proteins and can dry out and crack of not preserved sensibly.

It is recommended that pearls are moistened from time to time in lightly salted water. To be avoided is such liquids as dishwashing liquid and acidic products such as lemon or other fruit substances. They should not be wrapped in cotton wool or other substance than generates heat as these will add to the risk of drying out and eventual cracking.

Pearl Sensitivity
Some ladies skin is more acid than other. Pearls tend, when worn, to be on close contact with the skin for long periods of time. Usually at the neckline or shoulder line. The pearls can absorb acid from the skin and this acid can eat away into the pearl over time and it can lose its luster and even become barrel shaped.

Cleaning Your Pearls
So when you put away your pearls for the night, make a habit of rinsing the pearls in water and dabbing them dry afterwards. One can even polish them with a very soft cloth containing a drop of

Cleaning “Don’ts”
It is very important to keep in mind that the softness of pearls and their susceptibility to acids and chemicals means that extra care needs to be taken.

Do not use commercial jewelry cleaners on pearls unless the product label states they are safe for pearls. Many such products contain ammonia, which will cause deterioration.
Never clean pearls in an ultrasonic cleaner. That can damage the pearls.
Never steam-clean pearls. Heat can harm them.
Never use detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda or ammonia-based cleaners on pearls.
Do not wear pearls when their string is wet. Wet strings stretch and attract dirt, which is hard to remove. Likewise, do not hang pearls to dry.
Do not use toothbrushes, scouring pads or abrasive materials to clean pearls. They can scratch the pearls’ surface. If there is a lump of dirt that can’t be rubbed off with a soft cloth, trying using a fingernail, which has a hardness of only 2.5 or less.

Cleaning “Do’s”
Cleaning pearls is actually quite easy. As soon as you take the pearls off just give them a wipe with a soft cloth or chamois, preferably just damp. This prevents perspiration and dirt from clinging to the pearls and acid from eating away at them.

When taking off a pearl ring, grasp the shank, or metal part, rather than the pearl. This will prevent the pearl from being loosened, also coming into contact with skin oil on your hand.
If pearls have not been kept clean and are very dirty, then they may be cleaned by your jeweler or alternatively, they can be washed in water and with a very a mild soap, such as Ivory or Lux Liquid. In this case make sure you thoroughly rinse the pearls afterwards and cleaned with a soft cloth. Do not use detergents or washing up liquids such as Dawn. These can damage pearls irreparably.
Always pay attention to the areas around the drill holes as this where dirt will tend to collect.
After washing your pearls, lay them flat in a moist kitchen towel to dry. When the towel is dry, your pearls should be dry.
About every six months have a jewelry professional verify that the pearls on your jewelry are securely mounted or that the string is still good. Many jewelers will do this free of charge, and they’ll be happy to answer your questions about the care of your jewelry.

Following the above guidelines for taking care of your black pearls will ensure they last you a lifetime.

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