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Care of Pearls

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Store in soft cloth sack, separate form metallic necklaces & jewelry. When traveling, put pearls in a box so they don’t rub against each other.

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Never use ultrasonic cleaners. Vibrations can shatter cracked or thinly nacred pearls.

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Keep them away from chemical cleaners, bleach, laundry detergent, baking soda and anything containing ammonia like Windex.

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Remove pearls before washing dishes, doing housework or applying perfume and hair spray.

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Do not wear pearls in swimming pools with chlorinated water.

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Avoid contact with foods containing acids (fruit juices, salad dressings & wine)

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Pearls can dry out if stored in a safe so place a small container of water with holes punched in the lid in the compartment with them. Pearls contain trace amounts of water. Take them out and wear them.

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Don’t store in plastic bags. Plastic often emit chemicals that can deteriorate the surface of pearls.

bullet Keep away from heat sources such as the top of TV sets, stove and fireplace mantles.
bullet ***Treat pearls like fine silk. Wearing pearls in daily sunlight exposures are generally safe. Constant exposure to very bright lights over a long periods of time, be it direct sunlight or intense halogen lights, can fade natural as well as treated colors.***

Keep Pearls Looking Beautiful

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After wearing, clean your pearls. Wet your hand and glide your strand gently to dampen the pearls. Do not put them directly in water. Place the strand on a clean towel, press & squeeze (don’t wring) the towel and remove the moisture along with the oils and perspiration that has accumulated on the pearls. Periodically, use a dilute natural soap solution that has been rung out in a towel to roll and squeeze the pearls. Then use a fresh, damp towel and roll the pearls in them to remove the soap. When clean, the pearls will feel smooth and have their luster once again. If you have a pearl cloth, press the pearls in it for an extra cleaning touch.

Contrary to popular belief, the acidic oils and perspiration from human skin can damage the surface of pearls.

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Restring pearls periodically. When individual pearls move freely between the knots, it is time to restring. If the knots are soiled, it is time. This can vary from a few months to 2 years depending on how often the pearls are worn. Silk thread with knots tied between the pearls prevents abrasion and ensures that all are not lost if the strand is broken.

bullet Pearls should be the LAST THING ON when dressing and the FIRST THING OFF at night. Then don’t forget to clean them.

Bibliography

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Compiled & composed by Betty Sue King. Subsequently mangled by her webmaster JB

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Italicized text are partial or complete quotes from the following source: Landman, Neil H., Mikkelsen, Paula M., Bieler, Rudiger & Bronson, Bennet, Pearls: A Natural History, Harry N Abrams, Inc. in association with The American Museum of Natural History & The Field Museum, New York, NY, 2001

   
 

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