Pearls are classic and among the most elegant gems you can buy, but as organic gems they require special attention and care to give them the longest life possible. By following these tips you can ensure your pearls will be in shape to be passed down from generation to generation, becoming a family heirloom.

Pearl Care Do’s

1. Put pearls on last.

Perfumes, lotions and hair spray can be harmful to your pearls. Chemicals can degrade the surface of the pearl, taking away the natural luster and damaging the surface.  After applying makeup and perfume, wait 15 minutes for your skin to absorb any excess before putting on your pearls.

2. Take pearls off first.

This will help make sure you don’t accidentally wear them in the shower as steam can have adverse reactions

3. If you don’t have designated pearl cleaner, have your pearls professionally cleaned.

Tarnish remover, steam and ultrasonic cleaners should not be used on pearls. A jeweler can clean your pearls safely. For spot cleaning, use a soft, damp cloth.

4. Be aware of materials your pearls come in contact with.

Plastic has chemicals known to be harmful to pearls. Keep your pearl jewelry in soft cloth pouches or the box they came in. Types of wool can also damage pearls so be aware of winter clothing and its texture.

Pearl Care Don’ts

1. Don’t keep pearls in a warm setting.

Don’t leave  pearls close to a heat source such as a fireplace, too close to electronics or an attic. A good rule of thumb is, if you can feel a significant amount of heat difference between the room temperature and where they’re sitting, don’t store your pearls there.

2. Don’t store pearls in dry places.

Pearls need to a small amount of moisture to stay in tip-top shape. Keeping your pearls in a safe-deposit box or storage unit can deprive them of natural moisture in the air.