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Here are a few helpful tips for maintaining pearls:

Daily Cleaning and Care

Taking care of your pearls is simple and easy, and not to mention crucial to the life of the pearls as they age. Pearls are very sensitive to acid, alcohol, alkaline and different humidity levels. Remember, pearls are organic gems that are easily damaged by products that most women wear each day. Products such as perfumes, lotions, hairspray and cosmetics can damage the luster of a pearl, so always remember to apply beauty products first before putting on your pearls. Also, remember to take off pearls at night when bathing, as the silk string on a necklace or bracelet can become weak or stretch when wet. Each day, wipe the pearls with a soft, damp (not wet) silk or silicon cloth to remove dirt and other harmful substances.

Storage

necklace

The best way to store pearls is to lay them flat in a silk or on a soft pouch and or box that the pearls originally came in. Because pearls rank only 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, it is best to store them seperately from other jewelery. "I store my pearls in a cool place, away from direct sunlight or heat to avoid discoloration," said Elli Alba, a pearl owner for over 10 years. "It's best to remember not to store your pearls with any other jewelery, as it may scratch and damage the luster." Also, "don't store pearls in a security box or any container where the pearls may become dehydrated," Alba said. "Pearls do require some moisture, just not a lot."

For further reading and more helpful tips:

Mikimoto

Pearl-guide