June's birthstone is a delicate and precious gem, symbolising loyalty, purity and faith. Gifts from the sea, pearls have a timeless elegance that allows them to be worn and loved for generations. They are also as delicate as they are beautiful, requiring special care.
To make sure yours retain their lustre for years to come, follow these guidelines on caring for pearls.
Protecting your pearls
On the Mohs hardness scale, pearl comes in at 2.5. To compare, diamond is ranked 10. This means that pearls are soft and easily scratched, so you need to take care to protect them.
When you're not wearing your pearls, it's important to store them carefully. Keep them separate from other jewellery to avoid nicks and scratches from harder materials like gold or other gemstones – even two pearls rubbing against each other can cause damage.
Avoid storing pearls in plastic bags or containers – it's best to keep them wrapped in a soft cloth in a place they can breathe as pearls are porous and need moisture and dehydration can make them fragile, even causing cracks.
If you've heard it said that pearls like to be worn, it's because the natural oils in your skin can help to keep them radiant, so don't leave them stored away for too long!
Wearing your pearls
While enjoying your pearls is important, so too is remembering that they are easily damaged by acids and chemicals, such as perfume, hair spray and make up. The general rule with pearls is that they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. This is to help prevent spritzing your perfume or other products on your pearls and accidentally damaging them.
Don't wear your pearls while in the shower or swimming, and when you take them off give them a gentle wipe with a damp cloth to remove any grime or oils.
Cleaning your pearls
Every now and then, you'll need to give your pearls a more thorough clean. Use a mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth.
After you have washed your pearls and rinsed them in clean water, wrap them in a cotton towel to dry. Never use cleaning solutions intended for silver or other jewellery, detergents or ammonia-based cleaners to wash your pearls, although you can use acetone nail polish remover if they are especially dirty.
If you have any doubts or questions about pearl care, come and visit us in store – you can add to your collection while you're there!
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