Pearls are soft, living fossils, and can be easily damaged from contact with chemicals, lotions, or other stones, such as diamonds or gemstones, that have rough edges. And even though diamonds are the hardest natural substance around, they can still be lost or damaged. Below are a few ways you can protect your pearls and other precious stones, so that you can enjoy them for years to come.
Instead of throwing your pearl earrings or ring into a dish with your other jewellery or watches at the end of the day, protect them by storing them separately in pouches made of natural breathing fibres, such as silk or cotton.
Pearls are vulnerable to damage from chlorine bleach as well as other everyday chemicals found in lotions, perfumes, oils and hairspray. Therefore, always apply hairspray and perfume before putting on pearls and jewellery. Avoid applying too much lotion on the back of your neck if you’re wearing a pearl necklace. And after each wearing, wipe off your pearls with a soft, clean cloth or wash them with mild soap and water.
To prevent pearl necklace strings from becoming stretched, weakened or soiled, replace them every two to three years. This will prevent breakage and potentially lost or damaged pearls.
The majority of jewellery losses involve “mysterious disappearance” of diamonds and other stones, such as when a stone falls out of its setting without you knowing it. To avoid this, ask your jeweller to check the integrity of the clasps and prongs frequently – at least every six months (or more often if you wear the piece a lot).
Between visits to the jeweller, you can test the prongs on your jewellery yourself. Simply take off your jewellery, hold the stone up to your ear and shake it. If it is loose, you will hear it moving and should get it repaired.
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