Care for Pearls

Pearls can last for generations, but only if they’re looked after properly. Compared to other gems they’re relatively soft and so can be irreparably damaged without proper care.



In this section we will go through maintenance tips, storing in the right manner, cleaning your pearls and restringing.

Following this guide will ensure that your pearls stay beautiful year after year.

Wearing pearls

Pearls are surprisingly absorbent and need to maintain a certain level of moisture in order to retain their bright colour and lustre. One of the best ways to do this is simply to wear them. They absorb natural oils from the skin, which tops up their moisture levels. Otherwise they turn a dull, yellowy brown and lose their lustre.

There are also a number of chemicals that pearls are susceptible to when worn. The biggest offenders are:

  • Perfume and hairspray: these both contain relatively powerful solvents that dissolve nacre.
  • Cleaning products: we recommend strongly against wearing pearls whilst using a household cleaning product.
  • Other beauty products; the best thing to do is apply your make-up and perfume, wait a couple of minutes and then put your pearls on.

Finally, we advise caution when wearing pearl rings. We glue our pearls onto a relatively thick metal post, but a sharp blow or simply wearing gloves over the pearl (gardening seems to present a dangerous combination of these circumstances…) can break the post or knock the pearl off.

Storing pearls

We thoroughly recommend that pearls are kept in a soft cloth, such as the Cornwall Pearl pouches, to prevent scratches. Jewellery boxes contain a lot of sharp edges that can easily damage your pearls.

Cleaning pearls

Whilst we have found that a very low concentration of mild soapy water is an effective, safe way of cleaning pearls, others say that they must be cleaned using special cleaning kits, such as those supplied by ‘Town Talk Polish Co. Ltd’. We explain the pros and cons of each (cost vs risk) to our customers and let them decide, with the cost of their pearls often influencing their decision.

Re-stringing pearls

Our strings of pearls are individually knotted using two strands of silk thread. The knots prevent the pearls from rubbing together and make sure that only one pearl would be lost if the strand breaks. The advantage of silk is that the knots relax as they’re warmed when worn giving a nice supple string, and then re-tighten naturally when they’re put away. However, depending on how often they’re worn and the size of the pearls the knots will eventually stretch and/or become discoloured. This isn’t a big problem as pearls can be re-strung relatively affordably.

Care for precious metals and gems

As all jewellery tarnishes over time, following simple instructions will ensure your jewellery remains in excellent condition.

We advise you clean your jewellery with mild, soapy water and polish with a soft cloth. Keep jewellery pieces in separate gift pouch or box to prevent scratching. Make sure your jewellery does not come in contact with perfume, hairspray or deodorant. We also recommend you remove all jewellery before swimming.

Yellow and Rose gold vermeil plated pieces will eventually fade to reveal the sterling silver underneath. How the jewellery is worn will determine the time it takes to fade. We offer a re-plating service at a cost that’s determined by the nature of the piece. Please give us a call on 01209 203280 to find out more.