A traditional symbol of sophistication, elegance, and femininity, pearls add a subtle touch to casual and formal looks alike. Pearl drop earrings elevate a look, bringing a soft, luxurious, and beautifully old-fashioned appeal to the woman wearing them. Caring for your pearls ensures years of beauty and quality that you can then pass along to future generations as treasured heirlooms.
Protect the Pearls from Chemicals
Natural and cultured pearls alike are considered organic gemstones. Created by a natural process involving an oyster coating an irritant within its body with a material called nacre, pearls have a lustrous finish that comes in a variety of colours, including black, pink, blue, and the traditional cream or white. This beautiful finish, however, is extremely vulnerable to damage from acids and oils. To protect both salt and freshwater pearls, do not let them come into contact with cosmetics, body lotions, perfumes, essential oils, or other chemicals. Make your pearl earrings the last piece you add to your outfits.
Store Earrings Safely
Wipe your pearl drop earrings carefully after wear to remove any body oil, sweat, dirt, or other materials that accumulated during the day. Store them in compartmented jewellery boxes to prevent the delicate gemstones from touching one another and causing dents, scratches, or discolouration. Ensure the earring posts are positioned away from the pearls to prevent abrasions. When moving them, pick them up by the posts rather than directly touching the pearls. Transport your earrings in a velvet jewellery pouch to protect them from damage while in transit.
Show the Pearls Off
Unlike gemstones produced from crystallised minerals within the earth, pearls are vulnerable to dehydration. Dehydrated pearls crack, split, and fall apart, ruining your earrings. To avoid this, take them out of storage regularly. Simply wearing them every few weeks keeps a moderate level of moisture within the pearls to prevent drying out completely. Display pearls that you do not wear regularly on a dresser or vanity for a day or two every other month. Do not store them damp however; too much moisture can cause moulding, cracking, and discolouration.
Clean your pearl earrings once per year to remove the build-up of dirt, dust, and oils. Never use an abrasive cleaner, jewellery brush, or ultrasonic cleaning device, as these scratch the pearls and even remove layers of the lustrous nacre. Create a bubbly solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Allow the earrings to soak for 15 minutes. Rinse them carefully in fresh warm water, and wipe dry with a soft, clean cloth. Place the drop earrings on a dry, absorbent cloth for up to 48 hours to allow the porous pearls to dry completely before returning them to storage.