Tuesday, July 26, 2005

How Do I Care For My Pearls?

Pearls are one of the more fragile and delicate gems, so proper care must be exercised to prolong the life and enjoyment of your pearls. You should:
  1. Store your pearls separately from other jewelry, ideally in a soft cloth pouch, linen cloth, or soft lined jewelry box. Do not store your pearls in a plastic bag or an extremely dry place (next to a heater) as these could cause your pearls to become brittle or crack.
  2. Minimize contact with personal products including makeup, perfume, hairspray, and other personal care products; use personal care products first before putting on pearls.
  3. Minimize contact with perspiration as your natural acids can harm a pearl's surface over time and dull the luster. To minimize this, remove pearls before exercising or doing strenuous activity.
  4. When you take your pearls off, gently clean them with a soft damp non-abrasive cloth.
  5. Periodically wash your pearls in soapy water using a mild liquid soap (not a detergent). Once washed, gently rinse and place on soft towel or cloth to dry. Do not hang pearls to dry as this may stretch the silk thread.
  6. Have your pearls restrung periodically.

For more information, please see: http://www.selectpearls.com/pearls/pcare.html

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Are pearls formed from grains of sand?

Although it is widely believed that pearls are formed from a grain of sand lodged in a mollusk, this is more myth than reality. Instead, a pearl typically forms when an irritant such as a parasite, wayward food particle or other organic matter becomes trapped in the mollusk. This causes the mollusk to coat the object with layers of aragonite and conchiolin, forming a pearl.

With cultured pearls, instead of waiting for a natural irritant, a pearl farmer insets an irritant, such as a mother-of-pearl bead, into the tissue of a pearl bearing mollusk. Once inserted, a cultured pearl grows the same way as a natural pearl.