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How to Care For Pearls

Pearls are organic gemstones that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremes of humidity. To preserve your pearls' radiance, avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. The saying “Last thing on and first thing off” was possibly more relevant in the 1950’s when pearl layers could delaminate if affected by harsh chemicals. Today pearl seeding and farming methods have advanced so much that pearl “skins” are much more resilient than they once were. Regardless, to be safe, always put on your pearl jewellery on as the “final touch”, after applying make-up, perfumes and styling hair. The pearl's lustre can appear affected by perspiration, however this is usually surface ‘oils’. Before returning your pearls to the jewellery box, wipe them gently with a soft cloth and you will restore them to a pristine condition.

Pearl Storage

Pearls are exceptionally cohesive and shock-resistant, but may be scratched by contact with sharp objects or other gemstones. To prevent tangles and scratches, fasten clasps and pins, then lay each item out separately in a compartmentalized jewellery cloth prior to storing in your jewellery box. When carrying jewellery, use a protective jewellery pouch. Leaving pearl jewellery in a security box for long periods may cause pearls to dehydrate, so enjoy them frequently. There is a saying that "pearls want to be worn," and it is true!

Pearl Maintenance

Even with the best of care, small parts of Jewellery may come loose. Ensure that your strands are “double-knotted” so that, in the event of a break your pearls will not scatter everywhere. Before wearing, carefully check such parts as the prongs that support pendants or that the posts are not loosening. Check the clasps on necklaces; make sure that they are tightly knotted, not frayed and not about to come loose. Check the screws of earrings and brooch pins. Mikimoto cultured pearl necklaces are strung with the finest silk thread for both strength and beauty. However, if that string stretches or loosens, it may break suddenly. Even if you don't wear your pearls often, we recommend that you have your pearls restrung every few years.

Pearl Wearing

It is quite safe to wear pearl strands in water or wear them while bathing, however with all jewellery worn in surf or lakes if it falls off you will be in trouble!. It's also best to avoid high temperatures such as in a sauna. If pearls come into contact with substances such as vinegar, fruit juices or detergents, immediately wipe clean with a soft cloth. Following these simple guidelines should preserve your Mikimoto pearls for generations.

Pearl Cleaning

If the radiance of your jewellery appears to be diminishing, take it to a specialist. Ultrasonic cleanser should never be used with pearl jewelry as it can damage the pearls. Ultrasonics usually use a caustic soda based cleaning agent and this is very detrimental to the Pearls skin and lustre.

Never steam-clean pearls. Never use (or expose pearls) to dish or wash detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda, or ammonia-based cleaners (like Windex). Never use toothbrushes, scouring pads or abrasive materials to clean pearls. 

After you wear pearls, just wipe them off with a soft cloth or chamois, which may be dry or damp. This will prevent dirt from accumulating and keep perspiration, which is slightly acidic, from eating away at the pearl nacre. You can even use a drop talcum powder on the cloth to help maintain the luster.

If pearls have not been kept clean and are very dirty, they can be cleaned by your jeweller or they can be cleaned using special pearl polishing cloth. Be careful using other types of Jewellery cleaner or soap. Some liquid soaps, such as Dawn, can damage pearls. Pay attention to the areas around the drill holes where dirt may tend to collect.

After washing your pearls, lay them flat in a moist kitchen towel to dry. When the towel is dry, your pearls should be dry.

Remember that with all jewellery the common sense approach is best. You will be amazed at how careful, detailed hand polishing with a soft cloth will polish most jewellery items. If you do need your pearls professionally cleaned, re-strung or re-valued please contact us!

In Summary:

  • Pearls are organic gems, so should avoid acidic products
  • "Last thing you put on, first thing you take off"
  • Don't store together with harder gemstones
  • Polish them with a soft cloth periodically
  • Re-string them if the silk cord looks dirty or starts to loosen
  • Re-string every few years on a silk cord and knotted between each pearl

Black Opals

"Black opal" is a term used for opal that has a dark body color, often black or dark gray. The term is also used for opal that has a dark blue or dark green body color. The dark body color often makes the fire of black opal more obvious. ... It was mined at Lightning Ridge, Australia, the "Black Opal Capital of the World".

Boulder Opals

Boulder Opal is a unique and beautiful opal found in Queensland, Australia. It is easily identifiable because it is a mixture of ironstone and opal either in a matrix or layered. Every stone is unique and they are arguably the most affordable opal available.

White Opals

"Light opal" and "white opal" are terms used for opal material that has a white, yellow or cream body color. This is the most common body color for precious opal. These stones were cut from material mined at Coober Pedy, South Australia. They are calibrated 8 x 6 millimeter cabochons.