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There are four major factors, which have an adverse effect on pearls; these are higher temperatures, high-level air humidity, intensive light and air pollution.
Pearls contain organic substance, which can dry out and decay, which is why pearls have their certain life span, after which pearls start to grow dim, exfoliate and are finally destructed. This means special attention is required to ensure pearls will stay beautiful and last for hundreds of years.
First of all, You have to wear pearls to prevent them from corrosion. When a person wears pearls often, they are under constant effect of perspiratory glands (sweat has subacid reaction). This slows down the process of dehydration of pearls and favours dilution of eroded layers, which are gradually removed, while the pearl retains its luster. Pearl jewelry requires a bit of special care.
The gem has to be protected from heating and open fire (due to the fact that pearls contain 2% of water, they can crack and loose their luster). Keep them away from acid attacks, abrasives, exhalations and cosmetics. Mostly jewelers “revive” pearls with weak solutions of hydrochloric acid or acetic acid. If You purchased pearl beads, brooch or pearl ring, remember, they were produced by living beings – the mollusks. Their lives have not been wasted, if You value and preserve their creation – a precious pearl.
Wash the pearls periodically with a mild soap or polish it with potato starch to remove any accumulated build-up and moisture.
Prevent pearls from keeping in damp or dry places, as well as from direct sunlight. Take the pearls off before taking a bath. Prevent perfumes, oils or clays from the contact with pearls. Knotting the strand prevents the pearls from rubbing against one another and causing damage. It’s a good idea to have Your pearls restrung every two or three years.