The following is not required material for EPS2
Because they are an organic gem comprised of calcium carbonate, pearls require more specialized care than most other gems materials. They are particularly subject to deterioration from contact with chemicals, including components in household cleaners, perfumes, cosmetics and hair care products of all kinds.
The surface of a pearl is soft and is easily damaged. Pearls set in rings and bracelets are more subject to scuffing and scratching than pearls set in brooches, earrings, necklaces or strands. A pearl ring or bracelet should be considered a special-occasion piece, not for daily wear and DEFINITELY not to be worn while working with the hands.
A good rule of thumb is that pearls are THE LAST THING YOU PUT ON when dressing and THE FIRST THING YOU TAKE OFF when you get home. NEVER apply perfume or hairspray when you are wearing pearl jewelry, especially a strand of pearls.
Pearl strands should be stored separately from other jewelry because the surface of a pearl is soft and easily scratched by other gems. A silk bag, velvet-lined box or pearl folder--a satin-lined leatherette envelope with snaps to hold a strand in place--are all good places to store pearls. Your local jeweler is a good source for these items.
NEVER store pearls in a plastic bag. Some types of plastic emit a chemical that will cause the surface of your pearls to deteriorate.
Don't store pearls in a safe or safety deposit box for long periods. The same ultra-dry atmospheric conditions that extend the life of paper documents may dry out your pearls and cause them to craze--to develop small fractures in the surface.
Pearl strands should be stored flat rather than hanging so the thread won't stretch out prematurely.
Pearl strands should be restrung every one to two years or more often if the thread begins to bag or fray. Silk and nylon beading threads are the most commonly used materials for stringing pearls.
Knotting between beads offers the most security for your pearls; no matter where the strand breaks, you only stand to lose a single bead. The look of the knotted strand is not to everyone's taste, however. Whether you string your pearls with or without knots, the first three or four beads on either side nearest the clasp should be knotted because this area takes the most wear and is the commonest place for a strand to break.
Lay the strand flat on a clean soft cloth or towel. Make a mild solution of soap flakes (I use Ivory soap flakes) and warm water, and apply with a new pure natural bristle complexion or manicure brush, scrubbing gently. Being careful to support the strand so as not to stretch the thread, turn the necklace over and repeat. To rinse, submerge the strand in cool water flush with cool tap water for a minimum of five minutes. Carefully remove the strand from the water and lay it on a fresh towel to air dry. Don't move it until it is completely dry.
Other pearl jewelry:
The principle is the same: use only a mild soap and a natural bristle brush, then rinse with cool water for at least five minutes.
NEVER USE DETERGENTS, HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS, COMMERCIAL JEWELRY CLEANERS OR TARNISH REMOVERS ON PEARL JEWELRY.
Never use your pearl cleaning brush for anything else, and store it where it will not become dusty or soiled.
Pearls will naturally darken slightly with age and wear. The golden or creamy tones that come with age cannot be removed.