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Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such. They’re also the products of living creatures. Cultured pearls are formed when an irritant is introduced into a mollusk. The mollusk secretes a substance called nacre, which covers the irritant and produces the pearl. Nacre gives pearls the rainbow of colors and luster that makes these gemstones so treasured, but its delicate nature also makes pearls particularly susceptible to damage. For this reason, you should be extra careful with your cultured pearl jewelry.


  • Apply cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume before putting on any pearl jewelry. When you remove the jewelry, wipe it carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these substances.

  • You can also wash your pearl jewelry with mild soap and water.

  • Do not clean cultured pearls with any chemicals, abrasives, or solvents. These substances can damage your pearls.

  • Always lay cultured pearl strands flat to dry. Hanging strands may stretch the thread.

  • Do not toss your cultured pearl jewelry carelessly into a purse, bag, or jewelry box. A pearl’s surface is soft and can be scratched by hard metal edges or by harder gemstones of other jewelry pieces.

  • Place cultured pearls in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue paper when putting them away.

  • Cosmetics, perspiration, oils, and ordinary wear weaken and stress the threads on which the pearls may be strung. If worn frequently, bring your pearl stands in for restringing once a year. Make sure that the pearls are strung with knots between each pearl. This will prevent the loss of pearls if the string should break.