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The most important way to prevent damage to your pearls is by following the golden rule of putting your pearls on as the last thing you do when finishing your grooming.
Put the pearls on after you have applied make up, perfume and hair sprays, never before.
Don't spray your perfume on the neck area where the pearls will actually sit and avoid touching your pearls when you have just applied hand cream.
If you need to reapply hair spray at some time, slip the pearls off for a moment and put them well out of the damage zone.
Likewise make pearls the first thing you remove after a night out, before you wipe your face and neck with cleansers or facial wipes or night creams.
As you remove your pearls wipe them with a soft damp cloth.
Buff them occasionally with a silk cloth to enhance their shine and lustre.
Try not to fling them in a jumble on the dressing table, but discipline yourself to put them back in their original container.
Don't store pearls in a very dry room or in a safe deposit box.
Pearls appreciate a little moisture so wearing them regularly is important.
For the majority of women the best place to keep your pearls is on your neck!
Wearing your pearls gives them the chance to breathe and a clean skin produces natural oils that pearls love.
Body warmth and the expression of this fine natural body oil through the skin keeps the pearls looking good.
Jewellers can clean your pearls for you or you can buy a special pearl jewellery cleaning solution.
Don't clean pearls using any of the jewellery cleaners made especially for gold or silver on the market. Such products usually contain an ammonia base.
Also don't use the ultrasonic cleaning sets as the vibrations can make the pearls rub against each other and cause scuffing.
If the pearls are old and the lustre is dulling wipe them with a soft damp cloth that has been dipped in a very gentle natural soap solution and wipe them with a detergent free damp cloth and allow them to dry flat on kitchen paper. After the pearls have dried, a cloth with a fine smear of olive oil wiped over them will help restore some lustre.
Good pearls will last longer if they are restrung every year if you wear them every day, or every two years for less frequent wear.
They should only be restrung with pure silk thread or special nylon necklace cord. Other yarns like cotton break and deteriorate more easily.
Every string is best knotted between each pearl. The knot not only helps keep control of your pearls should they break, but also helps stop the pearls rubbing too much against each other.
Some people do not like the look of a knotted string and newer alternatives are spaced pearls on wires held in place by gimps. Such necklaces have a fresh modern look and appear to float on the neck, but must always be stored as flat as possible to prevent the polymer coated wire from getting bent and crooked.
Look after your pearls and you will continue to wear them year after year.