So, many of you that follow my blog know that I am a fan of washing your pearls in a mild soap and water. Pearls love moisture and it is good care to give them a little wash (or at least a rub down) every once in a while. However, there are times that you should never get your pearls wet. Here is one sad tale of washing pearls…
As many of you know, Abby, our head of production has been with me from almost the beginning. She loves repairing jewelry, creating new designs and she is so particular about making things perfect. She is an amazing person to work with. Well, many years ago, she did not know much about pearls. So, when a friend of hers called her up and asked her to restring and clean her pearls, Abby joyfully agreed. I must admit that we have laughed about what followed. Abby was standing at her kitchen sink, cleaning her friends pearls under running water when something got all over her hands. It was the pearls. The pearls were not really pearls… they were fake pearls. These fake pearls were made of glass beads with a layer of pearlescent material coated on the bead. Well, when Abby went to clean them, the coating came off. Abby was horrified and had to return the pearls to her friend while breaking the news that not only were her beloved pearls fake but Abby had chipped off some of the pearl coating. These are the types of pearls you do not want to get wet!
This comes to mind because we had a customer in New Jersey mail us some pearls that belonged to his great grandmother. He wanted them cleaned and the clasp repaired to give to his daughter-in-law for her wedding. How lovely! We were so thrilled to help! Well, when the pearls arrived we saw that these, too, were glass beads with a pearly coating on them. Given their age, the pearl coating was rubbing off significantly in some places. So, we knew we could not clean these with water. Instead, we took the necklace apart and gently rubbed down each pearl to clean the dirt and grime off of them. We called him and suggested that we go ahead and restring the pearls because a new, clean thread can make all the difference in the world.
And they did. Here are how the pearls look afterwards. Even though the wear is still apparent on some of the pearls, the overall look is one of cleanliness and beauty. And we did it all without getting the pearls wet!
Another Happy Day at The Pearl Girls!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.
2 Replies to “Do Not Get These Pearls Wet”
I have a very expensive David Yurman pearl necklace. If you know his designs they are sterling silver with other metals. My necklace has tarnished badly and I can’t do usual cleaning because of the pearls embedded within the chains. It is a 3 tiered necklace. What to do???
I am so sorry for my delayed response! Yes, I am familiar with David Yurman! I think your best bet is to use a sunshine polishing cloth. In my experience these are great at polishing silver and they will not harm your pearls at all! We use them all the time here at The Pearl Girls! Thanks for reaching out!