Now that summer has officially set in, I become more mindful of the summer heat’s effect on my pearls.
I was once very addicted to south sea pearls, but I ‘temporarily’ stopped buying after my 6th set because they require more care than my other gemstone jewelry. I have mostly pearl earrings (as seen above), with matching ring or pendant.
Because they’re plenty, caring for them is kind of challenging for me. But I’ve found the perfect way to do it: I wear them almost all the time! There is a saying that goes something like “pearls want to be worn” and believe me, there’s a good reason behind this.
You see, pearls are organic, living gemstones. And for some reason, they love humidity! That’s why they’re perfect for our tropical climate. That’s the reason also on why they love to be regularly worn – because the humidity in our body keeps the luster shining and happy!
It’s best to keep the pearls together in a separate jewelry box, and then put it in a spot where ventilation and humidity are abundant. I put mine in the makeshift vanity table in our bedroom, but away from our colognes. My jewelry box has 2 small drawers and there are 3 set of pearls per drawer. I keep the drawers slightly open, to let the air and humidity in.
For added humidity, I placed a small cap (the cap of a spray bottle will do) filled with water inside each drawer. I refill the caps every other week or as soon as the water has dried up. It’s important that there’s always water there because humidity depends on water vaporization.
During the wet season and humidity is high, I don’t have to worry about refilling the caps. But during the dry season, when water evaporates fast and humidity drops, my pearls are vulnerable to drying up, losing their luster and worse, discoloration.
To avoid these, I follow this trick I read in a magazine before: I leave the jewelry drawers (containing the pearls) in the bathroom right after bath or shower to give them all the humidity that they love to have. Try it, it’s very easy to do and would make your pearls last and stay radiant longer!
Other important tips:
1. Pearl jewelry must be worn last, and taken off first. Pearls are very sensitive to acid, and high exposure to acid (from perfume, hair product, body oil product, perspiration and other acid-containing substances) will cloud the luster of the pearls, making it look less appealing. To avoid direct exposure to acid in perfume or hair product, wait for a few minutes before wearing your pearls (or better yet, wear it last!). Also, take it off as soon as you’re done and wipe with a clean soft cloth to remove whatever substances have remained in its surface. This habit will keep your pearls happy, and will reduce the occurrence of blemishes.
2. Do not expose your pearls to direct sunlight. If UV rays have bad effects on our skin, in pearls they bring the worse. Lost of water will already affect its luster, but direct sunlight will corrode the surface and this effect is irreversible.
3. Do not wet your pearls. I admit I am sometimes guilty of this because I tend to forget I’m wearing a pearl ring when washing my hands. When this cannot be avoided, immediately wipe off the watery surface with clean, soft cloth. But the rule really is to remove your pearl before when washing your hand, since water can be acidic too.
4. Do not mix pearls with other jewelry. Pearls are not as hard as diamonds, rubies or tanzanites so if not stored properly, they will get scratches which you may have a hard time removing. That’s why I have a separate jewelry box for the pearls; it’s much easier for me to check on them too. And to make sure that the earrings won’t rub on each other, I “pin” them to small-size cut sofa foams (check out this post to get the picture), instead of putting them in pouches.
I know, I know. Pearls demand so much TLC from us, but in return, they will reward us (and our generations to come!) with the satisfaction of owning something beautiful from nature – a gift from nature, to be exact – so it’s just fitting that we protect them and care for them.
mrs. panda says
hi miss leah! heart your post as usual! 🙂 may i ask where can i buy reasonably – priced pearl earring here in manila? and hopefully price range please! 🙂
I recommend Berdori at Greenhills, Mrs. Panda =) I have featured it in my blog before – https://leahdeleon.com/2012/11/11/berdori-jewelry-at-greenhills/
Happy pearl hunting!
is that an inabel blanket for a background? 😉
Yes it is, Aggie! =)
OHH!! I suddenly missed my lost south sea pearl earrings my husband gave to me. I think the myth of not giving a pearl to someone took its power. They say it’s not good to give someone a pearl. it says that that someone who gave it to you will make you cry. it should be bought by yourself.
In some countries, like the U.S. for example, preferred ng bride mag-pearls during her wedding. Kse nga naman bagay sya sa white wedding gown diba? And pearls look so natural and pure – exactly the ‘aura’ of a bride during her wedding day!
I have been given pearl earrings as gift twice already pero hindi naman ako napapaiyak (pa) nung mga nagbigay hehe! I guess it’s because I don’t consciously think about this “relationship” between pearls and the bucket of tears one will shed if she accepts the gift. =)
I’m just curious, how did you lose the earrings?
The champagne and light grey pearls are particularly beautiful (to me). Pag nagbalik ka sa Palawan, pwedeng magpabili?
Pwedeng pwede! I might go there in May (for work) and will get you your pearls =)
Yay! Thanks so much. Just looking for a single champagne colored one that I can use as a pendant for a Y-shaped necklace a la Jewelmer.
I can picture it already, Ms. Ellen! Look at this design, so nice and elegant! =)
Love it! Ang ganda!
Ako din! (gaya gaya mode ulit) pede magpabili? 😉 It might take some time before I step in Palawan again.
I’m learning a lot from you. As in 🙂 This reminded me how I lost my mom’s lone South Sea pearls. It fell off my ears for reasons I don’t know. Nabigatan yata ng ears ko. Haha Ayun, hindi ko na talaga nakita. 🙁
I always love pearls even though old folks would tell me not to wear them. I don’t know if you have heard of that “urban legend” or traditional belief that single women should never wear pearls. It would either delay marriage, worst is never get married or become a single mom. The pearl daw kasi is reproducing on its own. Hence, singles wearing pearls are bound to bear a child on their own… (single mom ang peg) hahaha But the hardheaded person in me never listens. I always believe that every woman should own a pair.
PS… I bought a Cath Kidston bag already hihihi
Sure Diane! Sure na, May 23-24 I’ll be in Palawan and I guess yung Pasalubong Center lang talaga ang mapapasyal ko dun hihi.
Awww, sayang the lost pearls! I agree, mabigat sya sa umpisa isuot but once masanay, hahanapin naman sya ng ears mo hihi.
Naku I don’t subscribe to those beliefs (except the one about not wearing pearls on your wedding day). Pearls are just so beautiful and natural, parang we’re depriving ourselves naman of these di ba if we will believe in everything we hear. Sometimes I wonder if they’re just marketing strategies to make the price of diamonds and other gemstones shoot up. Just thinking hehe!
I’m happy you bought your Cath Kidston bag na! Can’t wait to read about it in your blog! =)
I made a little boo boo ordering my Cath Kidston bag…. I’ll blog about it, although its yet to arrive pa. I sent you an email about the pearls 🙂 Excited ako!
Excited for your bag, Diane. Sorry, di na ako natuloy-tuloy sa online purchase ko. Ang dami kasi naming expenses nung nagkasakit daughter ko.
Topaz Horizon says
Sigh! So beautiful! I need to go to Berdori again! Hindi na ako bumalik ever. Feeling ko hindi ko mahahanap kasi! I’m soooo inggit with your pearls =D
Plus, excellent post. As usual!
Haha! Actually nag-iba na sila ng puwesto but it’s still in the same area =) I’ll be back in Palawan this May, I can look for some pearls for you. You like the strand pearl necklace, right?
Hi! I love your tips on how to care for pearls. I’m so addicted to pearls. I own about 10 pairs of south sea pearl earrings. I use the white pearls most of the time. I rarely use the others so I locked them up in a safe at home. I’m guilty of not taking care of them properly.