Pearls are created organically from the protective secretions of select oysters and are composed of calcium carbonate. This means special attention is required to ensure pearls will stay beautiful and last a lifetime.
Because pearls are an organic gemstone, they are somewhat different from other gemstones and precious metals. They are softer and more delicate, and they can therefore be more easily scratched, cracked, and damaged. In addition, substances such as perfume and hair spray can dull pearls' luster or cloud their brilliance.
It's a good idea, for example, to apply perfume, hair spray, and other cosmetics before putting on your pearls. In this way, you can minimize the amount of these products that comes into contact with the pearls. After wearing your pearls, wipe them with a soft damp cloth to remove any traces of cosmetic products or body oils. Wash the pearls periodically with a mild soap and a soft cloth, to remove any accumulated build-up.
Because of their delicacy, pearls should be stored separately, away from hard jewelry items, to prevent scratches or other damage. If possible, store them wrapped in soft cloth or in a soft-lined container, pouch, or jewelry box.