If you haven’t heard it before, you should know that when it comes to wearing pearls safely, the old adage “last on, first off” applies. Cosmetics, fragrances, hair products and the like can all be damaging to pearls. Therefore, you should wait until you are completely dressed and ready before putting on your pearls. And you should take them off first at the end of the night so as to reduce the risk of scratching or damaging them as you’re getting undressed.
In between wears, you should store your pearls flat. This will reduce the strain put onto the silk upon which the pearls are strung, and prevents the pearls themselves from bumping into one another or into other objects. You should also separate strands of pearls (again, to keep them from damage caused by bumping into one another) either by putting them on different sections in your jewelry tray or by putting cloth between stacked strands.
You should protect your pearls from temperature extremes and from excess dryness or humidity. Be aware that many jewelry safes are not controlled for humidity, which could lead to excessive heat or dryness becoming a danger for stored pearls. To protect your pearls under these conditions, you should store them with a container of water or with a wet cloth.
Keep an eye out for lurking acids, such as in salad dressings, soaps, juices and alcohol. Any of these can have a damaging effect on your pearls. Also, if your pearls are wet, wait to wear them until they dry, as the wetness can stretch the silk upon which they are strung. Better to lie the pearls flat to dry before putting them on in order to reduce silk strain.
With proper care, your pearls will stay forever beautiful and last a lifetime.