Jewelry DO'S and DON'TS - Pearls


Time to read 3 min

Your pearls deserves to be seen at their best

 Pearls have been valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for centuries, often seen as the symbol of unblemished perfection and innocence, of wisdom acquired through experience. Some view this gemstone as a metaphor for the purity, generosity, integrity, and loyalty of both the giver and the wearer. Regardless of meaning, pearls are as popular today as they have been throughout history. 

Used as an adornment for centuries, the oldest known pearl jewelry was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC. Because natural pearls were so rare throughout history, only the richest nobles could afford them. During the Byzantine Empire, rules dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear these treasured gemstones. Ancient Egyptians were often buried with their prized pearls. In ancient Greece, they were believed to be the tears of the gods. Tudor England was known as the Pearl Age because of the stone’s popularity with the upper class during the sixteenth century. Portraits showed royals wearing jewelry and clothing adorned with pearls.

Natural pearls are believed to form in the mantle membrane of an oyster. A secretion of thousands of layers of nacre built up over several years, with only one in 2,000 oysters producing a pearl during their lifetime, makes good quality, natural pearls exceptionally scarce. Cultured pearls are formed by artificial initiation, implanting mantle tissue, or using a shell bead, causing the secretion of nacre over the bead. These cultured gemstones typically take only a few months to a few years to grow. 

Today, nearly all pearls are cultured. However, over the past century, they have become more viable, and new techniques in culturing have been discovered and implemented. Jewelers looking to create fresh, original designs have an array of choices. High-grade pearls are available in various shapes and sizes, with colors ranging from white to cream, pink to champagne, chocolate to gold, purple to black, and more.

Here are a few easy-to-remember DO’S and DON’TS to ensure your pearls stay as lustrous as the day they came into your life.

love your pearls



The golden rule of pearl care is, "Last thing to put on and the first thing to take off." Putting them on last ensures that perfume can dry and that other makeup or potentially damaging materials won't come in contact with the surface of your pearls. Taking them off first ensures they won't get scratched or caught on your other jewelry. 


Or, at least wear them semi-often. Pearls were originally created in water and benefit from absorbing the oils your skin naturally produces throughout the day. So put them, show them off, and show them you care. 


To keep your pearls hydrated, wrap them in a soft cloth, or place them in a silk or chamois leather pouch. Since they are organic and contain trace amounts of water, a dry, airless atmosphere (like a sealed plastic bag) will dry them out, causing their surface to crack and turning them yellow. 

respect your pearls



Although pearls are "born from water," don't submerge them in water - no showers, no dishes, no swimming. The chlorine in water can eat away at the epoxy securing them to their mountings and soaking the silk your pearls are strung on will cause it to stretch out and break easily.


Since pearls need moisture, don't store them in an airtight package, like a plastic bag. If the environment is too dry they may crack. When placing them in a safety deposit box, consider leaving a damp cloth nearby, and try to get them out of there as quickly as you can. 


The surface of pearls is very delicate. They need protection from being bullied or scratched by hard jewelry items such as diamonds, rings, and bracelets. Never, ever test their genuineness by biting them with your teeth.

Many Sorrel Sky jewelry artists use this timeless gemstone in their unique creations. 

Whether a newly acquired piece or a family heirloom, once your pearls enter your life, treat them with the care and attention they deserve. They'll forever appreciate it, rewarding you with their warm glow. Set in rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, you're sure to find just the right new piece as a gift, or for yourself, at Sorrel Sky Gallery.

Reach out to our team of art advisors with any questions about the jewelry seen in this blog. We'd love to see you in the gallery, where you can enjoy these pieces in person.