The Pearl Collection – Care Instructions

The Rice Museum Pearl Collection consists of freshwater pearls, cultured in several locations including Tennessee, Mexico and Hong Kong.   The Rice Museum takes pride in its pearls which are of high luster, natural color and incomparable beauty.  Like rice in the South Carolina Low Country, pearl farming is aqua culture at its finest.

Storing Pearls

Pearls are a relatively soft gem.  Proper storage and care will keep them lustrous and beautiful.  Store in a soft cloth bag or pouch or wrap them in soft cloth.  Stored unprotected in a jewelry box, they may be scratched metal edges. prongs or harder stones.  Do not store pearls in an airtight environment, such as plastic.   Humidity is good for pearls, they can crack if they become dehydrated.

Protecting your Pearls

Put on pearls after applying make-up, perfume, hair spray, etc.  These products can harm the pearl surface and cause spots or disintegration.  Do not expose pearls to vinegar, ammonia or chlorine, which can actually eat holes or dissolve them.  Do not wear a pearl ring while using household cleaners or in a swimming pool or hot tub.  Protect them from flames, extreme heat, rough fabrics or perspiration.  If pearls are set, check the settings periodically.  If strung, they will need to be restrung periodically on silk or nylon with knots separating the pearls to prevent rubbing together and loss if the strand breaks.

Cleaning Pearls

Wipe gently with hot damp towel after wearing to remove oil, perspiration and cosmetic traces.  Do not use toothbrushes or any abrasive to clean pearls.  Wash periodically in water with a mild soap such as Ivory.   Do not use detergent.  Use a soft cloth to clean the knots in the string, rinse and lay flat on a damp cloth to dry.  Do not wear until towel is dry.