What To Do If I Notice My Pearls Are Peeling?

my pearls are peeling

Pearls are very much in fashion these days but are a gemstone that needs taking care of properly. When cared for they continue to keep their beautiful iridescent glow even as they age. But sometimes problems can arise and therefore some women may notice that my pearls are peeling?

However, maybe the pearls they have aren’t real, but are faux ones. This means that the pearl jewelry they own isn’t made up of beautiful layers of nacre, but is, in fact, a bead that is covered in a material that is made to look like nacre.

What You Need To Know About Pearls

Even though pearls are small and dense, they are very soft.  Anything that comes into close contact with say your pearl necklace or bracelet can cause damage to it.

Jewelers when making any pieces that include pearls within the design have to be very careful as they work on them.  Each pearl when they drill a hole through them has to first go through the outer shell of the nacre of the pearl.  Most times this can lead to small cracks or chips appearing on the delicate surface of the pearl.

Should you notice that your necklace or earring pearls are peeling it is important you take them to a reputable jeweler to let them inspect them more?   The problem is that once your pearls have become damaged or your pearls are peeling, they cannot be repaired.  The only thing you can do now is to replace the ones that are damaged.

How much this work will cost will depend on the shape, size, quality, and colour of the pearls that make up your necklace, bracelet, earrings or pendant.   It could turn out to be expensive, as it will also depend on how many of the pearls within the piece of jewelry has peeled.   Another cost you will have to take into account if your pearls are peeling or have other damage to them is that a necklace will need restringing the same also goes for pearl bracelets.

pearl necklace

Can Nacre Be Reconstructed

You may be interested to know that some pearl manufacturers are experimenting with trying to reconstruct the nacre on damaged pearls. What they are attempting to do is place damaged or peeling pearls back inside an oyster to see if it will then encourage them to allow more nacre to grow over it and repair the damaged areas.   This sounds like a great idea, but as yet no pearl manufacturer has achieved this.   So until then, it leaves you only with one option and that is to replace the pearls that are peeling or damaged.

Yet as already mentioned above if you were to take care of your pearls properly then the risk of them becoming damaged will reduce.  Also, it is important that you protect them as well and below we offer tips you may find useful.  These are tips that will ensure that you won’t be asking why are my pearls peeling?

Protecting Your Pearls

This is the only real solution to ensuring that the pearls you own will last for many years to come.   It is important that you keep your pearls clean and that every couple of years you arrange for your necklace and pearl bracelets to get restrung.

Restringing of pearls helps to remove any dirt or debris that becomes attached to the chord and can enter the holes drilled into the pearls.  Doing this will stop the abrasiveness of the dirt or debris from weakening or chipping the nacre covering the pearls.

my pearls are peeling

You also need to make sure you keep any chemicals or liquids from coming into contact with the surface of the pearls, as these, can eat away at the nacre and so damage the pearls.   The kinds of chemicals you need to make sure that doesn’t come into contact with your pearl necklace, bracelet, earrings or ring are as follows:

  • Ammonia
  • Hair Spray
  • Perfume
  • Cosmetics
  • Household Cleaners
  • Detergents
  • Vinegar
  • Chlorine

If you take care of your pearls properly and maintain them, they should last for hundreds of years.

Taking Care Of Your Pearls

If you want to prevent your pearl earrings peeling or your pearl necklace peeling, then you need to take proper care of them.

Good quality pearls are durable, but they need caring for properly in order for them to keep their beauty and luster.   Here are some very important tips to help you care of your pearls now and in the future.

1.  Wear Your Pearls Often

All pearls need oil to thrive and it is the natural oils from your skin that will help your pearls to keep their luster and brightness.   Plus the oils in your skin will prevent them from turning a yellow colour, as they won’t dry out.  If your pearls dry out this causes them to become brittle and the risk of them becoming damaged or they start to peel will increase.

ropes of pearls

So it is important that you wear your pearls as often as you can.  Leaving them tucked away in an airtight bag or safe will do them more harm than good.  Remember pearls need to interact with oils to help them retain their beauty and shine.

2.  Wipe Them After Wearing

After you’ve worn your pearls make sure you wipe them gently with a soft cloth.  This will help to remove any sweat, excess oils, perfume or dirt from the surface.  Always do this before you put them away.

3.  Store Your Pearls On Their Own

Never store your pearls with other pieces of jewelry as they may cause minute scratches to the surface.  Before you put your pearls away wrap them in a piece of soft cloth or linen, then place them into a small soft pouch.

4.  Avoid Storing In An Airtight Container

NEVER store your pearls in an airtight container such as a plastic bag.  This is important, as pearls require moisture to help them retain their luster.   If the environment in which they are being kept is too dry, this can lead to them cracking and you will be faced with your pearls are peeling.

white pearl peeling

Should you have to place your pearls into a safe or you keep them in a hot environment then make sure you keep a damp cloth close by?   Also, make sure you keep them away from such environments as often as you can.

5.  Never Immerse Your Pearls In Water

So never wear your pearls when having a bath or shower, or when you go swimming, and definitely, don’t wear your pearl ring when you are washing up.  The chlorine to be found in the water will eat away at the epoxy resin that is helping to keep the pearls secure in their mountings.  Also, the silk thread on which they have strung the pearls in your necklace can become stretched and could break.

6.  Don’t Wear Your Pearls When Exercising

As you exercise your body will produce quite a large amount of sweat that is very dangerous for your pearls as it is very acidic.   If sweat is allowed to come into contact with your pearls and remain in contact with them over time, it will start to eat away at the nacre and cause the pearls to lose their shine.  Plus, of course, it increases the risk of the pearls to peel or it to cause other damage to their surface.

Above are a few ways of helping to protect and care for your pearls now and in the future.   If you notice any issues with your pearls at any stage, we suggest you seek advice from a reputable jeweler what needs doing to prevent any further damage from occurring.

long pearl necklace

If you feel at any point that your pearls need cleaning properly then we would suggest you ask a jeweler to carry out this work.  Look for a jeweler who specialises in caring for and maintaining pieces of jewelry that include pearls in their design.  The perfect time to have such work carried out would be when your pearls need restringing.   Here at PearlsOnly, we have a wonderful selection of jewelry items for you to choose from made with some of the finest pearls available.   These are pieces of pearl jewelry that will stand the test of time and look as beautiful as when you first got them.   As long as you remember to take care of them properly both now and in the future as we have suggested above.

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