TLC for Freshwater Pearls
Did you know that pearls are organic gemstones that are very soft and can be damaged by perfumes, lotions and acid from contact with the skin? Did you know that heat and humidity change and dehydrate pearls and over time may cause them to lose their luster or original color?
Not to worry! The select pearls in your Jayne Cairns Design jewelry will retain their color, shape and glow for generations if you follow simple care guidelines.
Always store your pearls in the silk jewelry pouch provided with your Jayne Cairns purchase. Don’t toss them in a jewelry box with other gems.
Wipe your pearls with a soft cloth or chamois after wearing them. Add a drop of olive oil to the cloth, if you like.
Use jewelry cleaners labeled safe for pearls. Abrasives (even that soft toothbrush!) should not be used to clean pearls. Annual professional cleaning by a trusted jeweler is a good option for strands worn regularly.
Remember to remove your pearls when doing housework or going swimming. Pearls are not on friendly terms with bleach, powdered cleansers or detergents!
If your strung pearls become wet, lay them on a clean towel to dry rather than hang them.
Most importantly, Jayne and Angela have discovered that pearls last longer when admired…wear yours often and notice how they shimmer when compliments come your way!
Freshwater, Cultured Pearls : From Mussel to Jewel
The use of natural elements to produce more pearls than can be produced by Nature on her own is called “culturing.” Besides oysters, as many as ten different mussel species produce beautiful pearls. The pearls in your Jayne Cairns necklace, bracelet or earrings come into being when skilled hands painstakingly make tiny slits in the mantle of individual mussels and insert a piece of live mantle from a different mussel. This action stimulates the production of nacre, the iridescent, internal layer of the mussel shell. A pearl is formed in some mussels by this process alone, and sometimes an irritant is introduced. The nacre forms around this nucleus to create the many different and exquisitely shaped pearls available today.
The cultured pearls selected for Jayne Cairns Designs are harvested from lakes in southern China. Pearls are chosen for best color, luster, and orient, which is the ability to reflect light. Chinese freshwater pearls naturally occur in a variety of colors: white, champagne, cream, orange, pink, purple, lilac, mauve, blue and brown. A wider range of colors is achieved through a very hush-hush pearl dying process perfected by the Japanese.