Pearl-Care Tips From Expert, Renata Terjeki

(I follow this gal on Instagram. You wouldn't believe the steady stream of repairs and restringing she does on the most amazing pearl jewelry ever!)

Renata Terjeki, an experienced pearl stringer, offers the following tips for the care and maintenance of pearls.

Store pearls in a soft container. Pearls can be scratched by metal jewelry. If you’re keeping them in a jewelry box, store them in something soft.

Keep your pearls dry. Damp threads fray and eventually break, Ms. Terjeki said. She once restrung a broken, multiple-row Colombian emerald necklace with pearls worth around 200,000 pounds, or $245,000, three times in one year for a jewelry shop. “It turned out the owner was sitting in a Jacuzzi,” Ms. Terjeki said.

For cleaning genuine pearls, use a microfiber cloth for glasses: Don’t use soap and water for the reasons stated above. (Effectiveness will depend on how dirty your pearls are. If this doesn’t work, have them cleaned professionally.)

For cleaning imitation pearls, use a baby wipe: It will remove the dirt. If there is any residue, use a microfiber cloth for glasses to wipe it away once you’ve finished cleaning your pearls. (Be aware that water can remove the top layer of imitation pearls).

Put pearls on last. Perfume and body lotion can affect a pearl’s luster; make sure you apply them before you don your pearls.

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