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Since ancient times, the pearl has been a symbol of unblemished perfection. It is the oldest gem and for centuries, it was considered the most valuable. Nearly all pearls sold today are cultured pearls.

Cultured pearls can be from saltwater or freshwater molluscs. A cultured pearl is grown by nature with the help of man. This process involves the insertion of a 'nucleus' into a mussel. The mussel is then carefully nutured for the desired type of pearl.

The quality of cultured pearl vary. They are judged by the pearl's lustre, surface, shape, colour and size.

Care for Pearls

Cultured pearls can be cleaned easily simply by wiping them with a soft cloth.

If they have been neglected and need a thorough cleaning, wash them in a solution of warm water and mild soap. You can scrub them gently using a make-up brush or an artist's paintbrush. Do not use a toothbrush as this will scratch a pearl's delicate surface.

Be sure to rinse the pearls well. After washing, lay the cultured pearls on a clean towel to dry. It should not be worn until completely dried.

Note: Washing weakens the string, and the necklace may break. Therefore, washing should be done perhaps once a year.