Why My Freshwater Pearls Turn Grey?

Why My Freshwater Pearls Turn Grey?

Freshwater pearls can turn grey or lose their luster for several reasons. Here are some common factors that might cause freshwater pearls to change color:

  1. Environmental factors: Pearls are sensitive to their environment, and exposure to chemicals, pollutants, and even high humidity can affect their appearance. For example, if you frequently wear your freshwater pearls in a chlorinated pool or expose them to hairspray or perfume, these substances can cause the pearls to lose their luster and turn grey.

  2. Acidic substances: Pearls are made of calcium carbonate, which is susceptible to damage from acidic substances. If your pearls come into contact with acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar, it can cause them to lose their natural luster and take on a dull, greyish appearance.

  3. Natural body oils: When you wear pearls directly on your skin, the natural oils from your body can accumulate on the pearls over time, affecting their surface and causing them to look less vibrant.

  4. Aging: Over time, all pearls, including freshwater pearls, may naturally lose some of their luster. This is a normal process as the nacre (the layers that make up the pearl) may gradually wear down.

  5. Low-quality pearls: If the freshwater pearls were of lower quality or had a very thin nacre to begin with, they might not maintain their luster for an extended period.

  6. Poor care and cleaning: Improper cleaning or harsh cleaning agents can harm pearls and lead to color changes and damage.

To prevent your freshwater pearls from turning grey, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals: Take off your pearls before swimming, cleaning, or using any chemical products.
  • Clean them properly: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe your pearls after wearing them to remove any dirt or body oils gently.
  • Store them properly: Keep your pearls in a soft pouch or separate compartment to prevent them from rubbing against other jewelry and getting scratched.
  • Have them restrung regularly: If you wear your pearls frequently, have them restrung every few years to prevent any potential damage from the string.

If your freshwater pearls have already turned grey, it's challenging to restore their original luster once the damage has occurred. However, you can have them professionally cleaned by a jeweler who specializes in pearls to see if any improvement is possible.

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