Pearls are soft and need a few minutes of special care to ensure their luster. They should never be tossed on top of or next to other jewelry in a jewelry box. Store them wrapped in a soft cloth or tissue paper or in a jewelry pouch.
If pearls are worn regularly, at they should be, the pearls will constantly be in close contact with the skin. The pearls in the necklace will gradually absorb acid from the skin and the acid will slowly eat into the pearl. Over time the pearl will lose its luster. You can slow this process by wiping the pearls with a soft cloth after wearing them. Occasionally, put a drop of olive oil on the cloth and rub the pearls to renew their luster.
Besides being soft, pearls are easily damaged by chemical like perfume, vinegar and lemon juice. Heat and sun exposure can turn pearls brown, fade their color or dry them out and make them crack. Dry air can also damage peals so do not store them in a sealed plastic container. Most safe deposit vaults have very dry air and can damage pearls.
Because of their delicate nature, special care must be taken when cleaning.