How do you clean Navajo Pearls?

Posted 08.236.2021 by Admin / Category: Fashion
What are Navajo Pearls?


Made using sterling silver beads, Navajo pearls are hand-made by melting silver down, hand stamping, or carving each bead. Traditionally, these beads were used to pass down stories for many generations. Each bead had a different carving used to tell the story and come in many different shapes. The beads were unique which only added to the value traditionally and monetarily.


You see them in single-strand necklaces and squash blossom necklaces. Often, the silver beads are paired with traditional southwestern stones such as spiny oyster and turquoise.


How do you clean Navajo Pearls? 


Many wearers love the patina on Navajo pearls, so much so, that jewelers will put on an “instant patina” to give their beads an antique satin finish. If you are one of the people who enjoy the patina of your jewelry, then often no cleaning or polishing is necessary. You can consider using a polishing cloth to give your jewelry a bit of shine without removing the patina.


As for cleaning your Navajo pearls, the best way to clean them is the simplest way. You can use a soft toothbrush or a soft cloth to gently remove tarnish or other materials from the piece. You can use a mild soap or silver cleaner if necessary but keep in mind that cleaning can remove the natural weathering and patina of the piece. Removal of the patina can result in loss of value.


The silver should never be submerged in chemicals such as chlorine. Chlorinated water in swimming pools will cause a chemical reaction with the alloy in the metal and causes the piece to turn black.


If you have a necklace with stones set such as a squash blossom necklace, many of the stones may have a packing behind them. If submerged the packing behind the stones can swell, causing the stones to pop out of place. Gentle dry-cleaning methods are much safe.  If a deep cleaning of the jewelry is required, the best thing you can do is take it to a professional jeweler.


While a reputable jeweler is your safest option for cleaning, you can do many things to prevent damage and the need to clean your jewelry as often. Here are a few things you can do to keep your jewelry looking new…


  • Remove your jewelry when cleaning or when using harsh household chemicals. Many chemicals in household cleaners can cause the jewelry to tarnish and corrode.
  • Keep out of sunlight as this can cause tarnishing.
  • Makeup, hairspray, perfumes, and lotions can speed up tarnishing, so be sure to put your jewelry on last when getting ready for the day.
  • Some people claim that putting chalk and silica packs in the drawer that you store your silver in, helps absorb moisture, preventing tarnish.
  • Lining the drawer or box that you store jewelry in, in an anti-tarnish cloth, or get anti-tarnish bags for your jewelry.


Taking care of your jewelry now can help you pass these memories on to future generations and keep the tradition of the beautiful Navajo pearl alive.

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