Pearls are one of the most beautiful natural gems, often used in jewelry and treasured as a symbol of wealth and beauty. However, over time, some pearls start yellowing. This can be a source of great distress and confusion for pearl owners. In this article, we will unveil the mystery of why pearls turn yellow and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening. So, let's get started!

Why Do Pearls Turn Yellow

There are three primary causes of yellowing pearls: natural deterioration, exposure to chemicals, and improper care and maintenance.

1. Natural Deterioration

Natural deterioration is the most common cause of yellowing pearls. Over time, the nacre of the pearl can deteriorate, causing the pearl to turn yellow. This is especially true for pearls that are exposed to light or air for extended periods of time.

2. Exposure to Chemicals

Exposure to chemicals can also cause pearls to turn yellow. Common chemicals such as chlorine, bleaches, and perfumes can cause discoloration. Even skin care products, such as lotions, can cause pearls to turn yellow. In addition, contact with acidic substances, such as vinegar, can also cause yellowing.

3. Improper Care and Maintenance

Improper care and maintenance can also cause pearls to turn yellow. Pearls should not be exposed to extreme temperatures, as this can cause discoloration. In addition, they should not be stored in air-tight containers, as this can cause the pearls to become dry and brittle.

How to Prevent Pearls from Turning Yellow

There are several steps that can be taken to prevent pearls from turning yellow.

1. Proper Cleaning

It is very important to clean pearls after each wear, with a soft cloth to remove any oil residue. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away dirt and oils, and avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.

2. Avoiding Exposure to Chemicals

Avoid exposing pearls to harsh chemicals or acidic substances, as this can cause discoloration. In addition, don't soak pearl in water. The water is chlorine and will destroy an epoxy sealer attached to the pearls mount and soak the silk that your pearl is attached to, causing the fabric to stretch.


Pearls are a timeless piece of jewelry that can last for generations. To ensure that your pearls stay looking their best, it is important to understand why pearls turn yellow and how to prevent it. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can ensure that your pearls remain beautiful and vibrant for years to come.