How do I preserve and protect my bear claw pendant?

Hi Paula,

I have a hanging bear claw pendant. The exact same type as on your site. I received it as a gift. It is amazing. I have had for about a year though and the claw is drying out and cracking/chipping.  What can I do to preserve/restore it?  Thanks.


20140414_140515 20140414_140558 20140414_140609Hi Scott,

Your claw shows natural surface lines and texture which I think is appealing as is. If you think it is getting dry or brittle, however, and you think it might crack, you could consider applying a light, and I mean light, coat of hoof dressing to it. The tiniest dab rubbed in thoroughly. You could use a Q tip to get up into the crevices. Another substance you could use would be bag balm which is basically lanolin. Again, the tiniest amount and lots of rubbing. It is possible that Vaseline (petroleum jelly) might also work.  Whatever substance you choose, use very little, rub it in thoroughly, then wipe it.  You might want to do a few applications over several days before you get it to the state you want.


Some of the silversmiths buff and polish the claws and put a light layer of “clear coat” on the claws which protect them and make them shine. You could also use clear nail polish. But do realize if you choose this method of preservation, it will make the claw shiny and if you decide you don’t like it, you will have to use a solvent like nail polish remover to take it off……and that would further dry out the claw. So go down that path with caution.


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2 thoughts on “How do I preserve and protect my bear claw pendant?

  1. Paula,

    Thanks for having the answer to my question without me asking!! Back in the early ’80s a friend of mine got a permit to hunt black bear. He capped one of the claws and gave it to me as a necklace. I wore it for years then put it away and lost track of it. I found that claw today and it’s getting really dry and cracked looking. I don’t want it to shine and I just happen to have Bag Balm here in the house as I use it for my dry skin. I will now be using it on my bear claw!! Once it looks good I’ll be finding another chain to wear it on. Once again – thanks for the great advice!

    Mrs. DJ Hernandez

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