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  1. #1
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    Default How do I revive these?

    Re-stringing pearls is generally an easy thing for me, unless clients bring me pearls that look like this.
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    Apparently re-strung 3 years ago, which I highly doubt, and have been worn for more than 10 years straight (eek!). Unfortunately she had no knowledge of what chemicals/perfumes/cosmetics do to pearls. I have cut them loose of their silk, and given them a quick clean in plain water & pure castile soap but this hasn't made much difference. Is a salt slurry going to do more damage?

  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Yikes! Think I would suggest she start with a new strand… Interesting to see how the color enhancement had gone down thru the layers of nacre.

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    Very strange! These pearls seem to be worn on middle parts, not around holes. Maybe a long time past rolled by waves on a pebble beach?
    A bath in strong bleach could make a similar effect, but wire would be damaged also...

  4. #4
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    The pearls are worn around the holes, just not as much as around the middle. And the silk, is not silk so they must have been re-strung just VERY badly....no french wire, one sterling silver jump ring on the end.

    Layers of nacre are coming off the ends, like little donuts. You can see one sitting near the knot in the top picture. Due to the client absolutely loving them and wanting to wear them until they wear themselves out to nothing, I have to re-string them for her.

    Is a salt slurry simply fine table salt in filtered water?

  5. #5
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camhatch View Post
    Due to the client absolutely loving them and wanting to wear them until they wear themselves out to nothing . . .
    Can you tell her that they are ALREADY worn out to nothing?

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Cam,

    Wow, these pearls are something else! I've never seen anything quite like that, even with commercial grade, blemished pearls. I doubt any more baths will help either. Clearly your customer cherishes her "character" pearls. I'd just restring and let her know they will continue to disintegrate.

    Perhaps a light application of oil, anything that wouldn't go rancid, and then wiping off thoroughly might help the pearls from looking so dry. If these were mine, I'd do this on a few pearls first to see if it helped.
    Pattye


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  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Wow, those are something else! They must be very sentimental to her.

    Do you think she hopes, or expects, that you will be able to restore them? Before restringing I think it might be wise to tell her that restoring is not possible, and that the pearls will look much the same way after restringing-- just neater.

    She may choose to have them restrung anyway, but at least she won't have false expectations.

  8. #8
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Would changing the order be possible? You could at least move the more lustrous ones to the front. I'd say they were at least 15 years old. Early big pearls were pretty dire and would probably have worn to this.
    It really emphasises how far the Chinese pearl farming sector has come so quickly
    If you know someone who can peel pearls they might be able to strip off the 'contour lines' but the cost might be high, certainly more than the pearls are worth in money

  9. #9
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    My, oh my! You have my sympathy.
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  10. #10
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Red's Avatar
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    I'm with BWeaves. Those pearls are shot.

    I took a quick look at etsy and dyed black freshwater pearls are readily available. This strand happens to be from Pearlland88, which I just grabbed at random.

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    You aren't going to make your strand look like this again.

  11. #11
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I'd hesitate to do anything more than Pattye and Wendy have suggested. If she is that fond of them...lord knows why...then I'd just tell her they are totally worn out and if she was happy to replace a few with some inexpensive ones ( anything will be an improvement) you could add in the nicest ones at the front along with , as Wendy suggested, the best of the strand. Hand her the worst ones that you replaced...not sure how you choose since 80% are 'worst' ... . That strand is a shocker.

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl
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    maybe suggest to make them into something else? like a keychain or a bag decor? That way she still gets to keep the sentimentality and not wear it.

    Lastly, uhm, that strand screams "it's 2018, time to move on!".

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for your input. Will restring as is, and give them a nice little wipe with oil. I knew I couldn't bring them back to their former glory, and I don't think she actually realises how far gone they are. With all my restrings I give the pearls and clasps a clean, wrap in soft cloth and give a small leaflet of care instructions ...I had just never seen anything quite like this before.
    Might just point her in the right direction if she is wanting to replace them completely

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    Maybe it's a question of special feeling with these pearls, about an old story, to see how their owner likes them. Sure they come from the Black Pearl's treasure of "Carribeen Pirates"
    Last edited by ericw; 01-08-2018 at 04:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Agree with you, Eric!
    Pattye


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