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  1. #1
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Default Vintage graduated Akoya strand from consignment shop

    I had my eye on this vintage Akoya strand at the consignment shop for a little while, waiting for it to go to half off...then today another 20% off.

    It was grimy! I soaked it for 5 minutes in soapy water before photographing. It needs restringing, of course.

    Knotted as it is now, it's 21.5" long; I assume with re-stringing (and omitting knots between the smallest pearls) it will be about 18"? The 93 pearls range from about 2.5-3mm near the clasp to about 7.5mm in the center. There are a few little flaws here and there but it's pretty clean overall. The clasp is 10K white gold; the strand was probably restrung somewhere along the way.

    The first photo and the neck shot are in natural light next to my open door. The wrist shot shows it under my silver-rose 7-8mm Freshadamas with the largest pearls of each strand lined up next to each other, to give you an idea of relative luster, color and size. (The Freshadamas are a bit more lustrous than the akoyas.)

    Overall I'm pleased with it! I'll post more photos when I've restrung it.
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    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 09-28-2012 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Default Vintage graduated Akoya strand from consignment shop

    Editing to add a different neck shot with the large pearl centered. (Picky, picky! LOL)
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  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I was trying to edit my first post to put a different neck shot in (with the largest pearl centered) and I ended up making a second post instead. Ah, well.

  4. #4
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Very pretty! Sounds like you got a good deal

    - Karin

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Yes, it was a great deal! $12 + change. It would have been an even better deal if I'd waited a few more days, but I wasn't taking the chance that someone else would buy it first.

    Do you think I should knot between the smallest pearls when restringing, or not? It will end up a bit shorter anyway as the knots are loose now.

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Lovely pearls, good luster, you did very well! Yes, I would knot all the way, even the smallest. Do you have another way for finishing the necklace than knotting back through a few pearls at either end? And using gimp?
    Pattye


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  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Thanks for your opinion, pattye! I was just looking at unknotted strands (as they were originally sold, except for a half-dozen knots near the clasp) and wondering if they would look better that way. But I'm leaning toward knotting them throughout.

    I was planning to use 10# PowerPro, assuming it fits the holes, and using gimp. Is there a better way?

    Also: With 93 pearls (and 91 knots to make) how long should the piece of PowerPro be before doubling it? 100 inches? 120 inches? or ???
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 09-26-2012 at 10:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a good plan, PD.

    One general rule for measuring thread seems to be 4x the length of the necklace + 15 inches, according to the "Pearl and Bead Stringing with Henrietta" book. Sarah of Kojima Pearl gave us a knotting lesson at Ruckus last year and she also says 4x plus a little more. I've had good luck following these suggested measurements.

    Especially for Akoya, knotting between each pearl is probably best, to protect from any wear on the nacre. Please do show us the finished necklace.
    Pattye


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  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Thanks, pattye.

    I'm cutting then apart now and wiping each one clean around the driil holes where dirt had accumulated. I've cut 60 of them so far-- and I don't see any pink in the drill hole, so I don't think they were pinked. The very first tiny end pearl had glue in the hole and I think I will have to let that one go. They are really very pretty.

  10. #10
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Congratulations on a gorgeous necklace. It looks lovely on you. I'm sure it will last a long time. Why can't I find these things?
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  11. #11
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    The glue in the pearl may be quite dried out. You might want to poke it a bit with a fine straight pin and see if it will come loose.
    Pattye


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  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Ah, Blaire, these don't hold a candle to your beautiful natural color Hanadamas!

    But the history of these 3.5 momme strands is what makes them so interesting. I imagine this strand was bought in Japan by some young man in the 1940s or 1950s for his lady in the USA. Who knows what path it took after that, but eventually the strand passed to someone who couldn't see past the grime to the beauty underneath, and who didn't want to spend time or money cleaning it up to be worn again. Perhaps they didn't even realize they were real pearls-- or pearls just weren't their style.

    I wonder what the original retail price was for these strands? Does anyone know?

    Edit: I dug a bit and found this [my bolding]:

    "In 1948, The Allied Occupation Forces liberalized the trade of cultured pearls, reopening the door to both the domestic and international markets. Between 1948 and the early 1960s, Japan’s Akoya industry was still living almost entirely off the pro*duction and export of “3.5 momme graduation necklaces?’ The most popular “graduations", delivered by the thousands, had a wholesale price of $7.00 per strand, the equivalent of ~2,520 [Yen] at that time. Higher quality necklaces which were also very pop*ular fetched $10.00 to $20.00 (Y3,600 to ~7,200).

    For comparison, a Japanese male university graduate hired by a Japanese company in 1953 would receive a starting salary of approximately ~4,500 a month. (The large trading houses, however, such as Mitsui or Sumitomo might pay as much as ~6,000.)"


    http://www.imperial-deltah.com/news2...pied_japan.htm



    Pattye, that is a good point and I will try that!
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 09-27-2012 at 02:44 AM.

  13. #13
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I have 92 pearls cleaned up-- the 93rd I could not get the glue and thread out of. I put them on a piece of thin wire as I cleaned them so they wouldn't get out of order. They measure 17" unknotted and without a clasp, and my husband thinks they might look best strung unknotted. Certainly they would be a convenient length. But a few extra inches (90 small knots) would also be a convenient length. I will have to experiment tomorrow.

    Here are some photos -- they look better now the grime is off them and that horrid dirty thread removed. Photos taken under a diffuse daylight spectrum lamp. That's a white paper towel so they are too blueish, but you get the idea. I like that the pearls are white, rather than cream colored; white suits my skin tone more.
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  14. #14
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    If you want to, you could track down a 0.7 drill bit and woosh that gunk right out of that pearl

  15. #15
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I have a hand-held diamond reamer (like this one:http://www.cooltools.us/ProductDetai...FSfNOgodlCoARQ) but it is very slow going even with a large pearl-- the last time I had to ream out a knot inside a pearl, it took me about half an hour! And that was only a small knot last time whereas with this pearl the glued thread goes all the way through.

    Also, I can't seem to hold the pearl still-- it's so tiny that it just slips around between my thumb and index finger. It's even too small to be held by a bead tweezer. I'll set the pearl aside, and if I ever buy a battery powered reamer, I may eventually re-string it, but it doesn't make a great deal of difference if I have to leave one end pearl out, it's so small.

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