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  1. #1
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Default What kind of metal do you prefer for your pearl findings?

    I am curious to know what metal you all prefer for your clasps, bails and earring findings?

    Do you have different preferences for items you buy vs. items you make yourself?

    Gold or silver?

    If silver, do you seek out Argentium?

    If gold, white or yellow?
    Also, what is the lowest karat you would buy? (In the USA 10K is the lowest karat that is still considered "gold" but in other countries there is 9K gold.) What is your most preferred karat?

    I'll start first.

    When I make jewelry for myself I tend to use 14K yellow gold-filled, vermeil, or sterling silver findings; I use gold-filled wire and Argentium wire also. I tend to take apart and rework my pieces after a while if I find I am bored with them, so the lower-cost metal findings are a good choice for me.

    As time goes on I may replace some of those gf/vermeil findings with 14K gold for the jewelry pieces that have stood the test of time.

    When I buy pearl jewelry, however, I only buy yellow gold findings, 14K minimum, but I loooove 22K gold.

    How about you?

  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Alex's Avatar
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    Hi Pearl Dreams

    Rose gold can look quite beautiful with the right kind of pearls - especially some Tahitians

    but it is quite difficult to find, and there is usually an on-cost disproportionate to the K-content, but in line with the lower volumes sold......
    Alex

  3. #3

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    Love 24K and 22K, 18K and platinum. I have some of each of them. Also have LOTS of 14k and sterling. I have never really gotten into vermeil for myself, although the 22k vermeil is really nice. And I have equal amounts of white, yellow and rose gold. I love it all and wear it all, even mixing it.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Well, PearlDreams, lots to talk about!

    For me personally, I've worn a 2-tone watch for the last 15 years. I used to be a blonde, but now gone silver! So mostly I wear white metals. Use the hand cast oxidized sterling clasps in fun themes whenever possible. Cool toggles, and the like.

    For the items I sell, try to offer a mix, what might seem most appropriate for the piece, generally sterling silver and 14k gold fill. I think someone could make a killing if they would do lines with great findings in 14k or 18k white gold fill and rose gold fill. A few designers work in karat green gold, love it too! I have some rose gold vermeil I haven't used yet.

    Argentium seems to be offered more widely now, with more choices, and Stuller is offering higher quality and elegant designs in sterling, which is nice to see.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It's so interesting to read others' preferences in metals!

    I have some jewelry handed down from my Italian relatives which is 18K with a reddish tone, and I do love that color for gold. Pattye, my hair is turning white, too, and that is actually one of the reasons I favor yellow gold more than I used to when younger-- too much white metal seems to make me look washed out. But when I say yellow gold, I mean golder gold-- deeper yellow. i have some of the 22k vermeil spacers and love using them; I may look for more 22K vermeil items for future pieces.

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    I prefer gold at all times, but I tend to wear off vermeil in a matter of weeks so I'm stuck with having to save up for the real thing. One exception is the vermeil clasps from Nina Design. I much prefer the warm color of 22 K gold from India. Finding (and paying for!) 22K or 18K findings is not an easy task, though, so I do use the vermeil clasps for the pieces I make for myself.

    - Karin

  7. #7
    pppp pearl Senior Guide Member dmj's Avatar
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    Platinum is always the best also titanium is a good material for jewellery only platinum is easier to handle as a jeweller

    There are always people that react on gold or silver some people get red skin others really can handle it that's why you need to make sure you buy quality materials when you buy white gold make sure it's made white white Palladium and not nickel because there are lots of people who can't wear nickel

    Silver is cheap platinum expensive what you like to wear is up to you budget if you can't wear silver and like white color buy platinum or white gold when it's to expensive buy titanium

  8. #8
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    I was really surprised that there is still nickel in silver in the US (it's been banned in the EU for years) because it so often causes problems.
    For those who still have problems it might help to find a jeweller who can work with fine silver and 24ct gold - no additives
    I've got a lot of vermeil and gold filings and bits, I have a plan to melt them down and see what the resulting metal looks like and have a play with it (wonder what the assay office will make of it though!)

  9. #9
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Amanda's Avatar
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    I like platinum a lot, the weight of it is fantastic. It's not pearl, sorry, but my engagement and wedding rings are platinum (dearly beloved's wedding ring is platinum, too, to match) and I think they are wonderful. The solidity and density is very attractive, as well as the look and feel of it.

    But, sadly, I can't afford platinum in everything, so I go for either white gold or sterling. Yellow gold doesn't suit me (I'm fair haired, and it makes my hair look dirty). You don't ever get nickel here in the UK, as Wendy has said.


  10. #10

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    I am sorry if I am a bit off topic. I have no experience with beading, but i am designing a necklace for my wife. The necklace is an off round, 9-11mm peacock Tahitian. I have not seen the pearls yet but from they appear to be nice quality, although not entirely blemish free. I am trying to stick within a budget, but i want to make this necklace stand out and have an elegant look. I can't afford 14k diamond rondelles, but I was looking at Bella's after seeing positive comments from some of you and noticed they have rhodium plated SS diamond (not cz) that would seem to work--and fit budget. I am a bit concerned about tarnishing, but I would think the rondelles would be exposed to very little wear and tear sandwiched between the pearls. Are rhodium plated SS rondelles a reasonable choice for a necklace like this? If so, what size rondelle should I use? I was thinking 8mm, but I was concerned that might be too big.

    Oh, for the clasp, i think I am going with a 10mm white gold stardust clap. :-).

  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    I love husbands who go the extra mile for their wives. I cut costs by using vermeil (gold plate over silver) or sometines rhodium-plating over silver. So far, just the slightest bit of tarnishing (mostly none) and they have served me well both (more than 5 years) in seasonal Melbourne and tropical Singapore (think hot humid Bali).

    I think the trick for me is to bag all non-gold pieces in miniature ziploc so as to minimise exposure to the environment. The only time my jewellery was severely tarnished was when I exposed them to Queensland's sea breezes just by living beside the sea (no chlorine or saltwater at all, I swear) for a week.

    All the best!

  12. #12
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Hi est190,
    You have a very fortunate wife! The roundel with diamonds that I see on Bella's site appears to be 9mm with a very large hole (can be a problem when stringing as it will rub against the pearl and unless filled with a smaller bead, kind of rattle around on the stringing material). Also these are blue diamonds which would look nice with some Tahitian overtones, but not with all IMHO. If you want to introduce some sparkle and metal to the necklace and have settled on the stardust ball clasp, you might consider a few round stardust 14K beads. (not too expensive and more easily separated from the pearls with careful knotting). Look forward to seeing the finished piece!

  13. #13
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Jewelry boxes lined with anti tarnish flannel have worked well for me. Anti tarnish strips are available to add to an existing drawer or jewelry box. Yardage is also available online.

    Est, not sure which roundel you mean, but commend you for taking on such a challenging project!
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  14. #14
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    A word of caution about rhodium plating-- it is electroplating and very thin.

    My white gold wedding band was rhodium plated to increase whiteness of the metal; every year or so I used to have to have it replated at the jeweler's (the plating wears off due to contact with the skin.) I finally quit replating it due to the nuisance factor.

  15. #15
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    I've recently seen some finished jewellery here which is sterling with a layer of platinum - I wonder if that is harder. I've never seen such an offering from any findings house. Does anyone have any info?

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