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Book Review - “Pearls: A Practical Guide” (2021) by Wendy Graham

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  • Book Review - “Pearls: A Practical Guide” (2021) by Wendy Graham

    Book Review
    “Pearls: A Practical Guide” (2021) by Wendy Graham
    The Crowood Press. UK. 96 pages


    Itīs not every day that we get a “new pearl book”, since many believe that everything about pearls has already been said before (who said that?!?!?) or has been covered in absolute detail by many other books produced in the past. But the “pearl scene” does indeed change with time, there are advancements in the field of pearliculture, there is creativity at the hands of pearl farmers and there are new “pearl hybrid mollusks” that open up an entirely new crop of pearls to the pearl markets and the loyal lovers of this unique organic gem…and because of this we will always need and enjoy new books on the subject.
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    It is under this perspective that I have reviewed and enjoyed Wendy Graham’s book and let me tell you some reasons why I now have it on my desk for daily use and consultation. I have 5 books always on my desk: Mattlins’ “The Pearl Book”, Newmann’s “Pearl Buying Guide”, Strack’s “Pearls”, Southgate & Lucas’ “The Pearl Oyster” and Kunz & Stevenson’s “The Book of the Pearl”. Of course, I own many, many more books! But these are the ones I always use for a reference and I prefer to use the first two (and now, on my list…why?) because I can look for information faster and more efficiently.

    And although this is not my case: these shorter books are perfect for newcomers since they comprise the most relevant information about pearls without having to use different books or sources. And even if I am what many consider to be a “pearl expert” …my main interest and knowledge lies in the fields of biology, aquaculture, pearl grading, sales and history than in jewelry making, pearl processing and knotting.

    This book comprises the following chapters:
    1. Pearl basics: With all the basic information required to have about mollusk biology and pearl biology 101, the basics about the different pearl shapes and types.
    2. From Farm to Customer: that discusses pearl farming and all the technicalities regarding the production of pearl mollusks, the harvesting of pearls, their processing…even how to measure them.
    3. Buying Pearls: one of the most important chapters for all pearl lovers, since we all want “the best bang for our bucks” and I particularly like how the author covers all possible tracks on how to purchase pearls, from trade shows, auctions, garage sales and even TV and online sellers. This chapter also covers the “Seven Pearl Value Factors” and imitation pearls. Does not skip a beat.
    4. Drilling Pearls: This is probably one of my favorite chapters because I always had a lot of apprehension when drilling pearls and you would want others to understand how delicate this process can be and it is covered in detail, without overcomplicating it. Some good tips are presented here too.
    5. Setting Pearls: another remarkably interesting chapter for me, since it falls under an area that I never fully specialized and having these tips and information comes very handy for me.
    6. Knotting Pearls: this is another interesting chapter for me, since it contains all the basics and pointers required to start your pearl necklace stringing or re-stringing project.
    7. Chapters 7 through 10: feature the most important and basic pearl groups, such as Akoya, Tahitian, South Seas and Freshwater.
    8. Other Pearls: this chapter covers some of the most common “rare” pearls, both natural and cultured, such as abalone, conch, scallop and Cortez pearls. It is a quick reference guide for the unusual pearls.
    So, do I recommend the book? Definitively. It is professionally written, concise, full of information, with good photographs and good paper quality. It will be on my desk, and I do hope the author, Wendy Graham, will issue extra editions to update the information in the years to come.

    The book may be purchased from here: www.pearlsapractical.guide

    Reviewed by Douglas McLaurin-Moreno on March 20, 2021.

    Last edited by CortezPearls; 03-26-2021, 03:23 PM. Reason: typo found
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
    Admin to Pearl-Guide.com
    Pearl Farming Specialist
    Follow Me!
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    Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

  • #2
    I cannot wait until this book is available in the USA! If you follow Wendy on Instagram, she has also been doing a bunch of lectures. Can we convince her to do a zoom for PG members, or is that against forum rules? Any way, I really can't wait to devour this one!
    http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
    Instagram: Ocean's Cove

    Comment


    • #3
      Good morning Jersey Pearl

      I am sure we could...she will actually have her Zoom lecture on the 31st of this month? Let me check!
      Yup! You can check it here: Pearl Webinars - Pearl-Guide.com

      And we could probably have other guests too...it's a great suggestion and I know pearlescence will like it very much.

      Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
      Admin to Pearl-Guide.com
      Pearl Farming Specialist
      Follow Me!
      Instagram
      YouTube


      Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
      Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

      Comment


      • #4
        Well done Wendy and many thanks Douglas for your recommendation and review ! I'll be getting a copy when it's available !
        https://www.instagram.com/pearlzaustralia/?hl=en
        https://www.etsy.com/shop/pearlzaustralia

        Comment


        • #5
          Douglas, thank you so much for your thorough review; I've recently received my copy of Wendy's awesome book and hope to dive into it this weekend! At first glance, multiple photos on almost every page add to experiencing Wendy's nose-to-tail knowledge of everything pearl! I'm completely jealous of her firsthand experience "birthing" a pearl from the oyster!
          Pattye


          PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

          facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

          SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you, but we should thank pearlescence for authoring the book
            I will continue to write reviews for all new pearl books that come across my eyes...I may even do so with older books that have not been reviewed here.
            It's part of sharing!
            Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
            Admin to Pearl-Guide.com
            Pearl Farming Specialist
            Follow Me!
            Instagram
            YouTube


            Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
            Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pattye View Post
              Douglas, thank you so much for your thorough review; I've recently received my copy of Wendy's awesome book and hope to dive into it this weekend! At first glance, multiple photos on almost every page add to experiencing Wendy's nose-to-tail knowledge of everything pearl! I'm completely jealous of her firsthand experience "birthing" a pearl from the oyster!
              Pattye, how did you snag your copy?!? Inquiring minds want to know!
              http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
              Instagram: Ocean's Cove

              Comment


              • #8
                I ordered mine off the Pearlescence website, although I haven't received it yet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sarah, if I recall correctly, there was a preorder on Amazon, and I signed up then. They must have SOLD OUT right away! I'm not surprised at all!
                  Kindle has it available now. Looks like they expect add'l copies of Wendy's awesome book, but not until Sept 1 !!
                  Pattye


                  PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                  facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                  SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was actually not expecting mine to arrive so fast! It was sent via traditional snail-mail and it got here FAST.
                    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
                    Admin to Pearl-Guide.com
                    Pearl Farming Specialist
                    Follow Me!
                    Instagram
                    YouTube


                    Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OOOOO, I just got my copy. I'm in the USA. I ordered directly from Pearlescence website in the UK last week. It arrived quick.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yay! Congratulations!
                        Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
                        Admin to Pearl-Guide.com
                        Pearl Farming Specialist
                        Follow Me!
                        Instagram
                        YouTube


                        Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                        Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the great review, Douglas. I will need to order this from Wendy soon!

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