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Guide to Cleaning and Caring for Pearls

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  • Originally posted by Cathybear View Post
    I must add... Thank you Caitlin!
    Also for complex designs that would cost a bomb to have restrung, if you could find someone willing to do it, powerpro is ideal.
    I know I've strung some longer necklaces that I really wouldn't want to have to do again.
    I am the world's worst salesman, but the PP speaks for itself, if you buy some. The tip I will be the most famous for........! TeeHeee!

    So Lloyd, as Wendy said, this is not the first thread on Power Pro. Look around on the Lowly Beader's Forum for lots more and even controversy with the silk lovers! Ooooooh, it got really tense for awhile! Those silk lovers are incredibly loyal!
    Last edited by Caitlin; 07-27-2011, 07:57 PM.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

    Comment


    • Hi,

      I have a lot of pearl jewelry from my mother and she never told me how to take care of it. I have a very nicestrandof south sea pearls that are worth a lot and recentl noticed that it has a lot of indentations and little spots on the whole strand that it didn't have before. Can I everse this damage? I am so frustrated when I saw this.

      I'm desperately needing help.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • Hello Pearl lover 98, Welcome,

        Could you please put up a close up photo so we can see what you are talking about? Use a white paper towel for a background, and the macro setting on your camera. Have you avoided spraying the pearls with hairspray and perfumes when you wear them, by putting them on last? Pearls can have natural indentions, but it would be most helpful to see a photo.
        Pattye


        PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

        facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

        SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

        Comment


        • Hi Amanda,

          its the fall season in California. Should I still left a damp tissue in my jewelry box? Should keep that tissue wet through out the season. I pay so much money for my pearl and I don't want it to be damage. I want my pearl to last a life time.

          -Kenny

          Comment


          • Originally posted by KennyLieu View Post
            Hi Amanda,

            its the fall season in California. Should I still left a damp tissue in my jewelry box? Should keep that tissue wet through out the season. I pay so much money for my pearl and I don't want it to be damage. I want my pearl to last a life time.

            -Kenny
            Kenny, you don't need to put a damp cloth in your jewelry box. Amanda was referring to long term storage in a safe (or safe deposit box) which can be a very dry environment.

            Comment


            • HI
              Unlikely. wearing them may mprove the luster. Over the years I've seen 1960"s 1970-"s Japanese Akoya become creamer. For what ever reason the pink color faded. I think they are prettier especially if worn a lot.

              Norm
              pearlman@mlange.org

              Comment


              • Hi
                I must take issue with you about acetone. it may not affect the crystalline structure but the organic area is different. Be safe just use clean water. Washing a finished strand just
                transfers the dirt to the silk. When restringing they should be transferred to a cotton cord which cleans the inside of the holes quite well.
                pearlman@mlange.org

                Comment


                • (CH3)2CO may not harm the nacre but H2O2 will. Solvent are bad, alcohol as well.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by jshepherd View Post
                    I would personally suggest finding someone in your local area that can string pearls well. Knotting pearls well takes practice, and if you only have a few strands that need upkeep, you would be better off with a professional stringer. Treat the strand like the cleaning of your fur coat (faux fur coat - sorry, the Angelino coming out in me), about once a year. Unless you have a keen interest in beading, the $10-$30 you will spend on the reknotting will outweigh the cumbersome task of learning to string.
                    Silk is not as important as many think. In fact, the large majority of stringers "double knotting on silk thread" are either using nylon or a silk nylon blend. I do not really believe one is better than the other - one just sounds better. Almost anything coming out of Asia (both Japan and China) is not strung on pure silk.
                    Our firm has knotted and strung since 1939. Started by my mother. I've done it since, hurts to say, and silk-silk-silk-silk. We don't need to double know because we stock 10 or so different weights of silk from OOO to FF....The brand of FFF is Gudebrod. The brand of Japanese silk is Tire and the weight is grams per 100 meters, I think, . If the correct silk size is used double knotting is not necessary and if the double knot is not on top of and is next to previous knot. you have a problem to redo the knot. Whats done right and proper in this day and age has slipped by the wayside but still exists no matter what field, If you want cheap you get crap, and blah blah blah.....too much coffee.
                    Norm
                    pearlman@mlange.org

                    Comment


                    • Baby South Sea exposed to fire

                      Hello,

                      Someone told me that exposing your pearl to fire can help determine if it's real. So we tried one using a lighter (just a few seconds) but after doing so we read somewhere that this is bad. What can I do to my pearl now? Part of the surface kind of changed. I don't see any cracks but I think that part of the surface have small bubbles and are now dull.

                      There are also scratches on the pearl since the jeweler who made the pearl earrings had to mark them so we know that it's the pair we bought (We burned it after we brought the pearls home). Need help please!

                      Comment


                      • Golly mogget, I hardly know where to start. This is a disaster!

                        First, they weren't actually baby south sea pearls, thank goodness- that is a just a sleazy name for freshwater pearls.

                        What ever possessed you to hold a fire to it?

                        Whatever possessed your so called jeweler to make marks on a pearl?

                        Or why is your trust so low, he needed to prove he didn't switch them out?

                        You can't fix the fire damage done to the pearl or the scratches.

                        My advice, write this pair off,start over again and buy some freshwater pearls from someone honest.
                        Caitlin

                        How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                        My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Caitlin View Post
                          Golly mogget, I hardly know where to start. This is a disaster!

                          First, they weren't actually baby south sea pearls, thank goodness- that is a just a sleazy name for freshwater pearls.

                          What ever possessed you to hold a fire to it?

                          Whatever possessed your so called jeweler to make marks on a pearl?

                          Or why is your trust so low, he needed to prove he didn't switch them out?

                          You can't fix the fire damage done to the pearl or the scratches.

                          My advice, write this pair off,start over again and buy some freshwater pearls from someone honest.
                          We were told that Pearls measuring 8 to 9 millimeters are called baby South Sea pearls. Googled it and it looks like it's not an official term used for smaller south sea.

                          About the scratches from the jeweler, he had to mark it (according to him) since we had to pay and come back the next day since it had to be drilled and the made into a pair of earrings. He didn't have ready made ones. Almost everything was in it's "raw" form. Hence the markings.

                          About the fire, for the life of me, I don't know why we tried it. I guess out of curiousity and ignorance and I'd give my arm to go back in time and not do it.

                          Someone suggested that I can go to another jeweler and have them "buff" the discoloration and scratches. Before I do that, I thought it best to ask around for anything else to be done...Sigh, yes this is a disaster...

                          Comment


                          • Mogget, I'm sorry about your experience. "Baby South Sea pearls" is the term some sellers use for freshwater pearls, because they're trying to deceive people into thinking the pearls are actually SSP.

                            I've seen jewelers used lighter to take off South Sea pearl from gold mounting, and the pearl came out fine. However I've been informed that for freshwater pearls, fire/lighter won't burn it but will leave marks/discoloration. Maybe you can try buffing them, but I'm afraid that as Caitlin said, there's nothing you can do to fix the pearls to their original state. It's better to find replacement, since loose freshwater pearls in 8-9mm size are abundant and can be quite affordable.
                            Indonesian South Sea Pearls and more...
                            http://www.etsy.com/shop/IndoSeaPearls

                            Comment


                            • Mogget, that is a sad story!

                              I do not understand a jeweler needing to mark the pearls just to identify them as yours. He could just as easily have put them in an envelope or bag with your name on it to avoid mixing them up with someone else's order until he was ready to work on them-- and then he could return them to the marked bag or envelope afterward to be sure the right ones were returned to you.

                              Unless it was you who asked him to mark them, because of not trusting him? If that is the case, find a jeweler you feel you can trust next time.

                              I've never heard of exposing pearls to fire deliberately-- wow!

                              Comment


                              • Hi Mogget,

                                Where are you located? It is interesting for the story. I'm guessing it's somewhere outside of Europe/USA. The easy way to test if pearls are real rather than fake is to gently rub them against each other or against a tooth. If they feel slightly gritty rather than smooth they are real pearls.

                                You can try to check the prices of single FW pearls the size you've got using the links of the vendors on this site. That should give you some idea of the replacement value. In case of FW they are solid nacre so it might in theory be possible to polish them, but I don't know if it'll be worth the effort.

                                Take heart! You're certainly not the only one here on PG who found their way here through mistakes.

                                - Karin

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