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  1. #1

    Default Curious about this strand I just bought

    Hello everyone,
    Here is my pearl strand. It is 24" and the pearls are 9mm (according to the seller). I haven't measured them yet but this seems right. They are gritty against my teeth and seem to be round or very close to. I have worn it a couple times but after reading here and looking at my close-up photos, it's clear this needs a re-string (and a cleaning, but this terrifies me as I'm afraid I'll damage the pearls), so I won't wear them for now.

    I'd love to hear what you all think about them. I believe they are older cultured Akoya, but I am not sure. They have lots of 'imperfections' - most of the pearls have little bumps which you will see in the photos. To me, they are beautiful.

    Thank you again for your expertise.

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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Hi Pärla, welcome to Pearl-Guide!

    I think you have a vintage strand of semi baroque akoya pearls there. That pearl in your 4th photo looks like its nacre is damaged. When restringing you could omit that pearl, if you like.

    Washing the pearls will not hurt them. I suggest you use a bath of warm filtered or bottled water (to avoid both chlorine and hard water minerals) with a mild soap or baby shampoo, or Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap added. Let them sit in the soapy water for 10 minutes or so and swish them around a bit, then rinse and lay them on a towel to dry. Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe away grime, which tends to accumulate near drill holes.

    Many of us restring our own pearls, which is actually not difficult if you use a synthetic thread and flexible wire needles-- no special tools needed. We have tutorials on our Lowly Beaders Club forum.

  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Parla,

    Agree with all PD has mentioned. Washing and restringing will only make your pearls look even prettier and be more secure. Because of the special insert type clasp you have, I would not put it to soak with the other pearls. In the photo, it appears the gromet isn't sitting tightly against the pearl. Check the clasp part to make sure it is securely glued in, no wobble, if nice and tight, just wipe down that pearl with a damp cloth. Perhaps you will want to change out the clasp. A great size and length, baroques are my favorite!
    Pattye


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  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Pattye makes a good point-- the grommet could come unglued if soaked.

  5. #5

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    Thank you both so much for this info! I had no idea they might be baroque - That's why I find their imperfections so pleasing - they aren't really imperfections at all (except for those like the damaged one that Pearl Dreams noted). I will definitely find a mild soap and wash them. Should I remove them from the string to do this (sorry if this is a silly question)? I am intrigued and would like to try restringing myself. I will definitely check out resources on Lowly Beaders etc.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    If it looks like there is a lot of dirt around the drill holes (and maybe inside the drill holes), you could cut them apart one by one and string them in order onto a long, plain white cotton thread doubled onto a flexible wire needle. Then wash them while on this thread, rubbing them back and forth on the thread to clean the drill holes.

    When removing the old thread, be careful not to pull the knots into the drill holes as they are likely to get stuck. Pearls are typically drilled from both ends so there is a narrow part in the center. I use a very sharp razor-type craft knife or box cutter to cut through each knot, then carefully pull the bit of thread out. Tweezers help.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    When removing the old thread, be careful not to pull the knots into the drill holes as they are likely to get stuck. Pearls are typically drilled from both ends so there is a narrow part in the center. I use a very sharp razor-type craft knife or box cutter to cut through each knot, then carefully pull the bit of thread out. Tweezers help.
    Thank you for this information! I will definitely use a pair of tiny scissors (like those curved ones for nose hair haha). I'm a bit nervous about the 'keeping them in order' while unstrung, because I have a 1 year old, a 3.5 year old, and a near-5 year old, and as soon as any of them notice I am concentrating hard on something that isn't one of them, they find it impossible to leave me alone. I'll have to get a sitter for a couple hours

  8. #8
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    As soon as you cut a pearl loose, immediately string it on something, either wire or a temporary strong thread. When you are ready to do the real stringing, everything will be in order, and again, go one pearl at a time, keeping the rest on the temporary string.

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