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  1. #1

    Default resource for smaller half drilled pearls

    First, thank you for a wonderful resource. Love the 2 strand pearl tip -awesome-ness!
    Second, For a best friend's BD, I'd like to post set some small half-drilled pearls in a forged neckpiece. But for the design, small is better. 3-4 mm. But there is a big difference in quality of pearls (duh! sorry for the newbie-speak) - and it would be nice to have quality that matches the materials. Are there any Los Angeles sources that would sell to someone who knows almost nothing about pearl quality? Not even sure what type of pearl to ask for. I've set pearls before...but the quality was...sketchy. Time to move up.


  2. #2
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    near Tucson AZ


    Please tell us a bit more about the design. You want the 3-4mm to be 1/2 drilled? That is a small size for a 1/2 drill on something that will dangle. Will it dangle? It might not be very secure. Could your design adjust to full drill 3-4mm and have a tiny knob at the end? the pearls might be easier to find too.

    Since LA is costume and bead store city, you might you call a variety of bead stores. Or the old time bead and trim stores. Most of them carry nice little drilled pearls, but ask for 1/2 rounds and see what is happening. they will be cultured freshwater pearls and should be quite lustrous. Your eye is good enough to pick the prettiest.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 07-23-2012 at 10:16 PM.

    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.

  3. #3
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    You will need to be more specific with what you want - colour, shape (button, round..), quality and how many. If you can be specific then most of us on-line sellers could probably supply.

  4. #4


    Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate the insights and questions.
    The design: sterling bangle. Rectangular (4mm wide)
    post through silver bangle
    cold connected with an invisible rivet on the underside
    pearl on the top of the bracelet.

    Round pearls and half drilled would be ideal.
    I love looking at pearls, like the look of half drilled because, well, there's more pearl to look at, and I'm not sure I like the options of setting fully drilled pearls. There is always that little knob thing to deal with on the top. I've tried local bead stores, and they tend to have a terrific selection of strands, but no half drilled and certainly not 80 or so half drilled.
    The quality of pearl: Sterling isn't gold, don't need the "gold standard" of pearls, but then it's not plated, or pot metal either. Quality of the pearl should match the material. I guess I need to keep reading and learn about the luster, type of pearl and bleaching vs. natural choices. this initial question was to determine if there was a source in LA to view smaller half drilled pearls.
    I think my visual eyes learn better than my reading eyes do (the reading eyes tend to glaze over after about a half hour of reading about pearls, then they start screaming for visual input)

    Thanks again, for your patience and specific questions ... helped me think about the design and why each element is important.


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