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Is it Normal For White FW Pearls to Darken a Bit With Wear?

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
Hello. I noticed that a white FW strand I bought a few months ago and wear almost daily has darkened half a shade to a bit more creamy in color. The luster is not affected. I put them on last, take them off first, wipe them down after wearing them. The overtones are more pronounced be it rose or ivory on each pearl. Is is just me? My skin is clean and no perfumes, make-up or lotion is in contact with the pearls. No one in the house smokes. The pearls are from Wren on Etsy.

I bought two metallic FW strands from Wendy and before I string and wear them I was hoping to gain a better understanding of how FW pearls react. For example, if slight darkening is normal with frequent wear I might just wear the ones from Wendy only occasionally to keep them white. If the darkening is not normal and perhaps to be expected with "cheaper" pearls I might wear the metallics more often without concern because I know they are better quality.

Thanks in advance!
 

Marianne

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Nov 1, 2008
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I have not noticed any color change in my white freshwater pearls after wearing for over 10 years (keshi) and 8+ years for the bead nuked strand. Lots of wear time.
 
Last edited:

BAS

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May 25, 2013
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1,957
I have not noticed any change in my white pearls. I have white ripple pearls, white akoya, white CFW, and white pinked Hanadama. One strand is a gift from my parents 45 years ago...
 

BWeaves

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May 13, 2015
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6,428
My pearls have never darkened. They can sometimes yellow if they are kept in a box for years and never worn.

Are you wearing any perfume or cream or sunscreen that might rub off on the pearls? Do you smoke? Do you spray hairspray while wearing the pearls? Any of those items might coat the pearls. You could try giving them a gentle bath.
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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I have one strand of small fwp that seem to be slightly more cream in color than they were when I first bought them 6 years ago. But that is all.
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
Thanks for your replies. I am not sure if it is just my OCD kicking in. Here is a pic of the necklace with some earrings that I made from the same strands. The pearls (not the bigger baroque pearls on the ends) were put on the earrings and I have only worn them twice. Do you see a difference in the pearl color? Thanks!

IMG_0638.jpg
 

BAS

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May 25, 2013
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1,957
Good example of the infinite shades of white... every pearl pictured is a different shade of white. I see pinks and golds and greens and taupes.

Your earring pearls may always have been "lighter" than the pearls they are next to in your photo.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it!
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
I think the mystery is solved. I highly suspect a luster treatment coating was put on these pearls. The necklace is mixed with pearls I bought from Wen and another Etsy seller (US based). Wen's pearls are easy to differentiate because they are potato pearls and on the necklace they appear whiter.

I used a 30x loupe. I compared the US based Etsy vendor's pearls to the ones I received from Wendy and Wen's pearls. The surface on the darker suspect pearls are different, smoother, more glass like then Wen or Wendy's pearls. I then looked at the dents on the darker suspect pearls and around the dents the light reflects back violet, not white. I then took a fingernail and rubbed into the dents and a layer of something powdery came off. I repeated this on other suspect pearls with dents and the same thing happened.

So I can't prove it but I believe they are coated with something and that something is now turning darker. I then went through another strand that I bought from a Chinese Etsy vendor and under the loupe I see the same glass like surface. But even better- I see what appears to be a small black hair under the coating on one pearl.

On the plus side- I feel like I can wear Wendy's pearls without worrying they will change color and turn dark. And I learned my lesson on buying from pearls from Etsy from vendors who are not known to me or are not members on this forum.
 

Heart

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Mar 3, 2019
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May I clarify please :) so pearls from wenPearls from Etsy was the one turning dark ? Or the pearls from US seller ? Thanks
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
May I clarify please :) so pearls from wenPearls from Etsy was the one turning dark ? Or the pearls from US seller ? Thanks

The US seller. I contacted the seller and they said they have sold these pearls for 10 years and have never had an issue. I took another pic. The 2 strands on the right are made with the US seller's pearls and Wen's pearls. The one strand on the left is a newer strand from the same seller. The pearls I question were white like the new strand.

In the photo you can see that the potato pearl from Wen on the necklace (2 strands on the right) is still white. All the pearls were that color when I made that necklace a couple months ago. So I am very confused as what I could be doing wrong to make these pearls turn dark. The US seller sounds sincere in their denial. But I just don't know and am very disappointed.

IMG_0636.jpg
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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No question there is a difference in color there. Probably it has nothing to do with you; I'm thinking your seller's source is purchasing from factories that have changed their processing / treatments.

Anyway if you have not yet shown the seller your photos, I would do so. The seller may want to change who they buy from.
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
No question there is a difference in color there. Probably it has nothing to do with you; I'm thinking your seller's source is purchasing from factories that have changed their processing / treatments.

Anyway if you have not yet shown the seller your photos, I would do so. The seller may want to change who they buy from.

Thanks Pearl Dreams. To note I have worn these pearls about 6 weeks and I did send the seller this photo. The seller's reply is "Natural pearls are very porous, overtime if you wear it, it’ll turn, because of external containment, ( perfume, makeup, sweat, environmental containment.)"

I am going to string up the pearls from Wendy. If they change like this too, I am just going to give up on FWPs.

Thanks for the replies everyone. :)
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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The seller's reply to you is absurd, because while those things can happen to pearls over time, they would not happen in 6 weeks!! It seems that seller does not care that the pearls she sells are substandard.
 

Heart

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Mar 3, 2019
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57
I see :( thanks for the heads up and yeah I hope they’re sincere as well
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
Thanks Pearl Dreams and BWeaves. The vendor who first said my wearing of the pearls (absorbing skin oils) has now sent me articles on how to whiten yellowed pearls and how NOT wearing them has caused them to yellow. I am really disappointed in this vendor. Here is what the vendor sent me.

Here read this: www.jewelryshoppingguide.com/cleaning-yellowing-pearls/

Here read this: www.jewelry-secrets.com/Blog/why-do-pearls-turn-yellow/


Quote: “Yellow Pearls are Fake?

Some people bring their Grandmother’s Pearl Necklace in saying “I thought these Pearls were Real!”

People are under the impression that Real Pearls don’t Turn Colors. “If they Turn Colors, they must be Fake or Synthetic.” Wrong! That’s farthest from the truth. Those Pearls are Real… Fake or Synthetic Necklaces won’t turn Colors!

The only way to keep Real Pearls from Aging, Drying out and turning Colors, is to wear them!”
 

Gemandpearlover

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Jan 13, 2019
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536
Ok- I think I am making progress in getting an explanation. The vendor now admits that sometimes "an AB coating" is applied to the pearls. "but keep in mind all freshwater pearls are bleached, and sometimes, to keep the color, the manufacture plates with ab. Its a film that make it look like it has more luster than it does, and adds a layer of protection."

I take that to be Aurora Borealis coating. I looked it up and found a seller selling AB coated pearls for crafts and they have that violet look that I was describing that I saw in the dent blemishes of the pearl. I think it is possible that if AB was used it pooled into those dents giving it that violet flash.

Anyways......it is a good learning experience for anyone considering buying Etsy pearls from unknown vendors.
 

cmd2014

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Sep 18, 2014
Messages
308
I was going to say that I have seen imitation pearls go yellow, not real ones. The plastic darkens and eventually looks more like cream/tan colored beads than pearls.
 
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