Is there a fix?

takays

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Mar 10, 2024
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Hi, I have search and search and can not find my issue online. My daughter wants to wear her great grandma pearls at her wedding. My mom brought them to me with a warning that they are discolored and in bad shape. They were brown and looked like dried shriveled peas. I followed the cleaning instructions I read on this forum and WOW they are almost white again. But still shriveled. Is there any way to fix them? I read that they are porous, is there anything that I can soak them to help? We will have them restung so I'm not worried about the silk. Here are before and after pictures.
 

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They look like imitation pearls that were made to look that way. If I'm right, then I think washing them removed the coppery colored coating.

Do this: rub two of the pearls together gently. What do you feel? If they glide smoothly, they are imitation. Real pearls feel gritty.

As they are sentimental, she can still wear them to her wedding if she wishes. And if you want to save money by restringing them yourselves, we have a tutorial right here on the forum on how to do it.
Link to my tutorial: https://www.pearl-guide.com/threads...ing-on-serafil-beaders-secret-power-pro.6604/
 
I just want to add that it was quite common for women of that generation to wear imitation pearls. My late mother-in-law had a strand of pearls that her husband had given her, which she wore with great pride. The whole family thought they were real. It was only after she and my father-in-law both passed away that I got a close look at them. They were imitation.

My mother was given a strand of Majorica (imitation) pearls by her mother in the late 1960s. I wa a teenager then and used to look in her jewelry box to admire them. She and my grandmother thought they were real. She wore them night and day in her final years, when she had dementia. They meant a great deal to her.

Many famous women wore imitation pearls. Jackie Kennedy's famous three-strand pearl necklace were imitations made by Kenneth Jay Lane-- as were Barbara Bush's pearls.
 
Thank you.
They look like imitation pearls that were made to look that way. If I'm right, then I think washing them removed the coppery colored coating.

Do this: rub two of the pearls together gently. What do you feel? If they glide smoothly, they are imitation. Real pearls feel gritty.

As they are sentimental, she can still wear them to her wedding if she wishes. And if you want to save money by restringing them yourselves, we have a tutorial right here on the forum on how to do it.
Link to my tutorial: https://www.pearl-guide.com/threads...ing-on-serafil-beaders-secret-power-pro.6604/
Thank you. I think you are right. They are smooth when rubbed together. Sad my grandma was so sure they were the real thing. And weird that they are dented like that. I'm sure she will still wear them as grammie loved them so much. But now I can stop trying to fix what's not broken. 😁
 
"Thank you. I think you are right. They are smooth when rubbed together. Sad my grandma was so sure they were the real thing. And weird that they are dented like that. I'm sure she will still wear them as grammie loved them so much. But now I can stop trying to fix what's not broken. 😁"

Yeah, imitation pearls come in all shapes, sizes and surfaces, the better to look real.
As to feeling sad about her believing they were real, look at it this way: they were real to her, so she had all the pleasure of that belief.

Your daughter may enjoy wearing a pair of real pearl earrings to go with her great grandma's pearls. At my own wedding I wore an imitation necklace but real pearl studs.
 
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