My first pearl necklaces! Or, Addiction: Launched

Pearlie Sue

Jan 18, 2021
I got my two new necklaces in the mail today! They're both vintage, which as an estate jewelry collector felt right. Thank you so much to the people who gently advised against buying the Edison pearls and just getting what I really wanted (SSP!). I thought SSP were totally out off my reach, but vintage pearls aren't!

My first necklace is an 18 inch South sea pearl necklace, 11.6mm to 13.20 with a 14k gold and diamond toggle clasp. I don't know anything about pearl value, but these cost less than 100 dollars more than the unstrung Edison pearls I almost bought, so they seemed like a good deal to me! I can tell they aren't perfect pearls, as they have some minor surface blemishes and aren't perfectly round. I'm not sure what the luster is like, never having seen a top quality SSP in real life, but they're much more shiny than any of the freshwater pearls I've seen, and nearly as shiny as the akoya pearls below. They're so beautiful, I think! I figured that they wouldn't give really bad pearls such a nice clasp, and I think I was right.





My second necklace is a vintage 32 inch long (akoya?) necklace with 6mm to 8mm size pearls. It's got a gorgeous 14k white gold and diamond clasp, and I just had a good feeling, again, that poor quality pearls wouldn't have such a fancy clasp. I really know nothing about pearls and I was afraid buying vintage would mean dull pearls, but these are fantastic! So shiny! When the light is better I'm going to look at them more closely for signs of the nacre wearing off, as I've read can happen to akoya pearls, but so far they look very nice to me. Not perfect pearls, as I can see some small blemishes, but they're perfect for me!


Now, when my wallet stops whimpering, I want colored pearls! I still plan to get those freshadama pearls eventually, but for my "starter pearls" I think I'm going to stick with estate. BTW, I plan to restring both of these necklaces to be safe, and I'm going to try to do it myself- fingers crossed!
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Your new pearls are very pretty. I am sure restringing them yourself will go really well. Pearl Dreams has an amazing tutorial in the lowly beaders section. And you are right about the clasps, they are gorgeous.
OOOO, I love that last clasp. A good clasp really elevates pearls from just a strand, to a necklace.
I'm feeling pretty good about restringing. And if it doesn't go well, I imagine this group can help ne figure out where I went wrong. Thank you!
Yessss! There's no way that last clasp is going to go around the back of my neck. It needs to be seen!
Beaders Secret!
but, opinion from others online here, as well as the proud new owner who has them on her pretty neck, the SS look pretty tight as far as knots go, to me. Do they need restringing?

Just, if she’s going to cut a necklace apart right away, maybe the akoya.... I’m sorry for being a busybody:(
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Well, maybe it doesn't? The akoya one definitely needs to be restrung, but the SSP seems more sound, which is why I was willing to wear them today. I read somewhere on this forum that if pearls were worn frequently to restring them twice a year, and since I didn't know when they were last done it seemed safer? Lol, I really don't know! I'm definitely starting out with the akoya necklace, though, and wearing the SSP in the meantime.
Very pretty rope and clasp Pearlie Sue. I would recommend contacting Pattye ( and getting her pearl knotting kit. She sells Serafil thread (since 2013) and it is great for knotting pearls among other tasks!
Gorgeous! Lovely photos! The pearls look great on you and the clasp -as BWeaves pointed out- is a stunner.
Glad to find a new "Pearl Addict" in this great World :D
I've already purchased a kit from her, actually! I'm excited to try this! I love crafty stuff like this
They are lovely and lovely on you. Enjoy re-doing them to suit you! Pattye’s kit is fabulous, and there are loads of helpful instructions and tips here in the beader’s forum. Stringing and knotting is so fun to do, and the feeling of accomplishment is great, too. And of course we would like to see the results if you want to share!
Thanks for the serafil update, Marianne. How out-of-date am I????? Sheesh.
Thank you for the sweet words!! I'm looking forward to restringing my pearls, I think it will go great.
You look glorious in your new pearls, Pearlie Sue!
Can't wait to see what else you'll be adding to your collection...