My First Pearls (Not From Wal-Mart!)

That's right! So lovely that you get the giggles :)

I'll post a new comment with things that I learned, and copy pattye's advice from our private messages, when I have time and am safely back at home. But I know all you nice people have been waiting and wondering so here they are! (It took twice as long as expected because when the time came to put the earrings together, I broke the gold. Yes, I did practice before I tried. A lot. A lot a lot a lot. To anyone else trying to use gold wire, my first advice is to get 24-26 gauge so you can bend it a bit more easily, and don't try to save money by getting inch-long headpins. Splurge for two). These are Tahitians on rhodium sterling silver/cz findings. :)


Ear shot! They do dangle just a little, which is why it's sitting at a slight angle in the pic. I was twisting my head trying to get the camera angle right from my ghetto cellphone. LOL.


Bam. I like them very much, but no, I'm not satisfied. I'm already scheming for my next pearls...alas.

More to follow!
Oh no no no, I like them just fine. They're lovely. I just meant that one pair of good pearls isn't enough. :p I've gotta catch 'em all!
Oh, well, can't argue that! Many pearl earrings are ​required, not options here.
The earrings are terrific - great job! Be sure to share your further adventures.:)
Pearl Dreams, not pattye (although you were lovely to talk to as well!). Forgive me. D:

As promised, I am putting up the genius ideas of our expert. :D

"Hmmm, I'm just looking up what Argentium items are being sold on Etsy. There are 98 pages of Argentium earrings which could give you ideas, and 3 pages of Argentium earring findings specifically as well. Here is one that looks interesting:

That's a spiral post with an interchangeable style; if you make a head pin dangle with a simple loop, it could thread onto the post finding.

Here is an idea: Form these adorable lampwork headpins ( into a French Hook, angling the flower to point forward while making a small dip so the wire can accept dangles interchangeably. Use a plain headpin to make the pearl an interchangeable drop, with a simple loop at the top that you could thread onto the French hook.
Like this:

If you do this, practice first with cheap gold tone/brass/copper headpins from your local craft shop, or a similar length of 24 gauge craft wire. It's not hard to form a French hook, but it's still a good idea to practice with materials you don't mind wrecking as you learn.

To work harden the ear wire (so it is strong and springy and holds the shape afterward), I like to hammer it lightly with a nylon head mallet (see: ) Never hammer over crossed or wrapped wires however, or they will break.
The nylon mallet is a great tool to have on hand for any future projects and worth the modest cost. It doesn't mar or deform the wire in any way, just toughens it by compressing the molecules. Be sure to hammer over a completely smooth and hard surface (I use a tiny steel anvil but a steel block would work fine also-- or anything very smooth and hard that you already own.)

If you prefer to flatten part of the wire instead for a different look, use a chasing hammer (but this makes the hammered part harder and more brittle, so don't overdo it.)

I just bought a small jig yesterday so I can make more wire loop designs -- there are so many things one can make! (Look at these earrings, for example-- the seller used a jib to form the loops:

And I ordered this book, which I had previously seen at Barnes & Noble (but couldn't buy at the time):

With a few simple tools you can really do a lot." -PD

My note: YOU REALLY REALLY NEED TO PRACTICE BEFORE TRYING TO USE GOLD WIRE. It's hard, it's brittle, and I practiced but not enough because the wires still broke, so take that suggestion as gospel. Also, invest in longer wires, at least 2".
Cute plumeria setting found by PD:

Etsy shop with pretty findings, once again courtesy of PD:

Tip on jump rings (for making earring jackets): "In case you didn't see my updated post on your thread, I decided that 4mm is too large a jump ring-- it peeks out from under my diamond studs. Not good.

I don't have smaller ones on hand to try with buy I would go to 3mm size next. If that fails, 2mm. (As long as the post and the wrapped loop fit through, it's big enough. Rio Grande sells jump rings that small.

Also, I have discovered that white gold filled findings do exist, though are harder to find. (Just in case you don't want to spring for the price of gold.)" -PD

I thiiiiiiiiiink that should cover any information not already posted by Pearl Dreams, it was lovely of her to share her designs earlier in the thread and yes, they do work. :) I have my dangles now but the pears are essentially charms, so I could switch them out into a jacket any time I want, although something I would recommend for anyone wanting to try it is investing in chain and not relying on headpins. My first attempt at an earring jacket was extremely short and hung awkwardly right off the ear, so I'm not going to try that again until I get decent chain to work with.

Thanks again, everyone, for all your wonderful help! I'm sorry I took so long to do this...definitely fit into the lazy island lifestyle. XP
Found it, so giving the conversation a bump because it contained so much great information!

Please remember we can Rate this Thread, up above the posting section to the right of the page. The more stars for excellence, the easier it is to find.
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You're welcome! Pearl Guide is such an amazing resource, I thought it'd take all day to find it. I feel awestruck so many times as I re-read stuff, thank you all for sharing!
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