My "Pearling" Story...

Today I'm wearing my Tiny Akoya Strand of 3mm/4mm/5mm Akoya pearls with some 3mm 14KWG diamond cut rondels. I layered that with my amazing 14X15mm South Sea 14KWG Diamond Pendant. I purchased this heavy white gold chain for this pendant. I also have a 3mm "pearl chain" that I wear with this pendant but liked the white gold chain look better with this necklace. You can even see the reflection of my computer monitor in the pearl!
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Both are gorgeous!
 
Those tiny Akoyas are a beaut! And then the large one adds on top!
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An almost lifetime ago, I worked in downtown Houston for a law firm. I would go to one of the jewelry stores downtown and eye the pearls. The only ones I could afford were these lovely 5mm Akoyas. I put them on lay-away (remember that, before credit cards) and paid them off slowly. They were 24". I eventually saved and got the rest of the strand and had them make a matching bracelet. Treasures, I loved wearing them. These two pieces were my first pearl purchase...it was probably 1983. Then, years later my husband gave me a diamond pendant for our 6th anniversary and then later an anniversary band with 11 small diamonds for our 11th anniversary. I found that I didn't wear the pendant and ring as much for various reasons (babies pulled on the chain with the diamond pendant and constant hand washing with lotion kept the diamonds so cloudy). So, I had them custom made into this gold diamond pearl enhancer. My daughters have memories of us visiting IWMarks in Houston, several times, until the jeweler got the design correct. It was Christmas-time and there must have been a bad song loop on the "canned" music playing in the store because "Once in David's Royal City" refrain played over-and-over-and-over-and-over. My musical kids were going CRAZY...I'm sure the store employees were too!

I've worn this piece for almost every special occasion from that Christmas on; as well as at all my daughters' weddings. This was before I got into pearls. I've since shortened this lovely strand of Akoyas to 18" and wear it with the enhancer. I also picked up a cheaper strand of 5mm Akoyas to wear the enhancer when I need a longer necklace (rather than using a pearl shortener). This enhancer has such a "marriage" history and I love that it keeps changing, just like me. Since realizing the true value of vintage Akoya pearls, I don't stress over wearing it any more... It is such a special piece.
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An almost lifetime ago, I worked in downtown Houston for a law firm. I would go to one of the jewelry stores downtown and eye the pearls. The only ones I could afford were these lovely 5mm Akoyas. I put them on lay-away (remember that, before credit cards) and paid them off slowly. They were 24". I eventually saved and got the rest of the strand and had them make a matching bracelet. Treasures, I loved wearing them. These two pieces were my first pearl purchase...it was probably 1983. Then, years later my husband gave me a diamond pendant for our 6th anniversary and then later an anniversary band with 11 small diamonds for our 11th anniversary. I found that I didn't wear the pendant and ring as much for various reasons (babies pulled on the chain with the diamond pendant and constant hand washing with lotion kept the diamonds so cloudy). So, I had them custom made into this gold diamond pearl enhancer. My daughters have memories of us visiting IWMarks in Houston, several times, until the jeweler got the design correct. It was Christmas-time and there must have been a bad song loop on the "canned" music playing in the store because "Once in David's Royal City" refrain played over-and-over-and-over-and-over. My musical kids were going CRAZY...I'm sure the store employees were too!

I've worn this piece for almost every special occasion from that Christmas on; as well as at all my daughters' weddings. This was before I got into pearls. I've since shortened this lovely strand of Akoyas to 18" and wear it with the enhancer. I also picked up a cheaper strand of 5mm Akoyas to wear the enhancer when I need a longer necklace (rather than using a pearl shortener). This enhancer has such a "marriage" history and I love that it keeps changing, just like me. Since realizing the true value of vintage Akoya pearls, I don't stress over wearing it any more... It is such a special piece.
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Aww what wonderful sentimental value and memories. It's lovely MotherofPearlTrumpet.
 
UPDATE! Here are my completed Freshwater Pistachio/Avocado Green pearl projects: double strand necklace 18"/19"with a double gold/diamond clasp (vintage), single strand bracelet with a gold/diamond leaf clasp (custom vintage), dangle earrings and a gold/pearl station Tin Cup strand that is 24" (cut apart a 16" gold chain I got for a good price on EBay and used half-hard 14K gold headpins for the connection points).
Now I can't wait for Fall and to break out all my green clothing and start wearing all these pretty green freshies!
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Very pretty and they make a wonderful set. I wouldn't be able to wait to wear them.
 
I posted this on the "Show Us Your Pearls in Action!" Thread, but wanted it on my history thread as well. Here is the 3-strand Akoya 3-Color strand I completed. I found the silver strand knotted and the blue strand with no knots. I already had the historic graduated white strand. When contemplating how to use these unique colored strands (e.g. tin cup, separated with other beads or stones, etc.) I decided too much work went into sorting and creating these unique colored necklaces for me to break them up. When realizing that the main pearl is the SAME SIZE in all three strands it made sense to put them together. Because I wanted the white in the middle, and because I could find extra blues available on Etsy (to make the bottom strand long enough to hang correctly) the color order ended up being exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately the extra 2" of 3mm blues were MORE EXPENSIVE than the whole blue strand! Oh well, the things we do to make a pearl creation work. I did end up stringing these on fine pearling silicone covered wire and using some silicone separators at the last few pearls. I did this to be able to create a better flow between the pearls without having the wire show at the clasp. The silver on top was a little short and I couldn't find any more silvers...plus I didn't want to cut apart the other two strands to make them shorter...so there are 4 white pearls next to the clasp on on the silver strand. Getting a 3-strand to work properly is not for the faint hearted!
It's so fun when a project comes together like this did. It is pretty on the white display bust, but so much better on skin. On the photo the big pearls don't line up, but when wearing them, they line up perfectly. I'll take a "wearing it" shot later. It's way too HOT to wear high-end strands of pearls in Texas right now. 102-105 most days with heat indexes in the 110-115 range because of our humidity! I've been wearing pearl pendants instead. Easier to wipe down after sweating!
So excited to share these with my "Pearly" friends.
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Your pearl knowledge is EXPANDING at a great rate, and so is your beautiful pearl collection!
Congratulations @MotherOfPearlTrumpet :love:
 
Hello pearly friends. Hope your summer is going well.
I'm still waiting on that circle diamond/gold clasp with the screw ends to be fixed at the jeweler. Sometimes I try to explain to him what I need and he, being Korean, isn't always clear on what I have in mind. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully he'll get it right and I can move forward with my Tahitian strand.
Until then...
Sometimes you need a necklace for a specific color outfit. I wear lots of different shades of green and have zebra stone, jade and other greens. I found these fun lime green freshwater pearls. Also these African Jade polished twist stones that look so great with white freshwater pearls. I just love the marbling in the twisted jade! Variety is the spice of life!
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Hello pearly friends. Hope your summer is going well.
I'm still waiting on that circle diamond/gold clasp with the screw ends to be fixed at the jeweler. Sometimes I try to explain to him what I need and he, being Korean, isn't always clear on what I have in mind. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully he'll get it right and I can move forward with my Tahitian strand.
Until then...
Sometimes you need a necklace for a specific color outfit. I wear lots of different shades of green and have zebra stone, jade and other greens. I found these fun lime green freshwater pearls. Also these African Jade polished twist stones that look so great with white freshwater pearls. I just love the marbling in the twisted jade! Variety is the spice of life!
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Both are lovely but that lime green one would go perfectly with what I have on today, lol.
 
This post isn't about pearls specifically, but IS part of my Pearling Story. As I mentioned in another thread, I am helping my local jeweler "redo" her display cases. She has had the original cases for 17 years, since the store opened. Display cases are so expensive so she had some built. They are definitely a local cabinet maker grade, but they do the trick. However, they need to be freshened up. They currently have the original laminate covered sides and bases, including inside where the jewelry is displayed. Because she doesn't like the laminate design, she has put plastic tablecloth material on them; reminds me of the "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" couch covered with plastic to keep it from getting stained. :ROFLMAO:The cases are supported with exposed metal shelf standards! So, to cover those up, she wrapped them with glitter edged ribbon and stuck silk flower bunches in the ribbon wrapped supports. Yikes! A glitter mess, and 17-year old faded fake flowers (you can sort of see the flowers in the 3rd photo). Definitely NOT what I want to look at when deciding on a $1,000 to $3,000 ring. But, her prices are outstanding!!! So perhaps her customers don't mind the display because they are getting such a good deal.
She helped me so much with my mother-in-law's jewelry authentications an has also been a huge help with authenticating clasps/diamond/gold on the items I regularly re-work. This amazing Vietnamese woman has become a true friend. Wanting to help her and her business I offered to take on this challenging and sizeable task. She's buying all the materials, I'm just donating the labor and design.
I probably wouldn't have taken this on, but I found some fantastic bonded leather in white at JoAnns craft online and it was top grade. Originally $50/yard and I was able to snag 20 yards for $14/yard! As I said, I don't think I would have taken this "gift job" on without this fantastic deal. The leather is so incredibly beautiful.
My husband has all the saws/tools necessary as well as the skills to cut the wood I needed. He is a former cabinet builder and learned from his grandfather. He was so sweet to both support me and help me with this project. What a good soul, no complaining whatsoever. Last night we cut all the wood needed for the bases. The supports you see in the "BEFORE" photo he cut so that I could remove the shelf standards and cover them and the cases would have support in the meantime.
I tested the project by completing 2 cases to make sure she liked the finished result.
BEFORE PHOTOS: (Sorry, I guess I didn't get the fake flowers in the picture...maybe that's a good thing...) In the first photo you can see the platform displays that I have already recovered with the leather.
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Drum roll please...here are photos of the first finished case with the leather covered shelf standards. They look so clean and professional. Now I don't mind looking at all those amazing rings and necklaces!
With the rest of the wood cut, and all the shelf standards sitting in a bag in my garage, it's time for me to get to work! I'll do this a little at a time, and she can gradually see her store being transformed. I just LOVE the graining on this beautiful bonded leather. It would make a great couch...with NO plastic cover.
I told my husband he can thank HER...I'm not spending money on pearls these days because of this project!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
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Great Job! Looks so clean, neat and professional. A major improvement :arms:
 
Earlier in my pearl journey I made 5 matching necklaces with metalic freshwater pink/purple/peach color pearls. I gave them to my daughters on MY birthday. Beautiful Rhodium Sterling Silver bulky clasps that are easy to work coupled with leverback CZ stone earrings, pearl mounted to the bottom. This is when my girls got the first wind of just how much I LOVE them and how much I LOVE pearls! I put a sterling silver charm with their first initial on their necklace. The rondels are CZ with rhodium sterling silver so they won't tarnish. All the girls love them.
My strand is shown larger and more in the pink/purple range only. The girls' necklaces are a good mix of all colors.
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