My "Pearling" Story...

I love your purple pearls and they go great with your dress. I wear clothes to match my jewelry all the time. I really hope your purples don't fade! I was surprised by that thread. I have some lavendar/pink/peach edisons that I am now watching like a hawk and hoping they don't fade.
 
I love your purple pearls and they go great with your dress. I wear clothes to match my jewelry all the time. I really hope your purples don't fade! I was surprised by that thread. I have some lavendar/pink/peach edisons that I am now watching like a hawk and hoping they don't fade.
The lighter lavender/pink/peach pearls tend to stay the same color, at least that is my understanding. Most freshwaters are in this color spectrum. I think the darker purples are so "desired" and "sought after" that the market for them brought about the practice of dying them; must have been done to meet demand. Apparently the naturally colored darker lavender/purple is more rare. But ask the experts...this is just what I've learned from reading about it from the experts. Certainly others on this forum know much, much more.
 
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I posted this necklace on another thread. It is a 10K gold strand with genuine pearls, but I was not sure of the "type" of pearls, because of the size and shape. The consensus was that they were most likely dyed Akoya pearls. The whites are natural Akoya, the "Tahitian" looking ones and the "South Sea Golden" ones appear to be dyed Akoya pearls. I love this lightweight strand. It can get tangled easily in storage so I have to be careful storing/putting it on, but once I'm wearing it, it stays in place. It is 10K Yellow Gold with tiny diamonds in the center finding that keep the chains straight. It is so light you hardly know you're wearing it. Looks so good with blacks/whites and yellows in clothing. I guess I'll have to start shopping for a new shirt to match it! Picked it up on EBay as an estate find. The little finding by the clasp is super cool. I've never seen a chain divider like this on the end of a gold chain. It appears custom made.
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Good morning everyone! I had a rough weekend...my sweet older mother started experiencing "stroke-like" symptoms and after a trip to the ER and Hospital, we learned she has an inoperable brain tumor. She will be on seizure meds to control issues. She is at peace with it, but this is yet another reminder to BE KIND, to everyone, and WEAR YOU PEARLS, SHARE YOUR PEARLS and use your pearls to bring joy to others. I get so many nice comments on mine and I am always so appreciative of these words of kindness, and I then turn around and affirm others.
Hope this strand makes you smile! I'm wearing it today. 10mm White not sure if they are Akoya or FW...you are welcome to chime in on your guesses. All are perfectly round, good pinkish luster.
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I am truly sorry to hear about this @MotherOfPearlTrumpet
Yes, we should all strive to live to the fullest...and surrounded by loved ones and pearls.
 
Happy Monday everyone! We are experiencing a RARE cool front in South Texas (late April). It's in the 60's! Wow, that is nice for us. Usually by now it's a steamy 100% humidity mid to high-80's. (However, Texas' humidity and warmth is perfect for Pearls).
Wearing my LONG strand of baroque blue Akoya pearls and my thin leather strand with a SS White oval shaped pearl. I found the Akoya strand vintage and didn't even need to restring it (at least not yet). Beautiful shades and luster and all the bumps and points are super cool on these beautiful baroque pearls. They are much more silvery-blue in real life. The South Sea white was my first attempt at drilling one of these thick nacre pearls all the way through, gluing gold end pieces on it, and then stringing it. I used drill bits starting with .6mm, then .7mm progressively up to 1mm in order to enlarge the pearl hole slowly. The last time I tried to drill from a smaller to a larger hole too quickly it cracked the nacre (on an Akoya, not South Sea). Guess that is because the Akoya nacre is so much thinner and couldn't handle the larger bit without catching the nacre and cracking it. I didn't want to take a chance on the SS being damaged. It was a good practice/learning project. That South Sea just picks up every bit of light, even the reflections of the pearls beneath it!
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Also, on baroque Akoyas (and most other pearls too) the "tips" have plenty of protein deposits, which make them easier to crack. There are these hand "reamers" I believe they are called? You use them to slowly and safely enlarge an existing drill hole.
Quite inexpensive too!
Check this one out
 
Oh yes, Douglas. Another forum member gave me a link to them and I've ordered them. I'm not sure, however, I'd like to "hand-ream" a 1/2 drilled pearl the rest of the way through, unless that is what is recommended. I love the pearl drill bits, just needed some practice using them. They changed my pearling life!!!
 
I'm reading so much about "Pearls by the Bay" and wishing I could go. Perhaps some day. Weekends are work times for us lowly musicians. When I retire I want to visit a Tahitian Pearl farm, see pearl farming in Australia (and visit Paspaleys to drool over pearls...) and attend at least ONE Hong Kong pearl market (and meet people I've done business with like Etian Konig), and attend at least one US Gem Show.
Until then, I'll just keep stringing, following all of you, enjoy searching this site and the internet for unique and amazing pearls, and designing my own jewelry...perhaps to sell later. I do enjoy seeing everyone's designs and learning so much about all of you, and about pearls on this forum. Someday we'll meet at "Pearls by the Bay." Have fun together this year; you all sound like such good friends!
I found this little finding with a cheap drop shape freshwater pearl on it. Purchased it because I had a 9.5mm South Sea that needed a "home." It turned out so pretty. Just thought I'd share it. I love finding a beautiful "marriage" between pearl and finding.
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When searching for pearls, I came across this little packet of 7 Mikimoto pearls, in a sealed (stapled) plastic bag with this little card inside. They were fully drilled and I can only assume they went with a Mikimoto strand and the strand/extra pearls had somehow gotten separated. I paid an acceptable price for the pearls and rather than just leaving them in the bag I worked them into a 55" strand of 4mm pearls with a similar color and quality. I wear this as a triple strand but I suppose it could be knotted and worn long in front. I decided to string/knot this incredibly long strand to protect these little beauties. I used such thin silk you can't see the knots...that was my goal. I'll bet Mikimoto doesn't include this extra little bag of pearls with their necklaces any more. There wasn't one with my strand.
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Wow, such a long strand and a gorgeous one at that! Those Mikimotos fit in perfectly.
 
My pearl journey begins here, and my guess is that only pearl lovers will care to read this. In my younger years I always loved admired pearls. As a newly employed Legal Secretary (just out of college) I would go on my lunch hours and look at pearls in the downtown high-end jewelry shop. I eventually saved up enough to purchase a nice 5mm 22" strand and 7" bracelet. For many years, this was the ONLY pearl jewelry I owned, and they were reserved for special occasions only. (Why do we do this with jewelry anyway...) Fast forward to Christmas 2019 and a looming Pandemic.

Years before, my mother had received a LOVELY 3-strand 6.5mm Akoya necklace with a diamond clasp from my father. My daughter wore it at her wedding (something borrowed). Then, as my mother aged, she found she was not wearing her pearls often enough; as she always said, "Pearls are meant to be worn." So, my daughter inherited the strand from my mother that Christmas 2019. As a stay-at-home Mom, my daughter told me that she would not have a lot of opportunity to wear such a fancy 3-strand necklace but would love to have a single strand for dates, church and special events. So I did some research and found a reputable pearl restringing service, purchased 3-14K yellow gold bow clasps and sent the strand off to be broken down and restrung into 2-18" necklaces and 1-7" bracelet. They came back restrung and lovely! However, I did not check the clasps before sending everything off to be strung (and neither did the restringing service), and unfortunately one clasp was defective. Ugh! I noticed this when trying on the newly restrung pearls. The clasp seller did exchange the defective one for a new one, but I had to decide if I wanted to pay yet again to ship/insure/restring/ship back AGAIN. So, I asked myself, "How hard can this be...I'm handy an crafty." I looked on YouTube for videos on how to restring pearls! Then, I practiced on cheap beads, eventually moving to inexpensive freshwater pearls, and finally graduated to my mother's Akoya strand. I WAS HOOKED. So many challenges along the way, and still, so very, very much fun.
(Looking back, it would have been WAYYYYY cheaper to just have those pearls restrung again! Hahaha.)

Now, 2 1/2 years later, I have an extensive collection of pearl strands with new and vintage clasps that keeps me excited about wearing jewelry every day! During the course of my endeavors I was able to take the CPPA "Pearls as One" pearl course and was able to become certified. What a blessing that course was, as I searched for the next perfect strand to re-work. There is NO WAY I can show you everything I've done; it will take many postings. However, I will get started today! Perhaps someday I'll sell some of these lovely strands, but for now, I just love the collection. South Sea Whites, South Sea Goldens, Blue Akoya, 2.5mm to 10mm Akoyas, WWII Graduated Strands, Kasumi Pearls, Freshwater pearls of many colors, rice pearls on a 15 strand fat rope necklace (I used the diamond slide clasp from my Mother's original 3-strand necklace), Tahitian blues and grays, even mixing crystal beads and other stones like Jade and Lapis with pearls. I have found designers of quality findings as far away as Israel, who have crafted special clasps and enhancers for me, and found US suppliers with current stock of lovely gold and gold filled or rhodium dipped silver findings that are perfect for so many different needs. To me, the clasp is as important as the strand. My goal is that the clasp/earrings/bracelet values should appropriately match the value of the pearls.

Now, I'm ready to start sharing what I've done with all of you. It has been especially fun to find you all, my pearl brothers and sisters, who share the passion and love for this wonderful creation of God, Man and Nature. Thank you Mr. Mikimoto for perfecting the cultured pearl process!

So, here it goes. Not sure if I should start a whole thread of my own to share these creations (or if I'm even allowed to start a Thread of my own...?) , or post to existing threads. That's why I am starting here on "Show Us Your Pearls!" I'm open to suggestions as to how to share what I have with the rest of you. Posting on the Forum is new for me.

Blessings and thank you for your shared love and interest. I seek only to encourage others and grow in my own knowledge of "Pearling" (the new VERB my daughters lovingly referred to what I do in my spare time). I look forward to continued learning from all of you.

Webster's Definition: Pearling /ˈpərliNG/, noun. 1. the activity or occupation of diving or fishing for pearl oysters. "Pearling was an exciting yet dangerous occupation."
My Definition: Pearling /ˈpərliNG/ verb. 1. the disassembling, reworking, and restringing of pearl jewelry to fill ones time with beauty and new creations. 2. the act of working with pearls, including but not limited to: drilling, stringing, threading, matching, arranging, loosing in the carpet or on the work table, etc. 3. the search for pearls (anywhere, but especially online) to create new jewelry. "Where's Mom?" "She's upstairs pearling again."

Pictured below is a 6-strand Akoya mixed size necklace. The clasp, such a beautiful/unusual/amazing find, had 6 strands of gray Keshi (2-2.5mm-SO tiny...) on it. I painstakingly restrung the Keshi with a different method on a 18K White Gold clasp. I'll share that later.
For this necklace, I worked hard to find varying sizes of Akoya pearls that would work well together. 2-3mm, 1-4.5mm, 1-5mm, 1-5.5mm, 1-6-6.5mm. I was so happy to find all of these different strands and have them match so well in color and quality. It was quite a search. The true challenge was getting the lengths to work. The necklace is 18" long twisted (19" untwisted) and the clasp is 14K Yellow/White Gold with tiny diamonds. The connector opens on both sides and clips around the center "ring." There is a 14K yellow gold heavy bead at the clasp location on each side of each strand to keep the pearls away from the edge of the clasp. It made for a better transition between clasp and strand, rather than cinching the pearls all the way to the inset "grid" on each clasp end. I was really happy with how nicely it turned out.

Enjoy! I am so happy to share this with all of you. Definitely one of my "later" endeavors on the "Pearling" learning curve. (Wanted to make sure the image was large enough to really see the detail.) I'm just getting started. More pictures and stories to come, that is, if you approve.View attachment 462645
Good job! This is beautiful!!
 
Very nice! The resulting strand is quite out of the ordinary!
 
Here is another "out of the ordinary" strand I just love. I wear a lot of olive green since that is the color of my eyes, so when I found these 3-3.5mm tiny "African Zebra Stone" beads I couldn't resist. I've mixed them on a 2-strand shorter necklace with some 3-3.5mm off-round Akoya pearls. They are layered with a lovely 18KWG Diamond finding that I removed the Gray Tahitian Pearl that came on this finding (and incorporated the Tahitian in a layered pendant) and replaced it with an INCREDIBLE cream colored high-luster 9.6mm South Sea Round pearl that I found loose from a gem/pearl collector. I just love the variances in the Zebra stone. And the SHINE of that South Sea...still takes my breath away. I love studying it under a bright light. It's picking up every reflection in the room. Earrings are 9mm white South Sea rounds.
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Here is my latest find...a 15mm X 16mm South Sea White pearl set in 18KYG. The surface is almost flawless and has the most lovely pinkish tone. I purchased it on an auction and I got it for a wonderful price. I wish I could remove the basic finding and put it on something more valuable, but the last time I tried to remove a bale like this, it wouldn't budge. So, I'll just leave it this way. The minmalist finding allows the luster of the pearl to be the focal point.
Must be so much fun to open a shell and find a pearl like this one!
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Hope it's not wrong to post this picture in two different places...but it is part of "My Pearling Story."
These are my 9mm Vintage Akoya Pearls and a strand of 8mm Blue Akoya pearls with silver/purple overtones. The earrings are 7mm Akoya with a lovely 14K gold swirl and diamond-mid 80's design.
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Here is my latest find...a 15mm X 16mm South Sea White pearl set in 18KYG. The surface is almost flawless and has the most lovely pinkish tone. I purchased it on an auction and I got it for a wonderful price. I wish I could remove the basic finding and put it on something more valuable, but the last time I tried to remove a bale like this, it wouldn't budge. So, I'll just leave it this way. The minmalist finding allows the luster of the pearl to be the focal point.
Must be so much fun to open a shell and find a pearl like this one!
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Get some glue dissolver (usually sold along with superglue or available on ebay and similar). Slosh the dissolver around the finding then put it into a small ziplock bag and wait. Take out every couple of days and very gently wriggle to see if it has come loose. If not top up the dissolver and back into the bag. I've known it take nearly two weeks sometimes. But eventually it will come loose.
Even the most seasoned pearl farm workers take joy in pearls. I recall the head of the operations at a south sea farm in Indonesia simply stopping and gazing at a pearl. (It was gorgeous btw)I enjoyed his reaction.
 
Get some glue dissolver (usually sold along with superglue or available on ebay and similar). Slosh the dissolver around the finding then put it into a small ziplock bag and wait. Take out every couple of days and very gently wriggle to see if it has come loose. If not top up the dissolver and back into the bag. I've known it take nearly two weeks sometimes. But eventually it will come loose.
Even the most seasoned pearl farm workers take joy in pearls. I recall the head of the operations at a south sea farm in Indonesia simply stopping and gazing at a pearl. (It was gorgeous btw)I enjoyed his reaction.
Awesome suggestion...I will try this. Good to know it won't damage the pearl. I always worry about that!
 
Today I'm sharing a 3-pearl pendant I created out of "leftovers" that just couldn't be left in a box. I didn't want the pendant getting too long so I decided to try something new. Instead of connecting the pearls with dangle type findings, I used leftover 14K 3mm earring posts and cut the longer part to fit the next pearl. The little diamond pendant finding was the only thing I had to purchase. I can't wait to share the silvery Akoya strand that the top pearl came from, but I'm saving that for a later post. For today, a 3-Pearl Pendant, Silver Akoya, Aubergine Tahitian and Gray Tahitian. 8.4mm, 9.3mm and 10.4mm respectively. Simple and lovely.
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