Show us your very first pearls?


purveyor of pearls UK/EU
Aug 18, 2007
I've just started reading Jeremy's book and it set me to remembering my first pearls - them wot started the whole thing really. I dug them out and as I was snapping some pearls for an advert anyway I took a very quick pic of them.
They are really badly strung, gaps, the french wire is all stretched out, but for modest potatoes they have a good smooth surface and pretty good lustre. (not my stringing)The colour is an unusual champagne/straw/gold. I bought them as photographed and fell in love with pearls. That was about eight years ago.
A bit after that I found out you could buy pearls on eBay - I stayed up all night to bid on some crimson sticks - still have them.
And the rest is history, although I'm still surprised by how it has all developed since then
How about other forum-ers? Jeremy?(If I may be so bold?)
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The first photo is of my very first pearls from my parents. They gave them to me when I was 16. I think they're akoyas--17 inch strand--6.5-7mm.

The second photo is my own first pearl purchase.
AAA Freshwater bracelet from PP.

I just very recently got into pearls, and oh how I love them!

Pearl Paradise AAA bracelet
Here are my first pearls. I wear them as a bracelet now, but when I was 8 (1949), the first time I wore them was to the opera. They came from my grandparents who lived in Bahrain at the time and were super-into Bahraini pearls.

mickeys pearls 003.jpg
Yes. That is the origin of my lack of interest in PPB's. I was taught from a young age that PPB's were vulgar and only naturals were real pearls.

As an adult, I have become extremely fond of CFWP- because they are solid nacre and thus look more natural than the PPB's do. Now we have them in gem quality and in my warped mind, they are the only cultured pearls I love. (Well, I have one Sea of Cortez mabe and one Tahitian pearl from Josh that matches the Cortez pearls (almost) in absolute beauty. I will photo them when I get them set in something wearable.

I also had a natural color (silver blue) akoya strand and my youngest had me make them into 2 bracelets with leftovers for earrings. She loves them and because they came from Jeremy, I know they are way better quality than the eBay scam akoyas.

I don't rage against PPB's any more. I realized they are the only viable alternatives for pearl lovers who can't afford naturals and that is most of us. Besides the keshi of various sea pearls is often faboo and they too, are solid nacre.

Still, my Bahraini babies are my first love and my favorites.

Below are Zoe's akoya bracelets

web Zoe akoya bracelets.jpg
Good thread! My wife has certainly owned pearls most of her adult life (and her mother is a true fan), but she isn't posting here. My story begins in the Cook Islands in 2006, and my first purchase (for my mother-in-law!) was the object on the left, which was at least relatively grayish upon purchase (subject of this thread). Nonetheless, nothing to get excited about, and I merrily continued enjoying a memorable holiday.

Then we wandered into another store and saw an educational cross section showing the internal structure of a cultured pearl, and I was quite turned off (not the store's intention, obviously).

Another store, meanwhile, had a small display of the local natural pearls from Penrhyn, the so-called poe pipi, from the tiny P. Maculata oyster. Their bright shine, and the assurance of being 100% pearl, made a strong impression despite the small size. We purchased this 7.5mm drop (very large for the species), the most I had ever spent on jewelry to that time, and simultaneously noticed the rare natural pearl necklace 'Te Poe O Te Kuki Airani'—inspiration for the research that eventually led me here…

My first set of pearls are FW and not as pretty as my newer ones. :D

Edit: Oops, just realised the topic. Hmm, no pictures. Not too motivated to snap some A grade loose beads (they broke and I never took it to be restrung after owning prettier ones).
I like this post
Here is my close to very first one
China pearls mixed with kyanit

BUT ...

Oysters too were curious, said Alice ...

So when I learnt China pearls were made without nucleus, I took a screwdriver, put it in drilling hole,
had a knock hammer on :eek::eek:

and here is what I saw .. layers and layers of nacre
then I knew more about pearls,


even the photo camera did not like it;)


You are funny! I think we all have been curious like that and taken the (whisper) hammer and--------------------*#*#*!!!! It's the curious little kid in us, right???;) I like that mix with pearls and kyanite!

so many pearls, so little time
Well, here are my 2nd and 3rd pearls, first a 5mm akoya, yikes, needs it's little sterling clasp polished, seldom worn then, and much to short to wear now, will probably be given to granddaughter. Probably purchased by spouse in the 60's??


Here is the Biwa pearl ring. It was picked out by me and purchased in Lahaina, Hawaii while on vacation in the early 80's. The pearl itself was 25mmx8mmx6.5mm approx. Very much the size of a large, thick bar pearl. It had orient, colors were multicolor copper, silver, yellow and white. I had to photograph the appraisers photos, which were quite dark to start with.


My very, very first pearl was a single pearl pendant, probably 7.5mm or so on a silver chain, a gift from a high school boyfriend in the (gasp) 50s, and long gone!

so many pearls, so little time
I am sorry for posting this picture again but this is how it started.
My first pearls.

In a non-discript chain jewelry store in Amsterdam which was not supposed to have anything decent. And here they were, my mabe earings of the most unusual colour I've ever seen. I am still unsure if they are Tahitians or Cortez sea pearls (Josh said they are within the range of Tahitians, Douglas had his doubts) - but whatever... God knows how they landed in this shop. I started searching for information about their origin - and now there is no end to this passion :)

And I still LOVE them, they are most adorable!



You are funny!

*#*#*!!!! It's the curious little kid in us, right???;)

so many pearls, so little time

You know I am found of litterature as well as pearls, so I l o v e this one :

Cervantes said: " never leave the hand of the child that' s inside us "...

sorry that's my traduction

I still have mine, wear them and love them to death. You can't see the earrings, but they were 5mm pearls in a 6prong setting; all gifts from my childhood-to-adulthood best friends.
The bracelet, GFilled, at age12 (48years ago now, no wonder the pearls are worn to nubs) from Janie;
the earrings 14k, at age 16, from Valerie;
the pendant from Lori, at age 16(?)

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No wonder you treasure the pearly gifts from your children, Lisa! They are very special.

Was the wedding gown your mother's?
Hi, PD! Yes, that was my Mother's wedding gown, but her version was very much a 50s gown. She had a Peterpan collar, sweetheart bodice and full length narrow sleeves. She was also bustier, so I just constructed my own top over her bodice. (The photograph is warped a bit, I actually do have a bosom, lol) I'll find her portrait and add it.

My first pearls were all from my friends.

My son bought me a cfw set a couple of years back that I made into a necklace that I twist and wear as a bracelet.


I've bought some lovely pearls myself since 2009, but The best pearls I've got are from dear, dear people, close to my heart.
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Caitlin - what are PPBs??

Lisa - you look beautiful in your wedding dress and your pearls are lovely!
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Thank you, hanadama.
I've enjoyed the threads you've started:)
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PPB's = "pearl-plated beads" -- a term referring to thin nacre akoyas. I think Caitlin coined the phrase.
A bead with so little nacre on it that the bead shows through lacks luster and can hardly be considered a pearl.

Edit: Hmm, re-reading Caitlin's post, I think she meant the term to refer to bead-nucleated akoyas generally.

Certainly compared to solid-nacre pearls, any pearl with a bead inside is literally a nacre-coated bead. I suppose it's all how you look at it. Akoyas have the thinnest nacre, Tahitians have more (.8mm or more), and SSP have the most. But there's a bead in all of them, unless they are keshi.

For my part, as long as the nacre is thick enough for both luster and durability, I don't have an issue with their having a bead inside.
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