"The KJM Collection" - Andrew's Mom's Pearls

Andrew M

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2018
Hi all! :D

Pearl guide has been so welcoming, and I've already been adopted by 3 people here, I think. :)

I thought this might be a fun thread to make, post to, and keep track of my mother's pearls and pearl jewelry!

Everyone has been so helpful in suggesting, commenting on, and relaying information regarding some pearl gifts for my mother. I got to thinking, though, that the pearls I'm getting, while very nice, are certainly not her first or only pearls! Inspired by BN's "365 days of pearls" thread, I thought this might be a cool thread to document pearls she owns and wears. Instead of daily posts, however, I'll just add in when she wears/gets something new, and hopefully everyone will enjoy looking. My mother used to manage an entire jewelry department at JCP, "back in the day," as she says, so there will certainly be lots to photograph and share.

In "real life," I am a professional photographer, so I hope that I can get some good photos of pearls here. I would love to also use this thread as a showcase for some professional photos of models that I take that are wearing pearls. That said, sometimes I'll post a few phone shots, too. At some point, I'd love to create and post a "definitive guide to photographing pearls," as they are certainly tough! All in all, I hope that this thread will serve as a showcase for some awesome jewelry, as well as a documentation of sorts, with a few fun facts about when the pearls are worn. But most of all, hopefully everyone just enjoys looking at some different pearls. :) Every time I have something new to post, or we find something in the jewelry box, I'll post photos on whatever page and update the front page here as a sort of table of contents on where to find things people might be looking for! Eventually, there will be a LOT.

Fun fact about the title: Before my aunt (mother's sister) passed away, the story goes that as kids my mother's nickname was "KJ" - her initials are KM (maiden, KL), so who knows where the "J" came from, but I thought that "KJM Collection" sounds awfully high-end, and it's a way to give a small nod to my aunt. Whenever I borrow any of Mom's jewelry for professional shoots (which happens often!) I give credit for jewelry to the "KJM Collection."

If anyone has any questions about any of the pearls, I'd be glad to answer, or ask Mom and she can answer! She's not a forum user, or really an online anything-er, but she'd be able to share an awful lot about anything in this thread.

So far, many of these have been seen elsewhere throughout the forums, but I'll post them once again, and I'll have something new to post soon!

Truly happy to have found Pearl Guide!




Pg 1 Small strand -- Purchased for Mom by Mom from JCP (Mom: They were on sale, plus my discount!!) ~1990's. They are creamy, with a nice luster, and a generic clasp. Nice pearls, for what she paid! She wore these a lot when she worked in corporate marketing for Chick-fil-A (yum).

Pg 1 Double pearl earrings with small diamond accent - purchased for Mom by Mom from JCP ~1998. They don't seem terribly high quality (mom's words), but they sure are super fun! They are little and casual.

Pg 3 - Small flower inspired gold loops. There is a small pearl that sits in the middle of the loops. Probably purchased from JCP, ~1995. These are a lot of fun, and pretty casual.

Pg 3 - Natural white Hanadama strand. 8.5-9.0mm, with an unusually high thickness of nacre at .7mm. Purchased from PP.


Pg 2 Freshadama triple strand, QE2 style. The pearls do not nest together, but sit apart from each other. Gift from Dad - Purchased from PP for Christmas 2018 -- See good photos on page 2.

Pg 4 Freshwater Button Pearls. These earrings were received as a gift, but I'm not sure when. They look very round from farther away, but almost square-shape up close. They have a textured surface, but are very nice earrings and comfortable to wear.

Pg 5 Freshwater Calla Lily earrings -- purchased from Kohl's 2019 - fun, small, dyed FWP - we liked the design and they were a great price

Pg 1 "Gem Fancy Earrings" 12-13.0mm purchased from Pearl Paradise for Christmas 2018
Pg 1 "AAA Grade, Round" 'intense' multicolor strand 9.1mm-9.8mm purchased from Pearl Paradise for Christmas 2018

Pg 4 "AAA/Gem grade, Round" 'intense' multicolor strand 9.1mm-9.8mm purchased from Pearl Paradise for Christmas 2018 -- NECK SHOTS HERE! Also a few more commentary, some pearl close up.

White South Sea:

Project in progress! Stones sourced for WSS project.... Suspense! :)

Watch this space! ;)

Gold South Sea:

Page 10 pair of light/champagne gold south sea gem quality pearls for a TBD project... I'd love to draw something out to do with them.


pg 4 1.2ctw Brian Gavin studs. These are (maybe?) part of a "project in progress" so watch this space.
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Small Akoya strand:

small akoyas1.jpg



Tahitians for Christmas 2018:


So, funny story - Dad is a terrible, and I mean terrible buyer of gifts. Honestly, who knows how he made it this far. Anyway, I decided this year to not-so-gently prod him in the direction of this, something Mom has dreamed about having for a long time. This year, for Christmas, it'll finally be a reality.

Excuse the bad lighting - I'll post a better lit photo tomorrow, and unveil the "secret" to what they actually are! They sure do look nice though, don't they?? :)
Wonderful tread Andrew M, and I great idea. You seems to be a wonderful son an a natural at buying gifts for your mother. Maybe you should write a book about buying presents to people, I would buy several of those....I have many familymembers who needs this desperately (its true, not a joke). Ones my father bought my mother a strand of imitation pearls, she does not like pearlstrands (more like pendants and such) and he didn't know that they were imitations (printed in the box). In all other things he is a wonderful father and husband though. His giftgiving, though wellment, are a constant source of amusement for me and my sisters. I think that the tahitian strand that you bought for your mother is the most beautiful tahitian strand that I have ever seen. I am sure she will treasure it. Can't wait for more of your photos.
Great idea for a thread, Andrew. I look forward to seeing your Mom's collection & the pearls to be added in the future. What a wonderful son you are!! It will be fun to watch her collection grow!!

PS...you've been adopted by more than 3 members!!
Today was another outing for the little double pearl earrings with the diamond point accent. On second thought, these certainly look to be Akoya. They are perfectly round. They look to be very thin - you can see 'inside' one of the pearls. But, mom loves them anyway.

Whenever I borrow any of Mom's jewelry for professional shoots (which happens often!) I give credit for jewelry to the "KJM Collection."

This reminded me of a little Gone With the Wind trivia. For fans of the film, in the final scene Scarlett wears an enormous cameo at her throat, of a nymph riding a swan. It always captivated me, and iirc, the piece was borrowed from a film crew member's mother's collection.
I would gift that book to my husband. lol... seriously, that T strand is tdf! I could play with that strand all day and never take my eyes off it.
I will happily adopt you. Last year for Christmas, my daughter gave me a coffee mug that said "You are what you eat, you sexy beast." I was speechless. LOL!
Thanks all for the kind thoughts!

I will happily adopt you. Last year for Christmas, my daughter gave me a coffee mug that said "You are what you eat, you sexy beast." I was speechless. LOL!

Ha! That's hilarious!

So, the "mystery picture" is another Christmas gift. It was the one I prodded Dad towards buying, because it was something my mom has always wanted.

From PP, it's a custom order -- triple strand 7.5-8.0mm Freshadama necklace, but instead of a tight nest, they are sat to be approximately 18", 20", and 22". It's a gorgeous necklace!

And, a funny story of triple strand necklaces. Mom has always wanted one, but it has been cost-prohibitive.

One day, I asked her, "Where would/could you even wear triple strand pearls?"

Mom: "They're casual."

Me: "Casual?!"

Mom: "They're casual daily wear for Queen Elizabeth II, aren't they?" (With a raised brow and in a tone as if to say, "so why not me too, obviously.")

Fair enough!

I will post better photos tomorrow. :) Thanks again!
Mom: "They're casual daily wear for Queen Elizabeth II, aren't they?" (With a raised brow and in a tone as if to say, "so why not me too, obviously.")

YES!!!! Says the person wearing a triple with knit sweat pants today.
Oh, I'm a strong believer in wearing pearls daily, with any and everything. I'm a very casual dresser and prefer wearing sneakers over everything. So unless I'm going to the gym, I'm wearing pearls. With sneakers.

And I have a special fondness for triples.

Please share photos if/when you can!
I love QE2's pearls!! I, too, have been known to stack up necklaces into 2's, 3's, &4's & wear with jeans or leggings. I'm with Mom on daily pearl wear!!
Ha! My mom can certainly be a hoot.

Apologies for not posting photos, yet! The days have been crazy and by the time I get home all the decent light is gone since the sun sets at 4:00! Grr.

Photos of the triple strand, soon! It's not much different from your usual strand, but it's more QE2 style in that the pearls do not nest directly on one another - Mom is not a fan. Instead, this strand has about 2" spaces between each.
A neck shot would be much better for these strands, but that can't happen until Christmas! When we ordered this, we saw that PP only has "on the website" triple strands in AAA quality, but we decided to go with Freshadama.

Truth be told, I think you'd be extremely hard pressed to find anything better than Freshadama, given the price and the quality. The luster amazes me! - Especially on the closeup. They almost look like they're approaching the metallic side of pearls. In any case, as promised, here are a couple shots of the Freshadama triple strand:


That's crazy gorgeous. I'm sitting at the keyboard smiling.