Suggestions need on what to do with some pearls

  1. When my daughter was born, my in-laws bought one of those "Add-a-Pearl" necklaces and for about 8-9 years would add one or two pearls each year. Then they told me the pearls were too expensive and they wouldn't continue it.

    When my daughter was born, I didn't know much about pearls and told my Grandmother to NOT buy the Mikimoto pearls she wanted to get for my daughter, because of this add-a-pearl deal. :crybaby: (I'm kicking myself now...)

    So, now I'm looking at pearl necklaces and probably going to buy one for my daughter for her 16th birthday. A year from now. Might be 18th. Not sure yet. :P

    In the meantime, what could I do with those "add-a-pearl" pearls? I don't think they're very high quality and they're VERY tiny. Should I just keep the necklace intact with the 15 pearls on it? It looks silly and I know she'll never wear it that way.

    I can't think of any ideas on what to do with them. Any suggestions????

    Thanks!!! :yes:
  2. Maybe turn it into a bracelet? I don't know anything about those "add-a-pearl" deals--but, if it's not top notch quality, you won't have to freak out if she breaks the bracelet:smile:

    Good luck!
  3. I definitely think a bracelet is the way to go with the add-a-pearl. You could have it made into a bracelet and with the extras have some earrings made.

    As for a pearl necklace, there are many independent artists (including myself) who make high quality pearl necklaces. I just recently completed one for another tPFer and she and her husband loved it. I won't mention her here - she can if she likes. My point is that as an independent artist I am not charging for the "name" - I'm not Tiffany's even though my work may meet up with their quality (if I do say so myself LOL).


    Hand knotted on 100% silk thread - 14k gold heart clasp - and they are so much more beautiful in person. :P

    I just don't think that a good quality pearl necklace needs to cost $10k. Find an artist who knows what they're doing and don't pay for the "name".
  4. I never thought of a bracelet - thanks! I will look into that. Am thinking that maybe somehow a jeweler could shorten the necklace itself and just make it a bracelet without removing all the pearls... I looked again last night and there are 24 pearls on it and about 4" worth... I don't like the larger pearls in the center, but oh well...

    Add-a-pearl has a website: Add-A-Pearl Web Site - Pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings

    CastoCreations: that necklace is gorgeous!!! It never occured to me to find an artist. I may be contacting you! :yes:
  5. twoharley - Thank you so much. :smile: I am particularly proud of that necklace and know that the new owner will love it forever. If you do find an artist (me or whoever) make sure to give them plenty of time to find the right pearls. It took me several months to find that exact strand.

    I was actually thinking about your question this morning. One thing to consider is the size of pearls you want for her. Perhaps you could start with a 6-8 mm near round ivory 16 inch necklace and when she turns 18 you could go to an 8-10 mm 18 inch necklace. Or pearls at 18 and a diamond at 16. My mom got me a heart with a small diamond when I turne 16. I still have it. :smile:
  6. Well if the pearls weren't that expensive to begin with, they are certainly even less expensive now. According to a recent Wall St. Journal article, pearls have decreased in price by at least 25% in the past few years, due to greater supply from China.

    Have you considered mixing the pearls with other beads? For my 30th birthday, my husband gave me a 30" long necklace of black onyx beads punctuated with pearls and tiny gold beads from Tiffany & Co. It cost a relative fortune back then ($650, 15 years ago), but you could probably design something smaller for under $75 these days, and it'd be an original piece.

    Besides black onyx, red coral beads nicely complement pearls as do so many even less expensive gemstone beads. Take your pearls into a local bead shop for ideas, or check eBay for strands of gemstone beads. They're remarkably affordable these days.

    By the way, I also have one of these necklaces given to me by my mother's jeweler when I was about eight years old. It has seven 6mm pearls on it. He told me to bring it back to him every year and he'd add a couple more pearls, but somehow I found it embarassing to do and quit after the first time I brought it back. It really is kind of bizarre method of creating a necklace, I think. If your pearls are 6mm, I'd be happy to send you my necklace gratis, as I have no idea what to do with it otherwise. Seven pearls don't go a long way, although that bracelet idea is a good one.
  7. coco-nut...that is really interesting. I was just reading an article from GIA and it talked about pearl prices actually increasing. But they also specified that the increase was for larger, near round ivory and Tahitian pearls. I'm guessing perhaps it's the smaller less perfect ones that are decreasing. I know that they aren't nearly as expensive as I always believed before I started making jewelry.
  8. Here's an excerpt from the article I read five weeks ago:
    Pearls Try to Come
    Out of Their Shell

    [FONT=Times New Roman,Times,Serif]Ahead of the holidays -- and with prices down
    as much as 40% -- designers push new looks

    [FONT=times new roman,times,serif][FONT=times new roman,times,serif]By VANESSA O'CONNELL
    October 14, 2006; Page P1

    For pearl lovers, the world is your oyster right now.

    From Chanel to Fortunoff and Tiffany, jewelers are rolling out new designs, colors and techniques in an effort to make pearls fashionable again. The moves come as Chinese producers have figured out how to improve the quality of their less-expensive, mass-produced freshwater pearls in recent years. Chinese suppliers are now producing freshwater pearls that have the smooth, round look of pricier saltwater varieties -- as well as pearls in the shape of potatoes, petals and coins.

    But while the influx of inexpensive Chinese pearls has caused prices to fall across the globe -- by some 40% for a strand of 6.5-millimeter saltwater Akoya pearls since the late 1990s -- the overall market for pearls still remains soft.


    The article is fairly long, or I would copy the whole thing. Basically, it notes how pearls are being used differently than in the past - instead of strings of knotted pearls, they are being incorporated into all sorts of designs. They mention designs by Bulgari, Tiffany, David Yurman, Laura Gibson, and Chanel.

    The final two paragraphs are worth noting though:

    Designers today are eager to distance their jewelry from classic necklaces and bracelets, which generations of women are unloading at auction lately. Doyle New York had to withdraw some classic pearl-strand necklaces from auctions in April because bids came in too low. Designer David Yurman says he likes to blend South Sea pearls with freshwaters, and for his spring collection is interjecting pearls with color gemstones.

    Consumers looking for nicer pearls as an investment should stick with the rarer saltwater varieties -- such as Tahitian, Akoya and South Sea -- rather than freshwater, advises Heidi Harders, president of Chicago Gem and Jewelry Evaluation Services. Tahitian pearls are the most promising investments now, many experts say, since prices are climbing fast due to efforts by producers to control production. South Sea pearl prices are climbing, but the future is difficult to predict, because Chinese producers are working on mimicing them en masse.
  9. Very interesting! I know that when I go to shows I see Chinese/Asian vendors with tables and tables of pearls of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I think it's great to encorporate them into designs for 'everyday' jewelry.

    But of course a classic white/ivory round silk knotted necklace is more than an investment for the money but an heirloom (did I spell that right? LOL).