Pearls, pearls, pearls

Anne here, and I'm talking about an addiction of mine — pearls. Pearls Last December, in a rush of blood to the head, I lashed out and bought myself some cultured pearls, on line. They arrived on my birthday, thus proving the universe approved of my extravagance. Here they are in the photo on the right. I haven't made them up into anything yet — I'm still deciding what to do with them.

When I was young, I never much liked plain creamy pearl necklaces. For me, they were a bit old fashioned, a bit too "tasteful" for the more hippy-inclined me.  But then one Christmas I made the mistake of wearing an old necklace I'd bought from the op-shop (charity shop) — a cheap string of fake pearls interspersed with tinny gold medallions.

Dad'sPearlsDad was most unimpressed and from then on he was determined to buy me a "proper" pearl necklace. So one year for my birthday, he took me shopping for one. Nothing hit the spot for me until I spotted a necklace of small creamy pearls with chips of black onyx in between each pearl. I loved it. He thought was quite paltry, but he bought it for me anyway. That's it in the photo on the left.  I love it still and I think of Dad every time I wear it.

Some years later I saw an advert for a one-day pearl knotting course and because I wanted to mend a broken necklace of Mum's, I signed up. Necklaces made with real pearls are usually knotted between each pearl with silk or acrylic thread. The knot prevents the pearls from rubbing against each other and wearing away the nacre. In the course, they gave us glass pearls to practise on.

A young jewellery apprentice was also doing the course, and in the lunch break she took me and another woman to a nearby wholesale gemstone supplier. It was like Alladdin's cave — not only were there masses of real pearls at a really affordable price, but also all kinds of gemstone beads. I bought several strings of beautiful cultured pearls and some semi-precious gemstones. And thus my addiction began…  The first necklace I made myself was of white pearls interspersed with an occasional black bead and you can just see it in the photo of me on the wench site. 

About pearls
Contrary to popular belief, pearls are not usually caused by a grain of sand getting into an oyster or other bi-valve mollusc —it's more often a parasite or some small bit of organic matter — and the oyster deals with the irritant by coating it in successive layers of nacre. Nacre is the coating that you find inside mother-of-pearl shells. It's the build-up of many layers of nacre that causes the lustre or iridescence of a pearl.

GreenBaroquePearls

Pearls come in a range of colors — as well as the usual cream,  I bought quite a few in "lavender" — a kind of pink with lilac tones. Pearls  rarely have one clear color, the nacre gives a slight rainbow effect, so the color can vary slightly, depending on the angle and the light. Black pearls, so called, can range from blackish to dark grey to "peacock" deep bluey-green and dark greeny-black. 

BlueBaroquePearlsBaroque pearls have all kinds of odd shapes. They used to be regarded as duds, but these days are very popular as a lot of jewelry designers love the different shapes and design unique and beautiful pieces around them. This is one of my favorite necklaces, made of blue-green (peacock) baroque pearls. 

Another kind of pearl that was once regarded as a dud, but has grown in popularity in recent years is the keshi pearl, also known as "cornflake" pearls — and you can see why in the photo below.

KeshiPearls

Pearls in history
For most of history pearls were extremely rare and very expensive. That's because they were all formed naturally — so a perfect, beautifully-shaped pearl was a random accident of nature, discovered more or less by accident by a fisherman or pearl diver.  They were also exotic, coming from far flung places in the world. 

QE1&PearlsBeing natural organic creations, no two pearls are exactly alike, so a string of matched pearls (of the ideal perfect round shape and graduated in size) was therefore worth a fortune. A few years ago, Nicola blogged about pearls and told us about a set of seven strings of matched pearls owned by Elizabeth of Bohemia. They'd come via the Medicis, were inherited by Mary Queen of Scots, and passed to Elizabeth by her father, James 1.  Elizabeth used to pawn them whenever she was short of funds, and redeem them later.  She later passed a strand each on to her daughters. To find out more of this fascinating story, read Nicola's blog here. Michiel_J._van_Miereveld_-_George_Villiers _Duke_of_Buckingham_-_Google_Art_Project (1)

 People liked to display their wealth in portraits, so we can see many of the pearl sets in old paintings. They didn't just wear pearls as jewelry, they were also used to adorn clothing. The portrait above is of Queen Elizabeth laden with pearls — in her hair, sewn onto on her clothes, around her neck, in her ears—and you can be sure they'll be s=ew onto her shoes as well. And it wasn't only women who loved and flaunted their pearls; here's George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham, practically smothered in pearls.

The stunning dress below, made of silk crepe, velvet, chiffon and tulle, and encrusted with pearls and embroidery, was made in 1889 in Paris by Maugas, whose clients included royalty and the nobility of Europe. The bride's father was a very successful Melbourne butcher, and this dress was obviously designed to demonstrate his success. The poor bride must almost have staggered under the weight of all those pearls.

In 1917, jeweler Pierre Cartier purchased the Fifth Avenue mansion that is now the New York Cartier store in exchange for a matched double strand of natural pearls that Cartier had been collecting for years; at the time, it was valued at US$1 million. (From Wikipedia)

Pearldress (1)Faking Pearls
Only kings and queens and a few mega-rich could afford masses of real pearls, so the race was on to produce faux pearls that would fool everyone. Because one needed to appear richly dressed, even if one couldn't afford it—perhaps especially if one couldn't afford it — appearances, then as now, were crucial to social success.

In the 17th century, a man called Jaquin of Paris patented a method of faking pearls. He made tiny glass balls that were hollow inside, filled them with wax to strengthen them and give them the right kind of weight, then lacquered them with a compound made of ground-up iridescent fish scales. His method was so successful that Paris became the centre for the production of fake pearls for more than 200 years.

Then in the early 20th century, the process of "culturing" pearls was developed by William Kent, a British scientist, living and working in Australia. The process was taken to Japan where it was further developed and commercially exploited by Mikimoto.  Most if us will have heard of Mikimoto pearls, but a surpising number of people believe that Mikimoto pearls are fake pearls. This is quite wrong.

Cultured pearls —  are they fake?
Actually, natural or 'wild' pearls and cultured pearls are both real pearls. The only way you can tell the difference between a natural or 'wild' pearl and a cultured one is by x-ray. The difference is that cultured pearls are a result of the "irritant" being inserted into the mollusc by human intervention, rather than accident. Otherwise the process is the same.

Freshwater or ocean pearls? 
Still both real pearls. The difference is in the species of mollusc, and the kind of pearls they make, not in the process.

How to tell a real pearl from a fake one.
A good fake pearl and a genuine pearl will both feel and look very much the same. But gently rub them along the top of your teeth and you'll find that a genuine pearl will feel slightly gritty against your teeth, whereas the fake one will still feel perfectly smooth1glassPearls

The early fakes ranged in quality. A lot of old fake pearls you see in charity shops will show pearlescent paint peeling off plastic beads. These days glass pearls are widely available, cheap and available in all colors. Here are some I bought from a craft shop for $1 a string. 

But cultured pearls are widely available, and can be bought on line, as I did, to make into whatever design you want. And these days, pearls are for everyone, not just the extremely rich, and you can make jewelry that's unique and personal. (If you'd like to see some more of the jewelry I've made click here.)

So, what about you — are you fond of pearls or not? Do you own any pearls? Have any pearl stories? Have I tempted you to try your hand at making your own pearl necklace? Or do you make other things that you can't buy in shops?

 

 

 

155 thoughts on “Pearls, pearls, pearls”

  1. I love pearls and have a number of pieces, real, cultured and fake. I love to wear them with outfits that are not necessarily traditional accompaniments – t-shirts and denim jackets, , nylon netting and tuille. . . you get the idea. I was told by my grandmother that you shouldn’t spray perfume on or near pearls and that t wash them you immersed them in salt water then gently pat them dry with a very soft cloth. My mum received a beautiful string of genuine pearls on her 21st Birthday from her father but never wore as she was superstitious about pearls being for sadness – have you ever heard that Anne? Her superstition was to my benefit and I rennet wearing them when I was admitted to practice law. Great post!

    Reply
  2. I love pearls and have a number of pieces, real, cultured and fake. I love to wear them with outfits that are not necessarily traditional accompaniments – t-shirts and denim jackets, , nylon netting and tuille. . . you get the idea. I was told by my grandmother that you shouldn’t spray perfume on or near pearls and that t wash them you immersed them in salt water then gently pat them dry with a very soft cloth. My mum received a beautiful string of genuine pearls on her 21st Birthday from her father but never wore as she was superstitious about pearls being for sadness – have you ever heard that Anne? Her superstition was to my benefit and I rennet wearing them when I was admitted to practice law. Great post!

    Reply
  3. I love pearls and have a number of pieces, real, cultured and fake. I love to wear them with outfits that are not necessarily traditional accompaniments – t-shirts and denim jackets, , nylon netting and tuille. . . you get the idea. I was told by my grandmother that you shouldn’t spray perfume on or near pearls and that t wash them you immersed them in salt water then gently pat them dry with a very soft cloth. My mum received a beautiful string of genuine pearls on her 21st Birthday from her father but never wore as she was superstitious about pearls being for sadness – have you ever heard that Anne? Her superstition was to my benefit and I rennet wearing them when I was admitted to practice law. Great post!

    Reply
  4. I love pearls and have a number of pieces, real, cultured and fake. I love to wear them with outfits that are not necessarily traditional accompaniments – t-shirts and denim jackets, , nylon netting and tuille. . . you get the idea. I was told by my grandmother that you shouldn’t spray perfume on or near pearls and that t wash them you immersed them in salt water then gently pat them dry with a very soft cloth. My mum received a beautiful string of genuine pearls on her 21st Birthday from her father but never wore as she was superstitious about pearls being for sadness – have you ever heard that Anne? Her superstition was to my benefit and I rennet wearing them when I was admitted to practice law. Great post!

    Reply
  5. I love pearls and have a number of pieces, real, cultured and fake. I love to wear them with outfits that are not necessarily traditional accompaniments – t-shirts and denim jackets, , nylon netting and tuille. . . you get the idea. I was told by my grandmother that you shouldn’t spray perfume on or near pearls and that t wash them you immersed them in salt water then gently pat them dry with a very soft cloth. My mum received a beautiful string of genuine pearls on her 21st Birthday from her father but never wore as she was superstitious about pearls being for sadness – have you ever heard that Anne? Her superstition was to my benefit and I rennet wearing them when I was admitted to practice law. Great post!

    Reply
  6. You make me wish my wife liked jewellery. Minor point, I think you’ve got your Elizabeths mixed up and that the one giving pearls to her daughters was Elizabeth of Bohemia rather than the Virgin Queen (whose name kind of implies no daughters).

    Reply
  7. You make me wish my wife liked jewellery. Minor point, I think you’ve got your Elizabeths mixed up and that the one giving pearls to her daughters was Elizabeth of Bohemia rather than the Virgin Queen (whose name kind of implies no daughters).

    Reply
  8. You make me wish my wife liked jewellery. Minor point, I think you’ve got your Elizabeths mixed up and that the one giving pearls to her daughters was Elizabeth of Bohemia rather than the Virgin Queen (whose name kind of implies no daughters).

    Reply
  9. You make me wish my wife liked jewellery. Minor point, I think you’ve got your Elizabeths mixed up and that the one giving pearls to her daughters was Elizabeth of Bohemia rather than the Virgin Queen (whose name kind of implies no daughters).

    Reply
  10. You make me wish my wife liked jewellery. Minor point, I think you’ve got your Elizabeths mixed up and that the one giving pearls to her daughters was Elizabeth of Bohemia rather than the Virgin Queen (whose name kind of implies no daughters).

    Reply
  11. LOL, Mike — you’re dead right. Dumb mistake on my part. I plead softening of the brain due to excessive heat —it was 45 degrees celsius here (115F) when I wrote the blog. Thanks for picking me up on it. I will correct it now.

    Reply
  12. LOL, Mike — you’re dead right. Dumb mistake on my part. I plead softening of the brain due to excessive heat —it was 45 degrees celsius here (115F) when I wrote the blog. Thanks for picking me up on it. I will correct it now.

    Reply
  13. LOL, Mike — you’re dead right. Dumb mistake on my part. I plead softening of the brain due to excessive heat —it was 45 degrees celsius here (115F) when I wrote the blog. Thanks for picking me up on it. I will correct it now.

    Reply
  14. LOL, Mike — you’re dead right. Dumb mistake on my part. I plead softening of the brain due to excessive heat —it was 45 degrees celsius here (115F) when I wrote the blog. Thanks for picking me up on it. I will correct it now.

    Reply
  15. LOL, Mike — you’re dead right. Dumb mistake on my part. I plead softening of the brain due to excessive heat —it was 45 degrees celsius here (115F) when I wrote the blog. Thanks for picking me up on it. I will correct it now.

    Reply
  16. Thanks, Shannean. I agree — one of the things I like about pearls is that you can wear them with anything — they dress up or down beautifully. I have heard of pearls being unlucky, but I don’t believe that kind of thing. They also say it about opals, and I love opals, too.
    Your advice about how to care for pearls is spot on.

    Reply
  17. Thanks, Shannean. I agree — one of the things I like about pearls is that you can wear them with anything — they dress up or down beautifully. I have heard of pearls being unlucky, but I don’t believe that kind of thing. They also say it about opals, and I love opals, too.
    Your advice about how to care for pearls is spot on.

    Reply
  18. Thanks, Shannean. I agree — one of the things I like about pearls is that you can wear them with anything — they dress up or down beautifully. I have heard of pearls being unlucky, but I don’t believe that kind of thing. They also say it about opals, and I love opals, too.
    Your advice about how to care for pearls is spot on.

    Reply
  19. Thanks, Shannean. I agree — one of the things I like about pearls is that you can wear them with anything — they dress up or down beautifully. I have heard of pearls being unlucky, but I don’t believe that kind of thing. They also say it about opals, and I love opals, too.
    Your advice about how to care for pearls is spot on.

    Reply
  20. Thanks, Shannean. I agree — one of the things I like about pearls is that you can wear them with anything — they dress up or down beautifully. I have heard of pearls being unlucky, but I don’t believe that kind of thing. They also say it about opals, and I love opals, too.
    Your advice about how to care for pearls is spot on.

    Reply
  21. I love pearls too! I was in Florida a few years ago at a theme park and picked an oyster that had a beautiful blue gray color. I am still looking for the perfect ring or necklace setting for it! I should wear my pearls more often, thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
  22. I love pearls too! I was in Florida a few years ago at a theme park and picked an oyster that had a beautiful blue gray color. I am still looking for the perfect ring or necklace setting for it! I should wear my pearls more often, thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
  23. I love pearls too! I was in Florida a few years ago at a theme park and picked an oyster that had a beautiful blue gray color. I am still looking for the perfect ring or necklace setting for it! I should wear my pearls more often, thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
  24. I love pearls too! I was in Florida a few years ago at a theme park and picked an oyster that had a beautiful blue gray color. I am still looking for the perfect ring or necklace setting for it! I should wear my pearls more often, thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
  25. I love pearls too! I was in Florida a few years ago at a theme park and picked an oyster that had a beautiful blue gray color. I am still looking for the perfect ring or necklace setting for it! I should wear my pearls more often, thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
  26. I planned a whole trip to London around the V & A’s pearl exhibit a few years ago! Since Margaret (my full name) apparently means pearl, I have a weakness for them too. I have a double strand with a very fancy fastening with sapphires and tiny pearls that I wear on cruises (not much call for them in the Maine woods, LOL). The single strand my husband gave me years ago needs restringing; must get to that this year. I also have a kind of wow vintage cocktail ring with a giant pearl surrounded by diamond-encrusted petals…also cruisewear. Have fun with all those pearls!

    Reply
  27. I planned a whole trip to London around the V & A’s pearl exhibit a few years ago! Since Margaret (my full name) apparently means pearl, I have a weakness for them too. I have a double strand with a very fancy fastening with sapphires and tiny pearls that I wear on cruises (not much call for them in the Maine woods, LOL). The single strand my husband gave me years ago needs restringing; must get to that this year. I also have a kind of wow vintage cocktail ring with a giant pearl surrounded by diamond-encrusted petals…also cruisewear. Have fun with all those pearls!

    Reply
  28. I planned a whole trip to London around the V & A’s pearl exhibit a few years ago! Since Margaret (my full name) apparently means pearl, I have a weakness for them too. I have a double strand with a very fancy fastening with sapphires and tiny pearls that I wear on cruises (not much call for them in the Maine woods, LOL). The single strand my husband gave me years ago needs restringing; must get to that this year. I also have a kind of wow vintage cocktail ring with a giant pearl surrounded by diamond-encrusted petals…also cruisewear. Have fun with all those pearls!

    Reply
  29. I planned a whole trip to London around the V & A’s pearl exhibit a few years ago! Since Margaret (my full name) apparently means pearl, I have a weakness for them too. I have a double strand with a very fancy fastening with sapphires and tiny pearls that I wear on cruises (not much call for them in the Maine woods, LOL). The single strand my husband gave me years ago needs restringing; must get to that this year. I also have a kind of wow vintage cocktail ring with a giant pearl surrounded by diamond-encrusted petals…also cruisewear. Have fun with all those pearls!

    Reply
  30. I planned a whole trip to London around the V & A’s pearl exhibit a few years ago! Since Margaret (my full name) apparently means pearl, I have a weakness for them too. I have a double strand with a very fancy fastening with sapphires and tiny pearls that I wear on cruises (not much call for them in the Maine woods, LOL). The single strand my husband gave me years ago needs restringing; must get to that this year. I also have a kind of wow vintage cocktail ring with a giant pearl surrounded by diamond-encrusted petals…also cruisewear. Have fun with all those pearls!

    Reply
  31. I’ve heard that pearls are for tears, something to do with the Greeks thinking pearls were the tears of the Gods? My Granny was always adamant that you shouldn’t give pearls as a gift because they bring sadness: her theory was that you should either inherit them or buy them for yourself.

    Reply
  32. I’ve heard that pearls are for tears, something to do with the Greeks thinking pearls were the tears of the Gods? My Granny was always adamant that you shouldn’t give pearls as a gift because they bring sadness: her theory was that you should either inherit them or buy them for yourself.

    Reply
  33. I’ve heard that pearls are for tears, something to do with the Greeks thinking pearls were the tears of the Gods? My Granny was always adamant that you shouldn’t give pearls as a gift because they bring sadness: her theory was that you should either inherit them or buy them for yourself.

    Reply
  34. I’ve heard that pearls are for tears, something to do with the Greeks thinking pearls were the tears of the Gods? My Granny was always adamant that you shouldn’t give pearls as a gift because they bring sadness: her theory was that you should either inherit them or buy them for yourself.

    Reply
  35. I’ve heard that pearls are for tears, something to do with the Greeks thinking pearls were the tears of the Gods? My Granny was always adamant that you shouldn’t give pearls as a gift because they bring sadness: her theory was that you should either inherit them or buy them for yourself.

    Reply
  36. Ooh, I saw that V&A exhibit too – think I bought a book of the postcards and really should frame them or something.
    I adore pearls – and blame it on being a June birthday girl. This blog post may just inspire me to look into jewelry making too.

    Reply
  37. Ooh, I saw that V&A exhibit too – think I bought a book of the postcards and really should frame them or something.
    I adore pearls – and blame it on being a June birthday girl. This blog post may just inspire me to look into jewelry making too.

    Reply
  38. Ooh, I saw that V&A exhibit too – think I bought a book of the postcards and really should frame them or something.
    I adore pearls – and blame it on being a June birthday girl. This blog post may just inspire me to look into jewelry making too.

    Reply
  39. Ooh, I saw that V&A exhibit too – think I bought a book of the postcards and really should frame them or something.
    I adore pearls – and blame it on being a June birthday girl. This blog post may just inspire me to look into jewelry making too.

    Reply
  40. Ooh, I saw that V&A exhibit too – think I bought a book of the postcards and really should frame them or something.
    I adore pearls – and blame it on being a June birthday girl. This blog post may just inspire me to look into jewelry making too.

    Reply
  41. Maryellen, yes, there are so many subtle shades, it’s hard to match, but what fun to search. And yes, Shannean (in a comment above) reminded me that pearls can go with everything, from jeans to something more formal, so dig yours out and enjoy them.

    Reply
  42. Maryellen, yes, there are so many subtle shades, it’s hard to match, but what fun to search. And yes, Shannean (in a comment above) reminded me that pearls can go with everything, from jeans to something more formal, so dig yours out and enjoy them.

    Reply
  43. Maryellen, yes, there are so many subtle shades, it’s hard to match, but what fun to search. And yes, Shannean (in a comment above) reminded me that pearls can go with everything, from jeans to something more formal, so dig yours out and enjoy them.

    Reply
  44. Maryellen, yes, there are so many subtle shades, it’s hard to match, but what fun to search. And yes, Shannean (in a comment above) reminded me that pearls can go with everything, from jeans to something more formal, so dig yours out and enjoy them.

    Reply
  45. Maryellen, yes, there are so many subtle shades, it’s hard to match, but what fun to search. And yes, Shannean (in a comment above) reminded me that pearls can go with everything, from jeans to something more formal, so dig yours out and enjoy them.

    Reply
  46. Wow, Maggie, that exhibition sounds wonderful. I would have loved to see it. Your pearls sound beautiful. Have you thought of trying to restring your single strand yourself? That’s how I got started on this addiction . . .

    Reply
  47. Wow, Maggie, that exhibition sounds wonderful. I would have loved to see it. Your pearls sound beautiful. Have you thought of trying to restring your single strand yourself? That’s how I got started on this addiction . . .

    Reply
  48. Wow, Maggie, that exhibition sounds wonderful. I would have loved to see it. Your pearls sound beautiful. Have you thought of trying to restring your single strand yourself? That’s how I got started on this addiction . . .

    Reply
  49. Wow, Maggie, that exhibition sounds wonderful. I would have loved to see it. Your pearls sound beautiful. Have you thought of trying to restring your single strand yourself? That’s how I got started on this addiction . . .

    Reply
  50. Wow, Maggie, that exhibition sounds wonderful. I would have loved to see it. Your pearls sound beautiful. Have you thought of trying to restring your single strand yourself? That’s how I got started on this addiction . . .

    Reply
  51. Amy, try it. It really is a lot of fun, and with on-line shopping making it so easy to find lovely pearls and stones, and with youtube to teach all kinds of techniques, it’s a fun hobby. When I started there were more bead shops around and each one was like Alladdin’s caves with so many gorgeous choices.

    Reply
  52. Amy, try it. It really is a lot of fun, and with on-line shopping making it so easy to find lovely pearls and stones, and with youtube to teach all kinds of techniques, it’s a fun hobby. When I started there were more bead shops around and each one was like Alladdin’s caves with so many gorgeous choices.

    Reply
  53. Amy, try it. It really is a lot of fun, and with on-line shopping making it so easy to find lovely pearls and stones, and with youtube to teach all kinds of techniques, it’s a fun hobby. When I started there were more bead shops around and each one was like Alladdin’s caves with so many gorgeous choices.

    Reply
  54. Amy, try it. It really is a lot of fun, and with on-line shopping making it so easy to find lovely pearls and stones, and with youtube to teach all kinds of techniques, it’s a fun hobby. When I started there were more bead shops around and each one was like Alladdin’s caves with so many gorgeous choices.

    Reply
  55. Amy, try it. It really is a lot of fun, and with on-line shopping making it so easy to find lovely pearls and stones, and with youtube to teach all kinds of techniques, it’s a fun hobby. When I started there were more bead shops around and each one was like Alladdin’s caves with so many gorgeous choices.

    Reply
  56. Thanks, Kareni. It’s actually not hard to make the kind of things I make — just stringing beads, really, no special talent required. But it’s fun, and when you use beautiful materials, you end up with beautiful things.

    Reply
  57. Thanks, Kareni. It’s actually not hard to make the kind of things I make — just stringing beads, really, no special talent required. But it’s fun, and when you use beautiful materials, you end up with beautiful things.

    Reply
  58. Thanks, Kareni. It’s actually not hard to make the kind of things I make — just stringing beads, really, no special talent required. But it’s fun, and when you use beautiful materials, you end up with beautiful things.

    Reply
  59. Thanks, Kareni. It’s actually not hard to make the kind of things I make — just stringing beads, really, no special talent required. But it’s fun, and when you use beautiful materials, you end up with beautiful things.

    Reply
  60. Thanks, Kareni. It’s actually not hard to make the kind of things I make — just stringing beads, really, no special talent required. But it’s fun, and when you use beautiful materials, you end up with beautiful things.

    Reply
  61. This post was so interesting! I have a string of pearls that I inherited from my mother. Like you, when I was young they just weren’t my style, but once I embarked on a serious business career, I wore them constantly, and they looked great with everything. Alas, now that I am retired, they are put away again, and rarely worn.

    Reply
  62. This post was so interesting! I have a string of pearls that I inherited from my mother. Like you, when I was young they just weren’t my style, but once I embarked on a serious business career, I wore them constantly, and they looked great with everything. Alas, now that I am retired, they are put away again, and rarely worn.

    Reply
  63. This post was so interesting! I have a string of pearls that I inherited from my mother. Like you, when I was young they just weren’t my style, but once I embarked on a serious business career, I wore them constantly, and they looked great with everything. Alas, now that I am retired, they are put away again, and rarely worn.

    Reply
  64. This post was so interesting! I have a string of pearls that I inherited from my mother. Like you, when I was young they just weren’t my style, but once I embarked on a serious business career, I wore them constantly, and they looked great with everything. Alas, now that I am retired, they are put away again, and rarely worn.

    Reply
  65. This post was so interesting! I have a string of pearls that I inherited from my mother. Like you, when I was young they just weren’t my style, but once I embarked on a serious business career, I wore them constantly, and they looked great with everything. Alas, now that I am retired, they are put away again, and rarely worn.

    Reply
  66. Very interesting post. My mind went off on a tanget(which is not unusual) at the sight of the Duke of Buckingham. Aren’t missing pearls a big part of the motivation for some of the action in The Three Musketeers?

    Reply
  67. Very interesting post. My mind went off on a tanget(which is not unusual) at the sight of the Duke of Buckingham. Aren’t missing pearls a big part of the motivation for some of the action in The Three Musketeers?

    Reply
  68. Very interesting post. My mind went off on a tanget(which is not unusual) at the sight of the Duke of Buckingham. Aren’t missing pearls a big part of the motivation for some of the action in The Three Musketeers?

    Reply
  69. Very interesting post. My mind went off on a tanget(which is not unusual) at the sight of the Duke of Buckingham. Aren’t missing pearls a big part of the motivation for some of the action in The Three Musketeers?

    Reply
  70. Very interesting post. My mind went off on a tanget(which is not unusual) at the sight of the Duke of Buckingham. Aren’t missing pearls a big part of the motivation for some of the action in The Three Musketeers?

    Reply
  71. I’ve always been intrigued by pearls. I appreciate your informative article about them. The story The Pearl was deeply ingrained to me, so my feelings have been ambivalent.
    I have what I feel is a slightly stupid pearl story. My mother owned three strings of pearls from her grandmothers, one of whom’s husband was a wealthy banker. She gave my sisters each a string at the time of their marriages. The third she has kept, telling me I could have it when she passes. She told me this when I was an angry and impulsive teen so I grandly declared that I never want it. Thus I did not have it for my own wedding. And, thankfully, still do not.
    Instead my dad and her bought me a set with a bracelet and earrings of a stone that looks similar to pearls with a pink bead between each at my home in Ghana, West Africa. I have wondered what the pearl-like stones are but have not had the heart to do the research. They have the look of translucent white and non translucent whiteness to them.
    I adore doing beading work which is similar to your obsession, but find that it is a rather expensive hobby. I need to search out cheaper hobby stores. ;]

    Reply
  72. I’ve always been intrigued by pearls. I appreciate your informative article about them. The story The Pearl was deeply ingrained to me, so my feelings have been ambivalent.
    I have what I feel is a slightly stupid pearl story. My mother owned three strings of pearls from her grandmothers, one of whom’s husband was a wealthy banker. She gave my sisters each a string at the time of their marriages. The third she has kept, telling me I could have it when she passes. She told me this when I was an angry and impulsive teen so I grandly declared that I never want it. Thus I did not have it for my own wedding. And, thankfully, still do not.
    Instead my dad and her bought me a set with a bracelet and earrings of a stone that looks similar to pearls with a pink bead between each at my home in Ghana, West Africa. I have wondered what the pearl-like stones are but have not had the heart to do the research. They have the look of translucent white and non translucent whiteness to them.
    I adore doing beading work which is similar to your obsession, but find that it is a rather expensive hobby. I need to search out cheaper hobby stores. ;]

    Reply
  73. I’ve always been intrigued by pearls. I appreciate your informative article about them. The story The Pearl was deeply ingrained to me, so my feelings have been ambivalent.
    I have what I feel is a slightly stupid pearl story. My mother owned three strings of pearls from her grandmothers, one of whom’s husband was a wealthy banker. She gave my sisters each a string at the time of their marriages. The third she has kept, telling me I could have it when she passes. She told me this when I was an angry and impulsive teen so I grandly declared that I never want it. Thus I did not have it for my own wedding. And, thankfully, still do not.
    Instead my dad and her bought me a set with a bracelet and earrings of a stone that looks similar to pearls with a pink bead between each at my home in Ghana, West Africa. I have wondered what the pearl-like stones are but have not had the heart to do the research. They have the look of translucent white and non translucent whiteness to them.
    I adore doing beading work which is similar to your obsession, but find that it is a rather expensive hobby. I need to search out cheaper hobby stores. ;]

    Reply
  74. I’ve always been intrigued by pearls. I appreciate your informative article about them. The story The Pearl was deeply ingrained to me, so my feelings have been ambivalent.
    I have what I feel is a slightly stupid pearl story. My mother owned three strings of pearls from her grandmothers, one of whom’s husband was a wealthy banker. She gave my sisters each a string at the time of their marriages. The third she has kept, telling me I could have it when she passes. She told me this when I was an angry and impulsive teen so I grandly declared that I never want it. Thus I did not have it for my own wedding. And, thankfully, still do not.
    Instead my dad and her bought me a set with a bracelet and earrings of a stone that looks similar to pearls with a pink bead between each at my home in Ghana, West Africa. I have wondered what the pearl-like stones are but have not had the heart to do the research. They have the look of translucent white and non translucent whiteness to them.
    I adore doing beading work which is similar to your obsession, but find that it is a rather expensive hobby. I need to search out cheaper hobby stores. ;]

    Reply
  75. I’ve always been intrigued by pearls. I appreciate your informative article about them. The story The Pearl was deeply ingrained to me, so my feelings have been ambivalent.
    I have what I feel is a slightly stupid pearl story. My mother owned three strings of pearls from her grandmothers, one of whom’s husband was a wealthy banker. She gave my sisters each a string at the time of their marriages. The third she has kept, telling me I could have it when she passes. She told me this when I was an angry and impulsive teen so I grandly declared that I never want it. Thus I did not have it for my own wedding. And, thankfully, still do not.
    Instead my dad and her bought me a set with a bracelet and earrings of a stone that looks similar to pearls with a pink bead between each at my home in Ghana, West Africa. I have wondered what the pearl-like stones are but have not had the heart to do the research. They have the look of translucent white and non translucent whiteness to them.
    I adore doing beading work which is similar to your obsession, but find that it is a rather expensive hobby. I need to search out cheaper hobby stores. ;]

    Reply
  76. Tai, when I was writing the post, especially the bit about how rare and expensive they were, I was thinking about that story too, and what a difference a pearl could make to some poor fisherman’s life.
    As for your pearl-like stones, might they be polished white quartz? Like these? https://pastenchantments.mysupadupa.com/products/vintage-necklace-of-quartz-beads-large-creamy-white-rock-polished-quartz-beads
    Good luck with your beading. It can get a bit expensive, but hey — other people blow their money on fine dining and other ephemeral pleasures.

    Reply
  77. Tai, when I was writing the post, especially the bit about how rare and expensive they were, I was thinking about that story too, and what a difference a pearl could make to some poor fisherman’s life.
    As for your pearl-like stones, might they be polished white quartz? Like these? https://pastenchantments.mysupadupa.com/products/vintage-necklace-of-quartz-beads-large-creamy-white-rock-polished-quartz-beads
    Good luck with your beading. It can get a bit expensive, but hey — other people blow their money on fine dining and other ephemeral pleasures.

    Reply
  78. Tai, when I was writing the post, especially the bit about how rare and expensive they were, I was thinking about that story too, and what a difference a pearl could make to some poor fisherman’s life.
    As for your pearl-like stones, might they be polished white quartz? Like these? https://pastenchantments.mysupadupa.com/products/vintage-necklace-of-quartz-beads-large-creamy-white-rock-polished-quartz-beads
    Good luck with your beading. It can get a bit expensive, but hey — other people blow their money on fine dining and other ephemeral pleasures.

    Reply
  79. Tai, when I was writing the post, especially the bit about how rare and expensive they were, I was thinking about that story too, and what a difference a pearl could make to some poor fisherman’s life.
    As for your pearl-like stones, might they be polished white quartz? Like these? https://pastenchantments.mysupadupa.com/products/vintage-necklace-of-quartz-beads-large-creamy-white-rock-polished-quartz-beads
    Good luck with your beading. It can get a bit expensive, but hey — other people blow their money on fine dining and other ephemeral pleasures.

    Reply
  80. Tai, when I was writing the post, especially the bit about how rare and expensive they were, I was thinking about that story too, and what a difference a pearl could make to some poor fisherman’s life.
    As for your pearl-like stones, might they be polished white quartz? Like these? https://pastenchantments.mysupadupa.com/products/vintage-necklace-of-quartz-beads-large-creamy-white-rock-polished-quartz-beads
    Good luck with your beading. It can get a bit expensive, but hey — other people blow their money on fine dining and other ephemeral pleasures.

    Reply
  81. Anne –
    Have you ever considered stringing baroque water pearls interspersed with garnet beads? I’m a July girl (ruby) but garnet has always been m favorite stone. A pearl story: my father bought my mother a double strand of pearls. I guess you could say they were choker length. They had a gorgeous rectangular diamond and sapphire catch set in white gold. The catch rested in the hollow of her throat. One day, my mother and I were in a ladies dress shop. The saleswoman looked my mother over, then chided her for wearing pearls. “What’s wrong with wearing pearls?” my mother asked. “They’re out,” the saleswoman replied. And so were we. My mother, her pearls and I left without buying anything. Pearls never go out of style. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    Reply
  82. Anne –
    Have you ever considered stringing baroque water pearls interspersed with garnet beads? I’m a July girl (ruby) but garnet has always been m favorite stone. A pearl story: my father bought my mother a double strand of pearls. I guess you could say they were choker length. They had a gorgeous rectangular diamond and sapphire catch set in white gold. The catch rested in the hollow of her throat. One day, my mother and I were in a ladies dress shop. The saleswoman looked my mother over, then chided her for wearing pearls. “What’s wrong with wearing pearls?” my mother asked. “They’re out,” the saleswoman replied. And so were we. My mother, her pearls and I left without buying anything. Pearls never go out of style. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    Reply
  83. Anne –
    Have you ever considered stringing baroque water pearls interspersed with garnet beads? I’m a July girl (ruby) but garnet has always been m favorite stone. A pearl story: my father bought my mother a double strand of pearls. I guess you could say they were choker length. They had a gorgeous rectangular diamond and sapphire catch set in white gold. The catch rested in the hollow of her throat. One day, my mother and I were in a ladies dress shop. The saleswoman looked my mother over, then chided her for wearing pearls. “What’s wrong with wearing pearls?” my mother asked. “They’re out,” the saleswoman replied. And so were we. My mother, her pearls and I left without buying anything. Pearls never go out of style. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    Reply
  84. Anne –
    Have you ever considered stringing baroque water pearls interspersed with garnet beads? I’m a July girl (ruby) but garnet has always been m favorite stone. A pearl story: my father bought my mother a double strand of pearls. I guess you could say they were choker length. They had a gorgeous rectangular diamond and sapphire catch set in white gold. The catch rested in the hollow of her throat. One day, my mother and I were in a ladies dress shop. The saleswoman looked my mother over, then chided her for wearing pearls. “What’s wrong with wearing pearls?” my mother asked. “They’re out,” the saleswoman replied. And so were we. My mother, her pearls and I left without buying anything. Pearls never go out of style. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    Reply
  85. Anne –
    Have you ever considered stringing baroque water pearls interspersed with garnet beads? I’m a July girl (ruby) but garnet has always been m favorite stone. A pearl story: my father bought my mother a double strand of pearls. I guess you could say they were choker length. They had a gorgeous rectangular diamond and sapphire catch set in white gold. The catch rested in the hollow of her throat. One day, my mother and I were in a ladies dress shop. The saleswoman looked my mother over, then chided her for wearing pearls. “What’s wrong with wearing pearls?” my mother asked. “They’re out,” the saleswoman replied. And so were we. My mother, her pearls and I left without buying anything. Pearls never go out of style. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    Reply

Leave a Comment