Donna’s pearls broke in the limo during her friend Stephi’s bachelorette party.
She’d seen the warning signs, the discolored knots, the uneven gapping between pearls, she just didn’t deal with it. And the little black dress just needed those pearls. So she’d grabbed them, threw them on and dashed out the door.
I enjoy being a Santa Barbara Personal Jeweler because I love the jewelry stories I hear, like Donna’s.
Check out my earlier post, “Ten Clues Tell You to Restring Your Pearls.”
The Restring Job
Donna dropped them off at a local mall jeweler and told the youthful sales girl to, “string em up!”
“What jerks,” she complained to me on the phone. “I’m never going to them again,”she said as she called me to set up an appointment.
“I should have called you in the first place, it just seemed like such a tiny job! I didn’t want to bug you for such a little thing.”
Donna showed me her ticket for her “botched” restring job. It said, “62 pearls, approx. 6mm size. String with knots.” I counted her pearls and she had 62.
“Donna, at the risk of raining on our fun little pity party, they did the job right.”
Donna wailed, “it’s not possible that it’s the same amount of pearls, they fit me before! And look they don’t even hang straight anymore!” She held up the strand that did kind of jig one way and then the other.
It looked to me like Donna was suffering from the three Pitfalls of Pearl Restringing.
The Three Possible Pitfalls of Pearl Restringing
1.) Kinky Newly Strung Pearls
If it’s been a while since you had your pearls restrung you may be in for a shock. When they come back with their tight, neat new knots, they do not hang loose and straight. They kink and jink, this way and that. They will relax with wear, or you can speed the process by stretching them a bit your self. Don’t go nuts though.
2.) The Shortening Effect of Stringing
The last time you wore your pearls, (right before they broke,) they probably hung to a certain spot on your neck. You may remember it very well. Freshly strung pearls can come back with a bit of an unwanted surprise.
They don’t lay in exactly the same place that they did before. Your Jeweler did not steal some of your pearls. Your pearls are now, after stringing, much closer together, knotted tighter and therefore the necklace is shorter.
I wouldn’t talk about this except that it comes up a lot. Especially if someone has a pretty short pearl necklace to begin with. The restringing might be enough to tighten it up and make it too short.
3.) Mysteriously Missing Pearls
If the necklace broke before you had it restrung, it’s possible that one or more pearls dodged out of sight and your necklace is truly shorter. If this makes your necklace or bracelet too short to wear comfortably, you’ll need to ask if your Jeweler can locate matching pearls and restring your necklace with additional pearls to recreate the length you need.
What to Do
Number one just sorts itself out on its own in time.
Number two, well if they’re too short you probably needed extra pearls, because you don’t want to choke yourself till they stretch out. And they really are supposed to fit you nicely when they are newly strung.
For number three, it’s annoying, but the chances of you knowing how many pearls you had before your strand broke are nil. So just replace the lost ones. It’s usually just one or two.
What we Did
Donna decided that the mall jewelers were just fine and sent me off to search for a couple of matching pearls. Then we got to the good stuff; what happened at the bachelorette party!
~ Calla Gold
Want to learn more about pearls? Check out these blog posts