Case Study: Sarah’s Faux Pearl Solution. Sarah inherited three strands of pearls from her grandmother, Maureen. Maureen was known for her love of pearls and could more often than not be seen wearing at least one pearl necklace.
Not All Pearls Come From the Oyster
Of the three pearl necklaces Sarah inherited, the two strung with 8mm “pearls” turned out to be not real. The other was a 14" necklace made with real 5mm cultured pearls. Sarah's comment was, "now I know how Grandma could afford so many strands of pearls."
Did it Matter That Some of Her Heirloom Pearls were Faux?
Since her Grandmother gave them with love, it doesn't matter that some of them were fake or faux, (french for fake and it sounds better.) Her Grandmother was sharing her love for pearls and was not required to only give away expensive gifts.
Chances are she didn't know which ones were real and which were fake.
Treat Costume Pearls Like Real Ones and They'll Look Real
One thing that is common with costume pearls is for one thing, not being knotted and two that the end is crimped. The crimped ends can corrode and get pretty funky looking.
When you work with costume pearls, have them strung up fully knotted just like your real ones. When someone has nice faux pearls I like to use the French Wire finish with them, which adds class. I also like to upgrade to a proper fine gold clasp just like real ones. I saw wear them with the same pride you do your real ones.
How We Used Her Real and Costume Pearls to Achieve the Length She Needed
Sarah tried on a number of blouses and shirts that she thought she'd wear with her Grandmother's pearls. She liked the 22” length. She hadn’t worn anything in 14” since she was ten years old. We combined the nicest of her faux pearls from the two 8mm faux pearl necklaces with her smaller, 5mm real pearls. We used a popular European style of alternating one large pearl with one small, all the way around for her necklace design.
This gave Sarah the length she wanted, while at the same time allowing her to wear something that meant a great deal to her.
For the clasp, Sarah chose a pretty, antique looking style. It's a two sided oval design with small, pave-set diamonds on each side and an Amethyst in the center. Sarah chose a two sided clasp because the old clasp that came with the real pearl necklace was one sided and spent most of it's life looking weird and up-side down. Sarah was not going to wear that look anymore.
Sarah's newly re-made pearl necklace looks unique and makes her smile every time she wears it!
What's the Takeaway Message Here?
Love and cherish your pearls, especially the ones gifted to you. You can change the length or the clasp, you can combine pearls or beads and pearls together in different combinations. For sentimental reasons, you can combine faux pearls with real ones. If you have pearls real or faux lolling around unworn in your jewelry box, take them out and revitalize them and wear them. Remember : Wear It Don't Warehouse It!
Your Personal Jeweler,