Ruined Pearls

You get good pearls and you get bad pearls. Then you get pearls that were once ok but now are wrecked! I had some of these this week for restringing that were the worst I had seen for a long time…

They arrived as a double row that had broken. When I opened the bag they smelt like perfume and they were greasy to the touch (the grimmest part of my job!), the silk was green and black and they were just in a terrible state.

I carefully cut the strands apart and what I thought was a bad condition of the outside of the pearls did not prepare me for the inside!

The holes in the pearls we so eroded away that I could see daylight through them and it wasn’t just one or two, it was nearly all of them!
The reason for this damage is that the silk had been contaminated with perfume, cosmetics, oil from the skin or even just water and had started to erode away at the inside of each pearl, as the holes got bigger, each pearl could slide and move more, making the hole even bigger!

This is a word of warning! If your silk starts to look ropey – get your pearls restrung! I did manage to string these again but there was little point in knotting them since they would have floated over the knots.

Please look after your pearls!

Read about how to care for your pearls here

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