Patti Dechter

Vice President
Patti is the Vice President of Juergens & Andersen, the parent company of Add-A-Pearl. She became a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America in 1986 and has been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years with a special interest in natural and cultured pearls.

Can Pearls be Added to a Necklace

pearls being strung and knotted with silk thread
There might come a time when you want to add pearls to an existing necklace either to create a longer necklace or you recently discovered pearls stored away in your jewelry box. Before you decide to add pearls, you’ll want to be sure the new found pearls are compatible with your existing pearl necklace. This means the new and existing pearls match each other in size, shape, type and color.

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How Pearls Are Added to a Necklace

spools of white silk thread for pearl stringing
Count and Cut The process begins by taking careful inventory by counting all the pearls and noting any special characteristics on or surrounding the pearls or chain before any work is done. Then, the silk thread is gently removed separating the peals from the chain so the drill holes are clearly visible for further review.

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Alivia's Gotcha Day

a beautiful couple holding their young flower girl

“We had tried for years to have a baby with no luck. Fertility treatments, multiple doctors, miscarriages, etc...nothing worked! We were giving my body a break and a friend of mine knew a girl who wanted to give her baby up for adoption. 

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Chris' Add-A-Pearl Story

two sisters will have a special bond with each other and their dad

I wanted to have something I could give to my daughter Madeleine on her birthday that would show her (obviously not then but when she got older) how much I valued our relationship and appreciated it. I wanted something that would be recurring throughout our life that would be "our thing".


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Why Add A Pearl is a Meaningful Gift

father and baby daughter are all smiles with a backdrop of sunflowers
The reasons for starting an Add-A-Pearl necklace are endless and inspiring. Most often, the occasions are joyful while some are not. Regardless of the life event, the meaning of starting a necklace is always filled with love and hope. Here's what others told us about why they decided to start the tradition for someone near and dear to their hearts.

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Pearl Manners – How To Wear Pearls In Your Everyday Life

curated arm stack includes pearls, colorful beads and other metals.
No longer are pearls reserved for formal occasions. They look just as confidently beautiful adorning your favorite jeans and T-shirt outfit as they are at a black-tie event. And while they may be blingy – especially if combined with diamonds or other precious stones – they can be simple and elegant too. If you adore pearls like we do and want to start wearing them more frequently, our tips will help you make them a style staple. Find out how you can integrate pearls into your everyday wardrobe in a way that suits you.

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The Complete Guide on How To Clean and Care for Pearls

pearls will retain their beauty and luster with proper care
Diamonds might be forever but pearls can last a lifetime with proper care. Our complete guide will describe helpful tips and techniques that will help keep your pearls in pristine condition. With a little care and knowledge, maintaining your pearls will ensure your pearls look their best for years to come. Our guidelines reveal the best methods to store, handle and clean your pearls in order for their beauty to shine forever. Find out how to care for your pearls and properly handle pearl jewelry for a luster to shine bright throughout the years.

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Danielle Hamby Dreamed and Prayed for her Southern Little Girl

Baby Landyn celebrates small moments of joy

This beautiful story of dreams, faith and courage was sent to us by Danielle Hamby of Phil Campbell, Al.She shared her story full of strength and struggle with us here:

"All my life I dreamed and prayed for a perfectly southern little girl. She would be strong, kind and a good friend. I knew I would dress her in beautiful smocks, bows, knee-high socks and pearls. I’ve always loved how classic and timeless pearls are and cherish the pearls my great-grandmother gave me. Of course, God gave me two boys first, Wilson and Lawson.

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Top 7 Reasons to Love Pearls

strands of white round pearls
Pearls are unique among gemstones. Perhaps because of their origin and radiance, pearls have fascinated people from the time they were first found in artifacts in Mesopotamia until the present. Pearls are among nature’s most fascinating creations. They are produced by mollusks and come from nature beautiful and ready to be worn.

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Pearl Necklace Stories from Our Finalists

melanie beasley with her daughter and twin granddaughters

Melanie Beasley expressed fondness for the tradition of Add-A-Pearl. She plans to add pearls for her twin granddaughters, Amelia Elizabeth and Butler Anne, for many years to come. She shared her thoughts with us below:

When I was 13 Add-A-Pearl necklaces were the rage. I was lucky enough to get one with five little pearls. This past June my twin granddaughters turned one year. I called the company because I still had (in the original box) my beautiful necklace. I wanted an exact replica of mine from 57 years prior. Your company made an exact necklace. My namesake was given the original and her sister a brand new one that looks just like it. I intend to add pearls for them for all special occasions so that they may hear a beautiful necklace to remember their grandmother.


written by Melanie Beasley, Charlotte, NC

Top 9 Types of Pearls You Should Know About

attractive brunette woman wearing a pearl necklace and a beautful double strand bracelet

Created naturally by a living creature over many years, every pearl is unique in its color, luster, size and shape. Pearl is one of the most beautiful and surprising gemstones available. Pearls have a timeless appeal them and enduring and worldwide popularity. Buying pearls for the first time can be confusing you will be confronted by hundreds of different varieties at an enormous range of prices. The two most important distinctions are the pearls habitat (saltwater or freshwater) and how the pearls have been grown, are they natural or cultivated?


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How Many Pearls are in a Necklace?

bride wearing a full strand of white cultured pearls with lace wedding dress and veil
Knowing how many pearls you will need to complete a necklace is helpful for planning the amount of pearls you will need each year. Cultured pearl necklaces are available in varying pearl sizes. You can choose to build a pearl necklace using all small size pearls to create a dainty piece of jewelry or you might prefer a bold look of larger pearls closer to 8 or 8.5mm.

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A Forever Gift of Pearls

Jordan is wearing her Add-A-Pearl necklace the day she and her grammy went downtown to have lunch at the Walnut Room.

The Add-A-Pearl tradition in my family started about 50 years ago, thanks to my mom, Janet.  I can't recall what exactly made her start but it must have been for my ninth or 10th birthday that she brought me home my pearls. We didn't have much and I remember thinking that they were the most beautiful thing I'd ever owned. Funny, but a half century later, I still feel that way. 

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What are Cultured Pearls vs Real Pearls?

pretty girls face and neck shown wearing a single pearl necklace

Seeing as pearl is the birthstone of June, the timing is right to highlight a precious gem whose lore, beauty, and mystique has been prized as far back as 2206 BC. During Ancient Roman times, Julius Caesar was fascinated with natural pearls. Being that they were associated with the goddess of love, Venue, Caesar would gift pearls to his favorite mistresses. At the height of the Roman Empire, when the pearl obsession reached its peak, the noted Roman historian writer Suetonius expressed that the Roman general Vitellius financed an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings.

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What is an Add-A-Pearl Necklace?

The cover of an Add-A-Pearl pamphlet used by jewelry stores in the 1930s

Add-A-Pearl is a way to create a complete strand of pearls over a period of time. The original gift is usually a single pearl necklace presented to a baby or young girl with one or more pearls on a 14-kt gold chain. Through the years, pearls can be added whenever friends and family wish to make an addition until the necklace becomes either a full strand of pearls or until the preferred number of pearls or look is achieved, perhaps at 16 or 22 pearls symbolizing a sweet 16 or college graduation. Most often, pearls are given for birthdays and at holiday time. Valentine’s Day, Easter, confirmation, graduation and other special milestones offer ideal opportunities to add pearls.

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5 Unique Ways to Incorporate Pearls into Your Wedding Day

a strand of pearls can be woven through a braid or worn as a headband as an alternative use of pearls.
It’s not often where you get to say what was trending for your Grandma was also trending for your mother and for yourself. One of the best things about pearls are that they are a timeless piece of jewelry that never go out of style. The idea of tradition is embedded into the accessory and can be honored at your own wedding. The versatility of pearl strands is endless. Whether it serves as something new, old, or borrowed, pearls are the simple and perfect staple for your bridal wear.

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Love and Loss

An Add-A-Pearl necklace is a meanignful way to keep memories alive
In June of 2017, I found out we were expecting another baby. Unfortunately, in February of this year, we received the devastating news that her heart had quit beating at 39 weeks and 4 days, just 3 days before my due date. This loss has been heartbreaking in so many ways and we have purchased a pearl for our living daughter, from her baby sister. Albeit an incredibly sad memory, she is a very proud big sister and we wanted to include her in her precious necklace. At 3 Years Old, she doesn’t understand the significance of the loss or of the necklace, but I know that when she is older, she will cherish each of those pearls... especially the one from her little sister." written by: Lindsey Risdon Bales

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The Pearlies Using Pearls for the Greater Good

King and queen dressed in their garb adorned with pearls.
Pearls are often correlated with royalty, but it is not just the royal who wear pearls when they are out in public. Anytime Queen Elizabeth steps out in public she is seen wearing pearls in some fashion. She typically wears a three-strand pearl necklace, but is also commonly seen wearing pearls on her clothing, pearl bracelets and everything in between. But, pearls are also worn in the United Kingdom to distinguish oneself for a good cause. In the 1870s, an orphan street sweeper named Henry Croft spent his days collecting money for charitable missions such as orphanages and hospitals. In an effort to raise the most amount of money possible, Croft decided to wear a suit covered in pearls. Croft thought if he wore flashy or unique clothes he could draw attention, and people who would come talk to him would be likely to donate their money

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How and Why Twinning Made a Comeback

pretty mother and daughter wearing matching summer dresses
Celebrities are constantly in the public’s eye, and many people consider them the face of fashion. Many celebrities push the fashion envelope, setting trends and even bringing back old trends. In recent months an old trend has resurfaced with much thanks to the rich and famous. If you follow any celebrities on social media or through the press, you have surely noticed that moms are dressing their daughters to match them and posting pictures of their twinning outfits online. Some people are jumping on board with this mommy-and-me trend, and some are put off by it. Let us break it down for you, and then, you decide.

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Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Halloween is lurking around the corner, and odds are you will take the kids trick or treating or will be heading to a costume party — or both!

For many of us, Halloween is like Christmas. We cannot wait to go all out, both in our attire and in home decorations. The anticipation is agonizing. For many others, Halloween is a dreaded time, when we are forced to participate and spend money. The planning is agonizing

Whatever category you fall into, we can agree Halloween prep gets expensive fast, especially the costume part. For something you will wear once for entertainment, spending more than $100 is not ideal. 

There’s an easy solution: Don’t let money be the dictator on how elaborate and well executed your costume is. 

Wearing a costume that is original and/or authentic can be done on a budget and here is how:

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Share Your Add-A-Pearl Story Win a gift!

Do you have a story to share about your Add-A-Pearl necklace? Has your necklace been passed down through several generations or has it been lost and found again after many years. Was it given to you for a unique occasion?  If so, we’d love to hear from you! Send us your story along with a picture of you or your sweet girl wearing your Add-A-Pearl necklace to for a chance to be featured on our website. We’ll be selecting one story a month to win a special silver-plated heart shaped keepsake box with your choice of a personal message custom engraved on the lid! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Luster and Value

Pearls have been a much-loved symbol of beauty for centuries.

Although there is no universally accepted standardized grading scale, pearls are evaluated based on 7 value factors. The seven factors are size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality, and matching. Each factor is important by itself, but it’s their relationship to each other that determines a pearl’s value. Of the seven value factors, luster is considered the most significant because it is what gives a pearl its unique beauty.


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What Are Natural Pearls?

(image c/o shutterstock)

Once upon a time, Pierre Cartier had a pearl necklace. It took him years to assemble all the big beautiful Oriental Natural pearls. This was long before the time of cultured pearls. Daisy Plant wanted the necklace. Although, her husband was very rich, she couldn’t afford to spend $1.5 million, which is what Mr. Cartier wanted.

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Kay Etheredge and Caroline

(Kay and her granddaughter Caroline)

“I was in second grade when I overheard a conversation between two girls in my class.  They were talking about their Add A Pearl necklaces that their grandmothers had gotten them. Even at that young age I thought it was such a beautiful idea but didn't think my parents or grandparents could afford it.  I never mentioned it to anyone.

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All About Pearls: The June Birthstone

(Coco Chanel and her ropes of pearls, google images)

Known as the Queen of Gems, pearls have been coveted for centuries. Elegant, timeless, and mysterious, pearls come in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. Besides being the birthstone for June, the pearl is also frequently gifted on the 1st, 3rd, 12th, and 30th wedding anniversaries. Our overview will help you understand the basics to choose pearls just right for you.

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Karen O'Hara with Skylar and Bettie

(photo of Skylar (top photo), 10 months old and Bettie, 4 months c/o Karen O'Hara)

I started my Grand Daughters Add a Pearl Necklace Christmas, 2016.

We had our first grandchild 7 years ago, a Boy.  When we found out our daughter and husband were expecting their second child June, 2016 we were so excited.  Months later they were told they were having another boy.  After planning, shopping and a baby shower for the arrival of a baby boy, June 17th 2016 labor began and our daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby GIRL

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Patty Martin and June

(Patty's granddaughter, June. Photo c/o Patty Martin)

My dad started this necklace form when I was a teenager and unfortunately he passed before ever being able to finish it for me. I never did finish it. My daughter was born and I just couldn’t do it for her. Then my children shared that I was going to have my first grandchild and it was going to be a girl and her name would be June, not born in June but I thought that being my first granddaughter that I would like to give her a pearl for every special moment in her life adding the final pearl on the day she gets married. It will be the largest and center pearl to have an entire strand to wear on her wedding day! I will set aside an account for this to be finished just in case! This is important to me. My dad always gave that one special gift and I want this to be my one extra gift for my granddaughter.

Written by: Patty Martin

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Suzanne and Sweet Harper

(Harper Lynn, photo c/o Suzanne Sutphin)

When I was 16 years old, I started working on Saturdays at a high-end jewelry store in my hometown. They had the most beautiful baby items—baby rings, rattles, lockets. The piece that always caught my eye was the add-a-pearl necklace. I loved the idea of being able to watch the necklace grow over time as the baby grows.

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When Should I Add Pearls?

(sleeping baby image c/o shutterstock)

The elegance and perfection of pearls make them an ideal gift for many occasions. Grown and cherished for centuries, pearls celebrate life’s beginnings, life’s milestones, love that endures through the years, and personal successes and achievements with quiet beauty and classic elegance.

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Cheer 4 Greer

photo of Greer courtesy of Courtney Bond

"My 3yo daughter's bone marrow transplant anniversary is just a few days away. We wanted an annual and tangible tradition to celebrate this life saving day. We decided on the Add-A-Pearl tradition necklace. They are also based in Chicago which is where she had all of her treatments and transplant for leukemia. When you start a new necklace you name it. We named it "Greer's Remission Celebration". 

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Creative Ways to Honor Mom this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just weeks away. That means it’s time to make plans for the ways in which you’ll honor your mother and the other special women in your life–grandmothers, godmothers, aunties...whoever does the nurturing and loving in your family. To help you make sure Mother’s Day is a success, the Add-A-Pearl team has compiled some of our favorite ideas for making sure she knows just how special she is.

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Kelly's Add-A-Pearl Story

My grandfather started necklaces for my sister and I, but didn’t finish it so I gave all my pearls to my daughter to start a necklace for her. We buy her pearls for birthdays and at Christmas. Other family members also buy pearls for her during the holidays.

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Lynn White's Story

My husband came up with the idea, and he thought I would really like it. He actually purchased the initial necklace and pearls. The necklace is for our daughter that I was pregnant with at the time. Arianna was born on January 15, 2015. 

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Jim Plus Five Granddaughters

“Seven years ago, after my wife died, I thought it would be a nice thing to give my brand new granddaughter two pearls each birthday with the idea she’d have a proper necklace when she turned 16 or 17. Little did I know my kids would bless me with FIVE granddaughters. 

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Malinda Knight Clay and Granddaughter Reed

Baby Reed props herself up next to a chair outside


 This heartfelt story was shared with us by Malinda Knight Clay.


"I placed my order last night so I would get the necklace in plenty of time for my granddaughter's first birthday. My son and his wife lost their first child (our 1st grandchild) at less than five months old so this little girl is a blessing in so many ways."






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Ashley Jackson Eakes Add-A-Pearl Necklace

Add-A-Pearl is a thoughtful gift idea that can be started by anyone looking for a new tradition in their family. Here’s what Ashly Jackson Eakes had to say about how it began for her.

“My daughter is six. She received her first necklace with one pearl for Christmas from her grandfather. We had never seen or heard of Add-a-Pearl before then. He purchased from a small town family owned jewelry store here where we live. She loved it. She then received 2 more pearl from us (parents) for her Kindergarten graduation gift. Her birthday is not here yet, but she will receive one or two for her birthday and Christmas. We are trying to catch her pearls up to her age so that one day when she decides to get married her necklace of pearls will be complete. We love the fact that grandparents/parents can add to her special necklace for special memories one day as well.”


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A Father and Son Tradition

My wife and I married while still in college.  The original necklace had only 5 pearls. That was July 1978.   Through finishing college, Time spent living in Omaha, Riyadh Saudi Arabia and now back in Council Bluffs IA I have always tried to add a pearl or two to her necklace for every anniversary.  While it is never really a surprise it’s almost a record of our life together.  Small pearls during our leaner years and larger pearls when things were going well.  My wife is now looking at eventually giving it to our granddaughter at some appropriate time in her life. As a side note my son gave his wife an Add-A- Pearl for their wedding and has been adding to it through you folks for a few years now.


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Taking Care of Pearls

Written by Brad Kaufman, guest blogger

An Add-A-Pearl necklace is a cherished tradition and a lovely accessory for many styles. But, like most things, pearl necklaces need a little love to keep the high-quality pearls looking good throughout the years.  Pearls are a soft gem, and though quite durable, do need special attention to maintain their luster and condition over time.  Here are our top three tips for keeping your pearls perfect and pristine:


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Pearl Grading Factors

by Brad Kaufman, guest AAP blogger

When buying a diamond, the conscientious consumer learns the 4Cs—cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS), the 4Cs give consumers and jewelers confidence in the quality of the diamond they purchase. 

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A Gift that Lasts Forever - Alicia Capwell's Story

“Katie Beth’s grandmother, CiCi, purchased an Add-A-Pearl necklace for her last year on her 1st birthday. She wanted to get her something every year that was a little more sentimental than ‘just a toy.” Every lady needs a strand of pearls and how neat is it to know that she is building hers every year. An heirloom at such a young age is so precious. We just love the necklace and the meaningfulness behind it.”

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A Heartfelt Story by Gayle

“I decided to start an Add-A-Pearl necklace for my granddaughter last spring on my son and her mother’s wedding day and I purchased a freshwater pearl necklace for my younger granddaughter as their wedding gifts on this very special day. Imagine how touched I was as we watched our son and his new bride walk down the aisle with my beautiful granddaughters as attendants wearing their new necklaces with their sweet bridesmaids’ dresses.

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Will The Next Generation Love Her Add-A-Pearl Necklace?

(Baby playing on a laptop while holding a cellphone, shutterstock image)

If you’re considering starting an Add-A-Pearl necklace, you might be baffled by lifestyles, behaviors, and values of younger generations. Plenty of research is available on the characteristics of millennials (defined as "twenty-somethings')) and post-millenials (dubbed Generation Z), so by now, we’re aware of their likes and dislikes. Often described as self-expressive, upbeat, passionate, tech-savvy and civic-oriented, they often have a strong sense of community and a focus on societal needs. 

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Abbey Luby and her Family Tradition

Abbey Luby and her husband on their wedding day

Abbey Luby and her husband (photo c/o Abbey Luby)

I received my Add-A-Pearl necklace from my parents as a first birthday gift. My necklace is now 34 years old and I am always sure to wear it for special occasions. I wore it when I got married in 2008. I have since had a daughter of my own and she now has a necklace her grandparents and great grandmother have added to. I am excited for us both to wear our Add-A-Pearl necklaces together in the future! 

Written by: Abigail Luby



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5 Times Pearls Dazzled On Movie Screens

Pearls are known to impress and have done so time after time, including on your favorite Hollywood starlets in major motion pictures.

No matter the way pearls are worn in movies, whether in a formal setting or with casual wear, they can steal the scene.

Do you remember these iconic moments?


 Julia Stiles in The Prince and Me (2004)

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Candy Enzor and Rowan

(Candy's granddaughter, Rowan. Photo c/o Candy Enzor)

I recently lost my adult daughter and my adult son within a year of each other. Both were unmarried and had no children, thus severely curtailing the possibility of grandchildren, 

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Ashley Williams and her Add-A-Pearls

lola and her grammy and poppy

(Lola and her Grammy and Poppy on her 5th birthday. Photo c/o Ashely Williams)

I started necklaces for my 2 girls for their 1st birthdays.  I have two girls, a 5 and 2 year old and we have been giving them pearls for special occasions like the first day of kindergarten! I purchased a pearl for Lola (5 year old) for becoming a Big Sister.  I take a picture of us giving them their pearls and keep the card in an album that will be displayed on their wedding day…

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Melanie Baker Jolly

(Melanie Baker Jolly and her grandmother both wearing their pearls in 1995, photo c/o Melanie Baker Jolly)

"My grandmother loved pearls (I think because her name, Marjorie, means "pearl."). She started an Add-A-Pearl necklace for me when I was a toddler. Before she died, she gave me a full strand of pearls, but I have continued to add pearls here and there to the Add-a-Pearl necklace she started. Currently, there are 17 pearls on it. When my daughter turns 18, I plan to add one more and then give it to her."

Written by: Melanie Baker Jolly, Southaven, MS.


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The Color of Pearls

(Freshwater pearl bracelets, photography by Harrison Jones, Chicago, Il.)

As one of nature’s most prized and sought-after gems, pearls can materialize in a wide variety of colors. And with cultured pearls, colors can span every hue!




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Sharon and Her Two Precious Granddaughters

(adorable twins photo c/o shutterstock images)

“I first saw an Add-A-Pearl necklace in a jewelry store in rural Mississippi. I live in Mississippi but not in that town. Both my granddaughters are a little over 1. One will turn 2 in March and the other will turn 2 in August. I'm already 61 so I got to thinking that I may not be around for their weddings. Then, I remembered the necklace I had seen at the store. I began a search in store after store hoping to find one for their 1st Christmas. After much looking, I decided to search online. I started their necklaces for their first Christmas and added one for their first birthday. My plan is to continue this until their necklaces are complete!!! So, now it's time to order them one for this Christmas!!! Praying I'm around for their weddings but if not, they will have something to remember me by and something beautiful to wear on their wedding day too!!!”

written by: Suzanne Sutphin, Blythewood, SC

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Kimberly Weaner Family Tradition

Kim and Caleb with Kim's niece and goddaughter

Kim with her husband Caleb and their Goddaughter Brianna (photo cred Kim Weaner)

This necklace was actually given to me by a family friend as a baby in 1979 with 3 pearls but my parents didn't add to it. My mom gave it to me a few years ago and when my sister asked my husband and me to be godparents I knew I wanted to give it to her. Our Aunt gave her granddaughter an add-a-pearl necklace at Christmas and at the time, I didn't realize what it was or that what I had was an add-a-pearl necklace. After doing some research and talking to my mom, I figured it out and was so happy to pass this on. We added 4 pearls for her Baptism and will continue to add on each year.

Written by: Kimberly Weaner, Spring City, PA. 



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A Tradition Between Sisters

a-tradition-for sisters-karla-marion-family

Karla and her husband Jason with Madison, age 10, and twins Callie and Cooper, age 1. (photo c/o karla Marion)

This is a tradition that my 10 year old daughter, Madison, wanted to start with her new baby sister, Callie. She gifted her the first pearl on Callie’s 1st birthday. I look forward to the day that she hands the necklace over. What a special moment between sisters. Thank you for making that moment possible! We look forward to ordering for many years to come. 


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Pearls, Love and Prayers

Chloe and her complete strand of pearls

Vicki's granddaughter Chloe has been receiving pearls since 2002 and was able to have them all strung into a complete necklace for Christmas in 2012. (photo c/o Vicki Wadsworth) 

Each of my granddaughters gets 100 pearls. With each pearl they get 6 Bible verses that coordinate with the beginning of the letters ... PEARLS. 






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Why Pearls Should Be Hand-Strung


One of the questions we get asked most frequently is how pearls are added to a necklace. Add-A-Pearls, like the finest strands of pearls in the world, are always strung on silk thread. Unlike costume jewelry or imitation add a bead type products, Add-A-Pearls do not slide over the clasp of the chain. Sure, it’s tempting to be drawn to the ease of adding pearls to your necklace at home by sliding them over the chain, but buyer beware, the easy way is not necessarily the best way especially when dealing with a sizable investment such as a pearl necklace. To preserve their value and beauty, pearls should always be strung on silk thread. Here’s why:

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How To Care For Cultured Pearls


With a little care, pearls can last a lifetime – or two or three. In many families, it’s traditional to pass cultured pearls from one generation to the next. Cultured pearls are not the most durable of gems, but if they are properly cared for, they can retain their original beauty for generations.

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6 Ways Pearls Add Elegance To Your Wedding

Pearls can be part of your wedding day in a number of ways, from extravagant and complex to subtle and original.

Wedding season is upon us, but it’s far from over, and brides-to-be are still looking for more ways to incorporate class and originality into their wedding day.

There is an old tradition that says wearing pearls on your wedding day ensures happiness and no tears throughout your marriage. With that in mind, it is common for mothers to pass down pearls to the bride to wear as she walks down the aisle.

Pearls not only represent traditions, history and fashion, but they also are known for adding a special kind of elegance to any outfit.

While pearls are commonly worn as necklaces, earrings, rings, headbands and bracelets, they can also be used in numerous ways to decorate for the wedding ceremony or reception.

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Incorporate Pearls Into Any Outfit, A Step-by-Step Guide

Dressing it up or dressing it down, adding pearls to your attire is as timeless as it is attractive

It is no secret that women put a lot of time and effort into deciding what to wear on a daily basis. We care, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Whether you are heading to an important business meeting, a wedding, run errands or a backyard barbecue, your look matters. And adding a pearl can help.

Before deciding on the type of pearl you want to wear, it is important to already have your outfit picked out. 

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Pearls 101: A Quick Look at the Different Types

Cultured pearl come in a variety of colors and shapes from round to baroque. image c/o shutterstock

Pearls aren’t just for necklaces anymore. 

A tradition the world over, pearls are often passed down through families, expanding their reach. But their uses have expanded, too. Growing popularity in fashion and decorations make pearls versatile and elegant items. 


They can be seen worn with casual or formal wear or as part of wedding, home or party décor. 

While pearls can been seen just about everywhere, different pearls can be used for different occasions. 

Understanding the different types of pearls is the first step to finding the perfect pearl for any event or space. 


Natural pearls

A wild, natural pearl is extremely rare, so if you get your hands on one, hold on to it!

Natural pearls are made almost completely of calcium carbonate and conchiolin, with no human assistance. 

These pearls come in a variety of shapes, and perfectly round ones are the rarest. 


Cultured pearls 

You are probably familiar with cultured pearls, which are created on a farm and made in either freshwater or saltwater. Not all mollusks create pearls, and when they are created, they may not be of high quality.

Cultured pearls are typically a uniform shape and size, but can be dyed any color. 

Cultured pearls are sold at a variety of prices based on quality and rarity of the type. There are 4 distinct types of cultured pearls. They are Akoya (saltwater), freshwater, South Sea and Tahitian. Here’s a closer look at each.

Akoya pearls


Commonly seen with white color and rose overtones, the finest Akoya pearls come from Japanese pearls farms. 


The roundest and most lustrous of these saltwater pearls are considerably more perfectly round and smoother than other types of cultured pearls.



South Sea Pearls


Found in Australia, Philippines and Indonesia, the South Sea pearls are among the rarest and most valuable of pearls. South Sea pearls are hard to miss and they stand out from other pearls usually due to their ability to grow larger than other types of cultured pearls.


South Sea pearls are large in size and range in color from optic white to a deep, honey gold. These pearls have a soft, luxurious reflection.


Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for these rare, but high-quality pearls. 



Tahitian Pearls


These pearls are known for their natural exotic black color — but don’t be fooled, they can come in any color including light creamy white, greens and deep black. The color comes from the oyster’s black lips. 


Tahitian pearls are farmed in French Polynesia, not Tahiti like the name suggests.





Freshwater Pearls


This varietal of pearl grows in mussels that live in rivers and lakes and are most commonly found in China. Mussels can create more than one pearl at a time. 


Pearls found in freshwater will look less lustrous and glossy than saltwater pearls. 


Freshwater pearls come in a variety of shapes and colors and are usually cheaper than saltwater pearls therefore they are commonly used for multi-strand necklaces and bracelets.


Now take this knowledge — and your pearls — and go impress some people at your next party. 




Alyssa Groh, 22CM Boost




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Why Luster Matters

single cultured pearl with high luster / shutterstock image

Pearls are categorized and sorted based on 7 value factors: size, shape, color, nacre, luster, orient and surface quality. Nacre and luster are the most important indicators of quality; however, most people do not understand what nacre is. Nacre is the hard, iridescent coating that oysters (and some mollusks) use to line the inside of their shells. Nacre is also what pearls are made of.

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How To Evaluate Pearls

Pearls’ beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and these 5 characteristics


Pearls here, pearls there, pearls everywhere. Cultured pearls, natural pearls; freshwater pearls, saltwater pearls. 

When does it end? (hopefully never!)

Pearls are popular. But all the quantity can make it difficult to determine the quality.

Depending on how you are planning to use your pearls, you are going to want the highest quality for your dollar.

We’re here to help you figure out what you’re looking for:


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