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:

Knotting is a must

Pearls are a soft gem which means they can be easily abraded or scratched if they rub against each other over a period of time. Stringing pearls on silk thread and knotting between each individual pearl provides protection from constant rubbing which could cause damage to a pearl’s surface. By comparison, pearls that touch each other by sliding on metal chain are likely to chip or crack over time.

 Avoid Black holes

Metals, especially silver chain slipped through the drill holes, tend to leave black marks around the pearls. With movement while the necklace is worn, the pearls abrade the metal and the metal stains your pearls. These stains are difficult, if not impossible, to remove because the tiny metal abrasions penetrate the surface of the pearl. It’s ok when that happens to freshwater pearls, since they can be easily and inexpensively replaced. But with Akoya cultured pearls, stains can ruin a sizeable investment. It’s always best to have pearls strung on silk thread to maintain the cleanliness of your pearls. Look-alike Add-A-Pearl-type products tout the ease  of adding pearls to a necklace with the ability to slide the  pearls over a chain, but buyer beware, pearls with a metal  chain running through the drill holes won’t last forever. Pearls should always be strung on silk to retain their beauty.


Big holes big problems

Other products where the pearls slide over a chain have been drilled with larger drill holes to allow the chain to slide through the pearl. Larger drill holes often threaten the structure of the pearl increasing the likelihood of chipping and cracking.  At Add-A-Pearl, our pearls drilled with very small drill holes, just enough for a piece of silk thread to go through and attach to the chain. It’s the best way to maintain the integrity of you pearls while protecting their value and longevity.

Dirty chain = dirty pearls

Pearls sliding around on a chain are going to absorb the dirt from the chain. Chains naturally get dirty from normal everyday wear. Residue from body oils, perfume and hairspray that adhere to the chain can easily rub off onto your pearls causing discoloration and oxidization which diminishes the pearls’ luster and damages the surfaces.

Pros know where to position pearls

Usually, strands of pearls are sold in two ways, either uniform being all the same size or graduated. Graduated pearls have obvious variations of their sizes, and they are strung to achieve a graduated look with the largest pearls in the center tapering down to the smallest pearls towards the back closest to the clasp. Any particular strand of uniform pearls includes an acceptable slight variance of sizes usually within the range of a half a millimeter. Granted, half a millimeter is barely noticeable, as it equals only 0.019685 inch. But, an experienced pearl stringer will ensure that your pearls are strung in the proper positions to beautifully blend with the graceful flow of your strand. The result is a stunningly beautiful necklace and it distinguishes fine pearls from a Do-it-Yourself strand of pearls.

Pros know how to match pearls

Matching is one of the seven factors that determine the value of pearls. It refers to the uniformity of pearls in a strand in regards to size, shape, luster, color, and surface quality and nacre quality.  Pearls are like snowflakes, there are no two that are exactly identical. That is why every pearl is sorted by pearl professionals to find ones that match as closely as possible .Picking just the right pearls to go together in any pearl necklace is best done by pearl experts so they can determine the best possible match including how centered the drill holes are and how smooth the size increase is in graduated strands. The art of pearl matching is harder that you’d think. This is because each oyster is different. In general, pearl matching is an art requiring an eagle eye, excellent judgement and experience to do well. It’s quite an accomplishment to create a perfectly matched strand of pearls which is why a well-matched strand can be so expensive. Pearl matching and positioning is best left to an experienced pearl expert.

Overall, all the most beautiful pearls in the world are strung on silk thread. Like most things in life, achieving greatness requires time and effort. Beautiful pearls are no exception. Know what’s right for you and your pearls have them strung by a pro on silk thread so they’ll last a lifetime.


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