May 31, 2011
One of the earliest known pieces of pearl jewellery is the necklace of a Persian princess, found by a French archeologist at Susa and believed to date from around 350BC. The collier design, which was strung using a bronze wire and secured with gold, can be seen in the Persian Gallery at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The classic single strand necklace of pearls is still today the most popular piece of pearl jewellery. The process of stringing pearls is in itself quite an art as a skilful pearl stringer has to work with precision, delicacy and care.
The first step is to arrange the pearls according to their size, colour, surface quality and lustre so that they may visually produce the best possible effect for the wearer.
With luxury jewellery, pearls are threaded onto silk of the highest quality that is undyed and free of chemicals. Silk provides the strength, flexibility, and smoothness that is required, whilst knots between each pearl prevent them from rubbing against each other and to keep the pearls from falling if the jewellery breaks. For heavier jewellery such as a rope or opera necklaces, the knots between each pearl may be doubled, or a wire may be used with the silk, to provide additional strength.
Necklaces that have recently been strung are usually taut, and may show kinks, but these will relax as the jewellery is worn.
Restringing pearl necklaces and pearl bracelets is very important for taking care of your pearls. Check your pearls annually to see if the thread has become discoloured or stretched. With regular restringing, your jewellery should last a lifetime.