Buy a Pearl Annually for a Pearl Necklace?

We were asked recently if it might be possible to buy a pearl every year and collect these to make into a pearl necklace, perhaps as a gift for a new baby daughter to wear on her 18th or 21st birthday.

Buying plans for individuals to purchase loose cultured pearls over a lengthy period of time used to be quite popular. There are still several examples that can be found on the internet today for buying single Akoya pearls.

As the increased availability of freshwater pearls from China has made pearls more widely affordable, these collecting schemes have been in less demand.

Also, one other concern is that when making a piece of jewellery, it is important to choose pearls that match each other, for example in size, shape or colour. You would need to be confident that all of the pearls bought each year would match when the time came for the necklace to be strung.

Instead of buying a series of individual pearls, our advice would be to:

  1. Buy a finished pearl necklace or piece of jewellery and keep it safely until the time of the 18th or 21st birthday. If you were to think of doing this, then you could be confident that the pearls matched. You would need to make sure that the pearls were stored properly and also that you had purchased pearls that had not been treated for colour as these might change gradually over time.
  2. Buy a strand of unstrung pearls and give a pearl from this strand annually. This would mean that you would need to have the necklace strung at the time of her 21st birthday, but you would have a complete, matched necklace. You would also at that stage have to choose or have made an appropriate clasp for the necklace.
  3. Finally, and more practically, would be to wait until an 18th or 21st birthday and purchase a new piece of jewellery at that stage. That does not solve the immediate problem of what to buy for an important 1st birthday however!

Whatever the decision, there is a lovely sentiment in buying a pearl as a gift each year, but there are also good reasons not to do this. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like some help or advice.