How to Store Pearls, Plus Free Necklace Instructions

Time for Pearls

When I read Jean Campbell's post on last-minute gift-giving, I had to laugh when she mentioned pearl jewelry as one of her go-to last-minute gift ideas.  Pearls (rather than crystals or gemstones) are definitely my go-to bead type when I'm stumped for a design idea or need a quick project. 

My latest necklace (just last week) features teal coin pearls, wrapped loops, and a tiny heart box clasp that is so cute that I wear it so it's on the side of the necklace instead of tucked in the back.  (I'm trying not to gush about it, but I'm one of those unfortunate people who thinks that whatever project I just finished is The Best One Ever.  Anyone else like that?) 

Anyway, as I was putting my new pearl necklace away in my overflowing jewelry box, I decided that I need to be better organized!  Nothing was scratched or tangled (thank goodness!) but I thought I better do a little homework and figure out how I should be storing my jewelry, particularly the pearls which I know can be more delicate than other types of beads.   Here's some good advice I found in the book Create Jewelry Pearls by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett:

How to Store Pearls

  • To prevent scratching the pearls' surface, avoid placing them next to jewelry or other objects with sharp edges.
  • Store in a silk pouch or separate compartment in your jewelry box.  Make sure the storage container is porous–pearls need the moisture in the air to maintain their luster.
  • Wear your pearls regularly to give them the added advantage of contact with the natural oils in your skin.

For more tips on cleaning, restringing, knotting, shopping for pearls, as well as 20 pearl jewelry designs and tidbits on pearl science and history, see Create Jewelry Pearls by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett. 

New Free Project
Opera Elegance
by Mary Jane Musser

If your social calendar doesn't include the opera, you can still wear this multistrand pearl necklace to your next party or Sunday brunch.  Monochromatic pieces like this one–all silver pearls with a few silver beads–mean that you can turn your attention to other design features, such as mixing shapes (rice and potato pearls, silver rounds, large mother-of-pearl oval) and varying the number of strands.  If you're the kind of designer who always makes symmetrical necklaces, you might take a cue from this piece and begin your next design by placing a large focal bead to the side and see what kind of beading magic transpires.  

For more great necklace ideas, check out the winter issue of Stringing magazine.  There are some lovely, party-worthy pieces in this issue.  I have two necklace projects in that issue–and yes, one of them has pearls!

Holiday Schedule:  There will be no Beading Daily email December 24-26 because of the holidays.  Remember that the forums and free project library never close, so please come by if you need your beading fix!


 Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.

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Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  You can also follow me on Twitter at: Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

6 thoughts on “How to Store Pearls, Plus Free Necklace Instructions

  1. Hi Michelle, had to laugh at your last project is your best one ever! I Always think that, even within a project, the last medallion is my absolute most favorite, until I make the next one….which is definitely my absolute most favorite, until…yep, just call me fickle, lol!

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I, too, had to “laugh out loud” when I read that your last project is always your Best One Ever. I just finished a Unicorne Bead challenge and was admiring my work when I read your comment. Beaders are just like that, yes we are!! Each Best One begets another and another and another ….
    Evelyn Roob

  3. Hi everyone, I am continuously amazed by how much beaders have in common. I always think my latest bead creation is the greatest one yet. These newsletters always make me smile and most of the time make my day. Thanks to all for making this happen!

  4. Don’t we all feel that the most current beaded thing we’ve made is the best! Sometimes I’ll look at what I’ve made 6 months ago, seeing some of those things make me say “ewwww…..I actually made that!”
    Like ya’ll said, just finished things are always better!

  5. Nice necklace Michelle – I love coin pearls! And thanks for the tip about storage. I might add that if you are mixing sterling silver with pearls, it might be a good idea to store them in a pouch with anti-tarnish properties. I would hate to leave a sterling and pearl necklace on my dresser and have it tarnish, only to have to use chemicals to polish the silver and make it shiny again. Its not good for the pearls!

  6. Yup! That’s me–each project is The Best!

    As for storing MOST jewelry, I’ve finally found a passive system that works for me: all those little plastic bags that our beads come in! I’ve long ago out-grown my jewelry box and have expanded to a dresser drawer. The little plastic bags are AWESOME for earrings in particular, although I use the larger bags for my necklaces. Mind you, it doesn’t make FINDING what I’m looking for any easier, but when I DO find them, at least I know they’ll be together in one place.

    And no, don’t jump in and bag everything up: do it as you wear something. Slowly but surely everything will find a new home in a little plastic bag, and digging frantically through your jewelry for a particular piece will become much faster and easier. Honest!
    –Linda McM.