There's Plenty to Love About Pearls

Nov 27, 2013

Yep, it's that time of year when I'm counting my blessings, both beady and otherwise, and pearls are at the top of my list of beads for which I'm thankful. I can't think of another type of natural bead that is so mysterious, so beautiful, and so affordable. It's that organic, natural look that makes the pearl such an important component for jewelry-making. Pearls soften the look of modern metal jewelry, add a touch of glamor to any bead-weaving project, and even pair well with the incredible sparkle of crystal beads.

These days, pearls aren't just for weddings. You can find them popping up in all sorts of beading projects, and I couldn't be happier to see the jewelry-making world embrace the power of the pearl. There are pearls out there that are perfect for all your favorite jewelry-making projects, if you just know where to look!

Natural pearls or man-made? Either way, you have lots of options.

There's certainly nothing as lustrous as the Swarovski crystal pearls. With a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and colors, these crystal pearls are a favorite of mine for bead-weaving projects, like my Vintage-inspired Pearl Earrings.

If you're looking for larger, heavier man-made pearls, the budget-friendly shell pearls from Lima Beads are one of my favorite choices. The tightly controlled manufacturing process of these pearls results in highly consistent size, shape, color, and luster. It also makes them heavier than the crystal pearls, so they may not be as suitable for bead-weaving projects.

The allure of freshwater pearls. While I love the crystal pearls and shell pearls, freshwater pearls will always be my first choice for jewelry-making and beading projects.

I think the first thing that attracted me to pearls, even as a little girl, were the beautiful, organic shapes. I remember being given my first freshwater pearl bracelet when I was in fifth grade -- a combination of garnet, gold beads, and tiny rice-shaped freshwater pearls. I was completely captivated by those pretty little pearls. These days, there's nothing I like better to do at bead shows than to browse the tables full of shaped freshwater pearls. The irregular shapes, in particular, get my imagination working overtime on how I can include them in some of my bead-weaving projects.

And since leather and cord seem to be a hot jewelry-making trend that's here for the long haul, I'm still in love with the large-hole freshwater pearls from places like A Grain of Sand. These freshwater pearls are drilled with a hole that can accommodate a cord up to 2mm in diameter, which makes them perfect for Bohemian-inspired jewelry-making projects.

Pearlvescent  by Kelli Burns
Pearls are perfect for elegant beading projects! I don't think there will ever be another natural bead out there that could possibly compete with the affection I feel for pearls. And right now, you can indulge in your love of pearls and save big on all your favorite pearl beading projects in the Beading Daily Shop! Whip up a couple of quick holiday gifts using your favorite pearl beads, or just make something sweet for yourself -- you're worth it!

Do pearls make you feel like a princess? What's your favorite thing about using pearls in your beading projects? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


Featured Product

Pearlvescent

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Colorful crystals and pearls combine with Tila beads to create a bracelet design that is nothing short of pearlvescent.

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Comments

JayCadian wrote
on Nov 27, 2013 11:49 AM

What is the best stringing material for freshwater pearls (FWP)? Does every FWP (those lovely organic shapes we love so much!) require reaming before stringing? My experience is that the sharp edges of FWP cuts through any stringing material I have used so far. I can use a size 12 needle (I'm also a hand-quilter, so the small needle is familiar to me), but most stringing materials will not naturally pass through the small holes of the FWP in the diameter they are purchased. In other words, you can't go out and buy a string of FWP and then go home and just start using them. If the stringing material *is* small/thin  (such as the thinnest Nymo beading thread), your finished project won't last a week. Help!

Thank you. :)

- Jane

www.flickr.com/.../54810268@N02

Valbeads wrote
on Nov 30, 2013 11:59 AM

Pearls make me feel elegant.  whenever I'm designing a piece, if I'm adding pearls to it, it always gives the piece that little extra bit of class.  I'm sketching out my jewelry for Christmas this year and-yep!- it's going to have pearls in it.  Some of the colored pearls are so beautiful, and enjoyable to work into a project. They don't just have to be white or black. I have some chocolate pearls I've been working with that are simply divine!