The Saga Of the Hard-to-Find Pearls

May 16, 2014

My first trip to the Tucson gem and mineral shows back in 2012 was such a life-changing experience! Being surrounded by all those beads, the artists, and the energy of the place had me buzzing with creative ideas for weeks after I got home. One of the highlights of that trip was when I got to meet my sweet friend Beki Haley, owner of Whimbeads, where I've been getting pretty much all of my seed beads for the last ten years.

I had, of course, brought a shopping list with me, since I was on a budget and knew that I needed to stock up on my favorite metallic brass and bronze seed beads for my bead-weaving projects. But what I wasn't expecting to find at Beki's booth were my other favorite beads -- freshwater pearls! There were five strands of two-hole freshwater pearls in two colors, and, shopping list out the window, I added them to my overloaded bead tray. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were just so pretty! And I was in Tucson!

So, they came home to New York with me.

As winter melted into spring, I played with these pearls, trying to find the perfect design for them. After a lot of mistakes, I mean, learning experiences, I finally came up with a fun bracelet pattern that used these two-hole freshwater pearls, tiny Swarovski crystal pearl beads, and Twin 2-hole seed beads. It was fun to stitch up, lightweight, and showed off the two-hole freshwater pearls so nicely that it quickly became one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear.

Being the kind of jewelry person that I am, I would love to make a matching pendant, necklace, or earrings to go with this pearl bracelet. But alas! I have no idea where to get more of these pearls. Beki said she bought them for a project that she never got around to and couldn't remember where she bought them, and I've had no luck at all searching for them online. It's a bummer for sure, but now whenever I go shopping for beads, I'm enjoying the thrill of the hunt as I search for more of these two-holed freshwater pearls!

Until I find them, I've got plenty of pearls to keep me busy, along with four of my favorite pearl beading resources from the Beading Daily Shop:

Got a spool of wire and a handful of pearls? Then you have all you need to create beautiful pearl and wire jewelry! 10 Wire and Pearl Jewelry Designs is one of my favorite resources for quick and easy pearl jewelry projects. Great for beaders and wire artists of all skill levels, this is my go-to book when I want to whip up a quick wire jewelry design with some leftover pearl beads.

If you love to do bead stringing with pearls, you'll love the Best of Stringing Pearls eBook. These 12 pearl beading projects come straight from the pages of Jewelry Stringing magazine, and include other favorite bead types like Czech glass, crystals, and gemstones.

For pearl jewelry designs ranging from classic to stylish contemporary, you'll love Create Jewelry: Pearls. This testament to our centuries-long love affair with pearls will have you informed and inspired to add more handmade pearl jewelry to your collection.

Finally, the editors of Jewelry Stringing and Beadwork magazines put together 10 beautiful beaded jewelry projects to honor breast cancer awareness in 10 Favorite Pink Jewelry Projects. Whether you like to stitch or string, you'll find some pretty pearl beading projects in this collection

Have you ever stumbled across a shape or type of pearl bead that you just couldn't find again? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your stories and experiences with us!

Bead Happy,


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on May 16, 2014 8:17 AM


I found some 2-hole frreshwater pearls here:

I don't know if they're the right size or color but it's all I could find.

on May 16, 2014 8:18 AM


I found some 2-hole frreshwater pearls here:

I don't know if they're the right size or color but it's all I could find.

on May 16, 2014 8:48 AM

I do enjoy your blog and often use ideas from there when teaching my grandchildren. My eldest (11 years old) became very interested in wire work last week so I was very pleased to see the eBook - 10 wire and Pearl Jewellery Designs - and was about to order it but to my horror I noticed the large picture of Heart and Pearl earrings has what looks like a projecting piece of wire above the pearl on the right-hand side of the picture. That was one of the first rules I gave my granddaughter as she made her first project.

Were my eyes deceiving me or have I got my facts wrong?

Kath Evesham wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:49 AM

Hi Jennifer,

I found this link -

two hole freshwater pearls are in 'Two hole naturals' about half way down the

page.  It's a US company.  Maybe they know of other colours, too?

Hope that helps,

Kath in Worcestershire, England

eezeebeader wrote
on May 16, 2014 10:14 AM

Hi Jen - Great blog post and lovely bracelet!  

I am in search of the elusive cross-drilled pearl.  It too is a 2 hole pearl but the 2nd hole is at a 90 degree angle of the 1st hole.  Heather Powers included them in a bracelet class kit on her bead cruise several years ago.  

She and her mom, Bev Herman, had discovered these lovely cross-drilled pearls but were never able to obtain any more of them.

Arrrggghhh!  the frustration!  <smile>

Imagine the design possibilities with a cross-drilled bead.  Maybe that will become the next Big Thing!!

merlinabc wrote
on May 16, 2014 10:42 AM

If you scroll right down to the very bottom of the link above this company sells double drilled pearls.

Star Dust wrote
on May 16, 2014 12:36 PM

These pearls almost look like Swarovski, but I'm sure you check there...I've not  got a clue, but it does start a hunt.  My problem is EARRINGS!!!  I CANNOT wear French Hook anything!!!  It looks like I should chew gum and swing my 'tassels'.  I can wear BIG earrings IF they start on the ear and hang, maybe as low as an inch.  I don't see any anything I can "copy"!!!!  I know I could embroider something, but I'm just learning THAT!  Where are all the POST designs?????

That wired pendant with pearls look cool, but my wiring abilities are minimal...although that didn't look too bad, just wrapping and stringing?  You guys are soooooo inventive!  I'm a copier!!!!!  At this point, at least.  Have any of you seen Russian Beadery?  The leaves and flowers are sooooo wonderful!  I'll have to try THAT!!!!

PurpleNut wrote
on May 17, 2014 9:58 AM


I feel your pain. Years ago I found these neat little diagonal-drilled pearls, but I only bought enough to play with. Now that I've found a great use for them I can't find any more of them. Aaugh! And I suppose it would excessive (or obsessive) to buy an entire drilling operation and drill my own pearls just to make one more necklace. But I'm sorely tempted!  ;-)


linda15419 wrote
on May 17, 2014 2:11 PM


Thank you for the referral to Whimbeads!  What a treasure for seed beads.  I've already placed an order and can't wait to get it.  Thanks again!


Disey45 wrote
on May 18, 2014 7:36 PM

Those "hard to find two holed pearls" are just what I have been looking for. !! Where can I buy them ????

A friend had a bracelet made  from them and asked me to repair it for her . It looked so beautiful when done. I have been looking ever since and can't locate any. Can anyone help ???

on Jul 21, 2014 7:47 AM


first to thank you to write awesome blog about your Trip and your Friend which to whom you met I think after your blog that you are looking for Pearls that why you went there I too intrigue of Pearl .I have different type of pearl collect my self which you can see here