Tag Archives: natural white pearls

Hong Kong, spring 2018

Prices for round Edison pearls have dropped massively – they are now about a third of what they were last year, due mostly to over-production, coupled with a slowing of demand.  Oddly the price of Edison drops has gone up. At the same time I picked up more rumours and some confirmation that very dark Edisons are indeed prone to colour fading.

edison, pearls, round, natural colour

Natural colour Edison round pearls size 11-12mm

This has been going around for about six months now and I was told that some Edisons have faded by firstly a seller and then by someone within Grace Pearl. This is happening possibly, I was told, because Grace are pushing the processing and treating the pearls too quickly and heavily, which is damaging their colour durability.

big natural colour edison pearls

Bigger colour metallic round Edison pearls 14-15mm.
Nice!

It may well be, however, that they are learning and backing off on these treatments and durability will therefore improve. Time will tell. Only the natural dark purple shades are apparently involved, not the pale ones, or whites, or ripples. Anyhow, I matched up some pairs of nice big natural colour rounds and some really clean round whites.

White 11-12mm round metallic Edison pearls

White 11-12mm round metallic Edison pearls

So..what else was a good find this time? How about this stunning strand of 9mm to 10.6 multicoloured metallic Tahitian pearls?

multicoloured tahitian pearl strand

This is a gorgeous strand of multicoloured Tahitians

Then I was browsing through some multicoloured akoyas (very nice) when I spotted a couple of white strands in with the natural coloured ones. ‘oh’ says the seller, ‘they shouldn’t be in there’..then he looks at the label and ‘oh, yes they should: they are natural colour whites’.

My hand shot out and grabbed them instantly. Natural white akoyas…natural white are so rare and hard to find. They haven’t been bleached and they haven’t been pinked. They are naturally white. These are 7mm, round and metallic. Little beauties

natural white akoya

Natural white 7mm metallic strands. I grabbed the only two in town

I have fallen in love, apparently, with any and all natural white pearls. This little lot of natural white freshwater rounds of different sizes literally fell onto my foot in a wholesaler’s office where there were all sorts of interesting odds of pearls tucked away under the big sorting table. So of course I had to have it

Natural white round pearls

Natural white round pearls, all different sizes

And were there any pairs?

Yes!

Then this lot of freeform baroques caught my eye. Incredibly metallic. natural white again

Natural white nuggets

Natural white nuggets

 

The rarest freshwater pearls are…

…natural white freshwater pearls, all nacre. And now I have a totally stunning necklace of these very special pearls.

I had spent the day at my favourite suppliers, head down and matching up all manner of pearls. Intermittently throughout the day the owner of the company, Michael Sze, sat opposite me, making up necklaces from loose undrilled pearls. I watched him as I took a break from matching pearls (you have to look up sometimes otherwise your eyes will fall out)

Michael worked his way through a bag of smaller bead nucleated smooth ripples, then a bag of large pale ripples (he liked that long endless necklace so much he had it drilled and knotted up immediately – you can see the knotting start to finish, including a huge tangle – in a video in the main P video listings. The knotting method is completely different to how we do it, but then I think there are as many different methods as there are knotters)

Finally, as I was thinking of finishing for the day, he brought out a small bag of maybe 500 or so white pearls…natural white pearls and started sorting them. My tired eyes went on stalks. These were simply beautiful pearls.

I started to camera phone video his selection of the choicest of these choice pearls and before I knew it I had fallen in love. Me – the queen of the bigger the better and natural coloured pearls.

 

By the time he was arranging them as a necklace I was buying them.

 

 

white natural colours, white freshwater pearls, michael sze

The finished necklace. 21 inches of beauty

Even my daughter, who isn’t remotely into pearls (!) commented ‘oh that is so beautiful, you can see the quality’

Why is it called the Romana necklace? Because it was bought with the proceeds from the sale of my 1973 Mini Clubman car ROM 308M…As a Dr Who fan, that was immediately Romanadvoratrelundar.

Updated October 2017

I made up the necklace finally

natural white freshwater pearl necklace

I’m in love..don’t want to take them off.

I’m so in love with these pearls still!

Natural white freshwater pearls are here

Here they are, the natural white freshwater pearls which I found last month in Hong Kong.  Shown to me almost as an aside ‘we have these natural colour white and grey pearls just arrived’

Wow…really? Natural greys and whites? Show me. There was a bag with about 50 strands, ranging from white to delicate lilac or pale grey. Off round and with good to metallic lustre I picked out the 12 best and here they are

Natural colours white, lilac and grey rounds

Natural colours white, lilac and grey rounds

The colours are incredibly subtle and delicate but the lilac especially is so pretty.

It was only when I got back here and unpacked that I realised that I had picked out about five pairs of half drilled buttons for earrings as well – from the ordinary big lot of natural colour pearls.

Now these have not been to a lab for confirmation but I have no reason to doubt that they are indeed natural colour pearls.

We’ve made up the pick of the strands into two necklaces –

Natural pale pale lilac round pearl

Natural pale pale lilac round pearls, such a delicate colour

Natural white pearls

Natural white pearls, no bleaching. The white is to the grey end of the spectrum as against the usual creamy white of bleached pearls