Jewelry Making Supplies: Cultured Pearls for Bead Stringing | Pearl Knotting

by lakeerieartists

Pearls have a timeless, classic quality, and beauty that cannot be matched by any other jewelry component, stone, glass, or metal.

Pearls have been used in jewelry designs for hundreds of years. They have a timeless, classic quality, and beauty that cannot be matched by any other jewelry component, stone, glass, or metal.

Pearls come in a huge variety of graded quality levels, natural colors, sizes, and shapes, and also in dyed colors.

Using Cultured Pearls in Your Jewelry Designs

freshwater rice pearls

So depending on the design, the cost you are looking for, and the color, choosing cultured freshwater pearls for making jewelry can be quite a chore.

One of the most interesting aspect of cultured freshwater pearls are the many interesting shapes that they can come in. 

This article is just an introduction to the many shapes, colors, and pearls you can include in jewelry, and you can click through any of the sections to browse more choices on Amazon.

Rice Pearls

When you buy most pearls for designing jewelry, you have to buy them in a strand.  This is true even with the more expensive versions.  It is only when you get to the very top in price levels that you can buy pearls in pairs (meant for earrings), then they are usually only half drilled for post findings.

Rice pearls are one of the most common shapes, usually with holes drilled from end to end, and come in a multitude of natural and dyed colors.  Pearls are sold in diameter sizes, so check the size on a listing to make sure it is what you want.  Sizes are generally given in millimeters.

Freshwater Rice Pearls

Drilled Freshwater Rice Pearls 2.5mm (Qty 100) Baroque Pearls DIY Jewelry Bead Pearl

Gorgeous (through hole) drilled/ loose/ White Freshwater Rice Pearls. Minimum qty per bag. Each great quality pearl measures around 2.5 mm in diameter. Sizes and shapes slightly...

Only $12.99
4x6mm white freshwater pearl rice beads 15"strand

White freshwater pearl rice beads. This strand is 15.5" long, about 4x6mm.

$7.00  $3.99
Pink Freshwater Pearl Beads Gemstone Oval Loose Beads Rice beads Bulk Wholesale Beads Handmade DI...

Thank you for visiting just-gift store,we specialized in jewelry making beads and findings.If you are interested in this product, please add it to wish list now, in case that yo...

Only $6.99

Freshwater Nugget Pearls

Cultured Freshwater Pearl Beads Big Hole R Nugget White 9x12mm/2mm Hole 15.5" AA

Natural freshwater pearl AA quality, large 2mm hole, about 15.5" strand

Only $18.93
JUSTGIFTGEM Assorted 5-6mm Nugget Freshwater Pearl Beads Gemstone Pebble Loose Beads seeds beads ...

Thank you for visiting just-gift store,we specialized in jewelry making beads and findings.If you are interested in this product, please add it to wish list now, in case that yo...

$5.90  $3.90
Cultured Freshwater Pearl Beads Large Hole Nugget White 7x9mm w/2mm Hole 15.5"

Natural freshwater pearl, large 2mm hole, about 15.5" strand

Only $14.75

Nugget and Potato Pearls

Nugget and potato pearls refers to the shapes, either nugget shaped or potato shaped. These are generally drilled through the widest part of the pearl, but sometimes, can be top drilled.

Pearls cannot be strung on a wide cord or chain, but must be strung on a fine silk or polyester thread, or a fine wire. The holes in pearls are difficult to drill wider because it is easy to cause the pearls to disintegrate.

Pearls are one of the most fragile gemstones, and need special care. They should never be scrubbed or brushed, and keep best in a soft cloth or bag.  You can use soap and water to clean pearls, but should use a gentle hand dishwashing liquid or liquid hand soap.

Unusual Shaped Freshwater Pearls

If you go to a pearl importer to buy your pearls, or a bead show, you will be amazed at all of the different shapes that cultured pearls come in. I love to sift through the varying shapes, colors, and styles of freshwater pearls.

The most interesting pearls are the stick pearls, that almost do not look like pearls at all. They make some really unusual jewelry designs.  Stick shaped pearls are usually drilled from side to side.

Teardrop shapes are really nice for a very simple necklace.  They can be separated by knots in the cord, and held in place to look like they are floating.

Freshwater Potato Pearls

Cherry Blossom Beads 11-12mm White Fresh Water Potato Pearl Grade B with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inc...

11-12mm White Fresh Water Potato Pearl Grade B with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inch Strand

$12.95  $11.00
Cherry Blossom Beads 13-15mm White Freshwater Potato Pearl Beads with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inch S...

13-15mm White Freshwater Potato Pearl Beads with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inch Strand Approximately 16 Pearls per Strand

Only $12.95
Cherry Blossom Beads 9-10mm Peach Freshwater Potato Pearl with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inch Strand A...

9-10mm Peach Freshwater Potato Pearl with a 2mm Large Hole - 8 Inch Strand Approximately 25 Pearls per Strand

Only $8.00

Freshwater Coin Pearls

One full strand 12-13mm Cultured Coin Freshwater Pearl Strand,White color, hole 1mm,15.5"-PLF8138

Description: Jewelry Beads, Freshwater coin pearl Size: 12-13mm Hole: 1mm, Color: white Quantity: 15.5", about 30beads Freshwater pearl beads have precious look at affordable pr...

Only $19.99
Natural Lavender Coin Freshwater Cultured Pearls Beads for Jewelry Making DIY (13mm/Light Purple ...

Thank you for visiting Sweet & Happy Girl's Store. We are specializing in jewelry making beads and findings.If you like this product, we advise you add it to wish list now, so t...

Only $9.48

Bead Stringing Vs. Pearl Knotting

The modern way of adding pearls to a necklace is to use a bead stringing technique, treating pearls like any other bead added to the design.  But the traditional pearl stringing technique is called pearl knotting.  As each pearl is added, a knot is made, spacing the pearls apart, and giving extra security to the necklace.  If the clasp breaks or the cord breaks, only one pearl will be lost.

Pearls are somewhat heavy for beads, and this adds security to the design along with a safety clasp.  Pearl knotting can be tedious, but is very easy to learn, and creates a very classic design for a pearl necklace.

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One of the easiest ways to freshen up your jewelry design is by changing the bead thread or bead cord that you are using to string the beads on.
Jump rings are a basic building block of many types of jewelry, and are the main component when you make chain maille, a very popular style of jewelry right now.
Updated: 10/07/2014, lakeerieartists
 
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