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

Fresh Water RICE PEARLS Silver3-4mm 15" Strand

Freshwater pearls in a shimmery party silvery! Lovely for holidays and accenting bridal and mother's wear. The perfect color for both summer and winter. Always take pearls off t...

Only $5.99
11mm Rice Shaped Freshwater Cultured Pearl & Rope Bracelet

This chic pearl bracelet adds a touch of style to any occasion. The bracelet features a AAA-grade, 11mm rice-shaped white Freshwater cultured pearl, hand picked for its gorgeous...

$99.00  $29.00
Freshwater Big Hole (2mm) Pearl, White, 10~12mm Rice shape, Sold per 14-inch strand.

Only $12.99

Freshwater Nugget Pearls

White Freshwater Cultured Nugget Pearls 7-9mm / 16 Inch Strand

Gorgeous creamy white pearls with good luster. Fascinating funky potato/nugget shapes, no two pearls exactly alike. Use for small dangling earrings, stretch bracelets, string wi...

Only $5.99
BRC Beads Fresh Water Pearl Natural Pearl Irregualar Nugget Shape White Approxi 12mm 40pcs 15.5 I...

Gorgeous creamy fresh water pearls with good luster,elegant and pure, is known as the gem queen. Center drilled ideal for pearl bracelets and other jewelry making needs.And ther...

Only $6.99
Light Multi Color And Shaped Cultured Nugget Pearl Mix 5-16mm (16 Inch Strand)

These fashionable freshwater cultured pearls are a unique touch for all kinds of jewelry. A lovely mix of burgundy, blues, yellow, cream, white, fuchsia, green, brown and peach....

Only $3.49

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

Gem-Inside 6mm Potato Shape Blue Freshwater Cultured Pearl Beads Strand 15 Inchesjewelry Making B...

Thank you for visiting GEM-inside store,GEM-inside is a professional B2C sales team specialized in jewelry making beads and findings.If you are interested in this product, pleas...

Only $5.28
Tennessee Crafts 4007 Pearls White Fresh Water Pearl Potato 9 by 10mm Beads, 20-Piece

TC Beads 4007 Pearls White Fresh Water Pearl Potato 9 10mm× 20pcs are pure pearl nacre beads lovingly grown in fresh water lakes in China, using methods similar to those perfect...

Only $9.12
Freshwater Potato Pearls Chocolate 8-9mm (16" Strand)

Grade: B/CApproximate Beads per Strand: 50

Only $12.84

Freshwater Coin Pearls

11-12mm Coin Brownish Black Freshwater Cultured Pearl Beads Strand 15 Inch Jewelry Making Beads

they are natural freshwater pearl beads, beads, the white,pink,purple color are natural, the other is dyed. The hole of the beads 1mm, the length of the strand is 15 inches 2mm:...

Only $7.80
BRC Beads Fresh Water Pearl Natural Pearl Irregualar Coin Shape Multi-color 11~13mm 15 Inch Appro...

Gorgeous creamy fresh water pearls with good luster,elegant and pure, is known as the gem queen. Center drilled ideal for pearl bracelets and other jewelry making needs.And ther...

Only $8.99

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.
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Updated: 10/07/2014, lakeerieartists
 
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