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Yay for cheapeies!

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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So I've decided I wanted some play pearls and learn how to string, so I got some super cheaps off ebay.

Here's an image with the pearls I could fit in the picture. The lighter colored pearls are all freshies, all previously owned by me and from pearllunar sans the baroque strand (from a gemshow). The purples are also freshies, not dyed. (had some left from the strand and well, you know...had to check that out!!! :lol: ). Those are in the picture for scale.

The ones that I just bought from ebay are the dark ones. They're supposed to be tahitians. One set looks like they are. They're not the prettiest things on the planet (well some have ok color to them) but thats ok too...lol The others , not so much. They look NOTHING like the auction image, not even the same shape. I'm wondering if they're dyed. I'm going to pull one off and dremel it to see.

The holes are quite small and the knotting on them is actually quite good. If only I can get that good...lol

Thankfully they were mega cheapies so I won't care if I happen to drop one or lose a few. I plan on cutting them loose and giving it a whirl this weekend, plus I can take these with me when I travel with no worries.

BTW, the strands are in NO WAY this bleached out IRL, pricescope picture sizer strikes again!!











They turn to like a silvery smokey bronzish brownish gray in direct sunlight. in a way, kinda cool. In another way :knockout: , kinda ugly. That significant of a color change, is that a normal attribute for tahaitans that have not been dyed? My freshies change which I like, these...well..it may be an acquired taste!


-A

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iLander

Ideal_Rock
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May 23, 2010
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I am pretty sure those Tahitians are dyed. Very pretty, though!

Are the pearls coming off the string easily? I always seem to run into necklaces and the strings are glued in, so they don't come off. :rolleyes:

A really fun collection! I would wear a bunch at once if it was me. :cheeky:
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks Ilander, I think they are too. Well, at least one set (the real dull set) When I look at the ends around the holes they're very dark, unlike the rest of the pearl. Its fine, I spent 25 bucks on them, though I would have paid way more locally at a craft store. they kinda look kinda sorta pretty in sunlight :loopy: I've yet to dremel one all the way through though, that will be this weekends project. One string I've separated which was pretty easy though whomever did those knots did a nice job.

One day I'll be ready for a bangup set of pearls, but not yet ;))


-A
 

4Ranch Girl

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 22, 2010
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Fun collection. The 9 mm have a very nice luster. By the time you are through practicing on these pearls you will be very skilled. Have fun this weekend with your projects.
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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May 23, 2010
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Have you watched the you tube video on how to knot pearls? My DD did, and she got it down in no time. It is frustrating though, because to get them to line up right, you have to go pretty slowly. I didn't have the patience.

And you bought pearl silk? That has the needle built into it, we always use the second finest gauge, it's probably not the most sturdy, but it's the easiest.

Can't wait to see your projects! :appl:
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks 4ranchgirl. the 9mm came from pearllunar on ebay which I purchased for 9 bucks a few years ago, So if I can learn how to string, I can probably save a bit of money since I always considered getting some gemstone rondellets and making the necklace longer.

The ultimate test for me will be to restring the pearls that belonged to my grandmother. Beautiful but its a 3 strand necklace. whoosa. give me some strength for that!!

Ilander, I've been watching the youtube vids. I'm trying to find one for lefties...lol. If you know of any let me know.

I got something called Dandyline at Michaels. (we don't have a lot of craft stores around me...gahhh!) But it also looks like it may be too thick. There used to be a bead store within walking distance but its closed now :nono: I'm sure they would have had what I needed. I'm going to try ACMoore tomorrow to see what they have.

-A
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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Lovinggems

Ideal_Rock
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I like the top and bottom strand in the photos, especially the bottom strand. The third strand from the bottom is dyed freshwaters. The circled Tahitians are very matt looking and looks like it's coated with some sort of substance . I went to the other forum and people advised to study your pearls with a loupe to tell if they've been dyed or not.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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I had not. whoa that looks easier than anything I've seen so far! thanks for sharing that! :appl:

-A
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Lovinggems|1306556175|2932249 said:
I like the top and bottom strand in the photos, especially the bottom strand. The third strand from the bottom is dyed freshwaters. The circled Tahitians are very matt looking and looks like it's coated with some sort of substance . I went to the other forum and people advised to study your pearls with a loupe to tell if they've been dyed or not.

Thanks Lovinggems. The top strand are some I got from pearllunar a few years ago. They're natural freshies. The bottom I got at the last gem show that rolled through here. those are also freshies but I guess from what I'm reading they're called pond slime? (I call them cute!)

Ok so the black/brown strands. One strand I had already cut up, the others I was gonna do, got busy working and didn't think about it until like an hour ago.

So I put some of them in acetone at first, because when I first got them they felt almost too slick and oily. I also figured if they were imitation, acetone is a great test for those. Anyway after a wipedown with acetone they didn't feel as slick but didn't lose luster.

The ones I suspected as dyed are for sure dyed. I took a coarse nail file and went to town on it, and very soon after, you could see the white pearl body. Sad they would do that to freshwaters. TBH, they were 24 bucks, I would have preferred them to stay natural color.

The others...were also 24 bucks, and no great loss! and well..those are brown, but somethings weird with those. I think they may also be dyed because the brown looked lighter after I filed it down some. Ok so that had me kind of stoked. I tried to figure the best way to cut with a dremel, but I don't exactly have the right type of vice and I wasn't holding that to cut it in my hand :errrr: . So I got a pair of pliers and well...you'll see when I load them up.(they're downloading and I'll post them shortly)


I will say one thing, after chopping off the top it sure as heck STUNK! :shock: I tried for the cleanest cut as I didn't want to cut myself (its not a great cut though) You can tell it was bead nucleated for sure. The inside of the bead looks as brown as the top. the bead inside looks gross too. I tried to get a good pic of that. its kind of tannish looking.

The ones I pretty much destroyed I dumped in 7% vinegar. The ones that I suspected dyed, those got really gross after an hour and stuff started peeling off. The other had stuff peeling off too but still looks brown. don't know if its nacre (could be??) but the color looked a hell of a lot better. Definitely suspecting dye. Why would they even bother is beyond me.

I'll still use them to practice with since I have them.

I'll post the pictures after I get them downloaded off my camera.

-A
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Ok so ready for some pics? I decided to go for it and run all the experiments (not like I have much else to do right...:lol:)

Just a word of warning; these are NOT appetizing in any way shape or form don't go through this thread if you get sick easily. I kinda was grossed out after seeing some of the closeup shots.




Still on the strand, but I managed to get the top off. I wasn't gonna use the dremel too risky to my fingers :shock: Pliers worked fine. Here you can see the bead. Its tannish. I'm suspecting its covered in dye especially when you get to see it later on.







A couple of closeups so you can see the nacre. It looks to be pretty thick, (was hard as heck to get the top off :shock: )


More to come (I took a lot of pics!)


-A

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Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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The bead I said was dyed...well there you go.



Instead of making them doodoo brown, they could have left them natural and not waste time and energy on dye. #winning :roll:


The one I cracked open. You can see the different colors in the nacre


In 7% vinegar soak. this is the first 2 minutes.


And hey look at that, the nucleus bead is no longer tan!

Got a few more.

-A

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Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Another in soak pic. I didn't expect pearls to sizzle and pop in vinegar! THAT was interesting.





The aftermath of the vinegar bath




The other (the fresh water)


few more to come

-A

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Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sorry these are so nasty but the after vinegar bath pics tell a real story. I let it soak in the vinegar for about 2 hours total. If I went longer I can imagine how gross it would be, but its pretty strong vinegar after all (I use it for pickling!)





In the crease, see how dark it is? yep, dye. a total shame though because even if they were beat up tahitians, they could have sold them for more than 24 bucks if they were left alone. Its the reason why marketing was invented after all ;)) I now see why I thought they had the sometimes pretty , sometimes ugly look!

Last pic



Sooo beat up!!! :shock: its also a heck of a lot lighter than the original pearls.

So, yay for cheapies? Yes, frankly. I know, somebody going to say boo hiss but hear me out. Cheapies have their place in the grand scheme of things. In my area, I'm not going to find cheap practice pearls. Even dyed they're still real, and unless I'm planning on shelling out more than that (I'm not) then it was a decent deal.

On the other hand, while I got the goods, I didn't leave the most favorable feedback because I hate being lied to. I asked before the auction if they were dyed, I got back a no, they are natural color. :lol: Yah ok!. Id rather have ugly undyed pearls than ugly dyed ones any day, even for practice, but I got them so they'll do.

There are still vendors on ebay and beyond that have some decent undyed cheap pearls. Sometimes I go in for a cheap buy to see what I get. Ebay is kind of a weird gamble that way.




-A

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artdecogirl

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 27, 2009
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What fun Arcadian! If intergem comes close to you check out the pearl stringing class there, I am also a lefty but am fairly ambidextrous as many lefties seem to be in my experience and she worked with me on a technique that worked best for me. Youv'e got me thinking about pearls again.. must go peruse ebay, have fun stringing!
 

HHPmom

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Jan 22, 2010
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I watch the youtube video and combine it with the instruction for Henrietta Virchick's Pearl and Bead Stringing With Henrietta http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Bead-Stringing-Henrietta-Virchick/dp/0962713708.. It's also available at some bead stores and online stores. Just google it. The book taught me how to begin and end the strand using gimp. I prefer using gimp over those bead thingy that you glue and crimp. To me, gimp gives a more professional look. I also use double thread, not the needle and thread on card which is single. With double thread, if you don't line up the knots next to the pearls, just hold both ends and pull in both directions and the knots will slide down next to the pearls. Once you start out with the first 3 pearls and string the rest of the pearls onto the thread, you can tie an overhand knot like tieing your shoes and then pull the 2 threads in opposite directions to move the knots to the pearls. This works better with nylon thread such as Power Pro. For silk, I use a darning needle to move the knots closer and if it's still not close enough, I separate and pull the 2 threads to tighten the knots.

Sometimes you can find cheapies at TJ Maxx or Marshalls in their clearance jewelry counter. I bought a 24" + long, white keshi strand there years ago for about $11, lustrous too. And I used that strand as my guinea pig for my beginner's knotting attempts.

I suspected the Tahitians were dyed. Colors don't look like genuine colors. Thanks for the pix of your experiment. With genuine Tahitians, sometimes the beads are loose inside too and it can get stinky. That is normal for baroque or circle Tahitian pearls. It's mentioned in the other forum too.

Good luck with knotting. I find it relaxing
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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thanks artdecogirl. I may miss the next intergem because of business, but there's one in October so if I'm around I will check that out.


HHPmom, thanks for that info, your welcome and I'm glad you guys enjoyed the experiment! neither pearl has melted completely but layers are still coming off. (I think I may leave them overnight...lol) I'm certainly not heartbroken but am bewildered. It just seems like a lot of wasted energy to put dye on what probably was perfectly ok pearls that were probably hobby level beads to begin with. Heck they could have at least used a prettier dye!! Likely they figured if enough people buy they could raise their prices. sad for them I kinda let the cat out of the bag though...


I will look out for opening nucleated pearls again (man that was a stomach turner!) I had no idea it could be so foul. I have some undrilled pearls coming from pearl_society so I know those will likely reek then *throwup smiley* I'll put them up when they get here.

I couldn't figure out why the tahitian strand felt so weird at first, but figured that they were just some cheap arse pearls and deal with it. but they did feel rather thick, plus, that slipperiness...is that from oil?? I've read that pearls could be oiled, and after using acetone they didn't feel as slick and gross.

I went to TXMaxx yesterday didn't see anything cheap enough I could tear apart. The one near me is also near their headquarters, so it has quite a lot of nice stuff in it. (got my Chloe sunglasses there :bigsmile: ) Marshalls NEVER has jewelery..at least none I've ever seen. Burlington Coat factory has imitations but I have to take a look at them to see if those are the type that can be removed.

oo and we do have a big salvation army thrift store near us. I'll go in there to see if they have any as well.

I found a crafting store thats a few towns away so will hit them up Sunday/Monday likely. I'll go to AC Moore today.


You guys rock, thanks for giving me some tips on the stringing!

-A
 

Lovinggems

Ideal_Rock
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Fascinating and sometimes horrifying photos Arc. Thank you for sharing your experiment results.
I'm also left handed and tried pearl stringing a while ago, the knots held up beautifully on my cheapie freshwaters, but not so flash on my nicer pearls :errrr: . Will give it a go again sometime...I have plenty of unstrung pearls and beads.
 
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