Monthly Archives: March 2014

Nacre depth on bead nucleated freshwater pearls

There’s been a lot of debate recently about the nacre depth on bead nucleated freshwater pearls, along with concerns about the materials being used as the nucleus.

Rather fortuitously while we were making up some necklaces recently and enlarging the drill holes so the silk can be doubled back and hidden two pearls split neatly in half.

One was a white 12.6mm MingĀ  – metallic lustre with rainbow overtones and the other was a prototype small Edison white round of 9.5mm and rippled creamier nacre (If you don’t know the two pearl brand names don’t worry, just ignore).

Nacre depth is a real problem with saltwater Akoya pearls. Some pearls spend such a short time being grown that you can see the bead through the nacre (this is known as blinking because the pearls appear to blink when rolled back and forth). Thin nacre is one of the reasons why we have not carried an extensive stock of Akoya pearls up to now – although having found a couple of suppliers who guarantee decent nacre we will be stocking them more in future)

Tahitian and South Sea pearls are always grown on an inserted bead

But bead nucleation has exploded onto freshwater pearls in just the last few years. With large grower to wholesaler Grace pearl leading the way Chinese pearl farmers are producing huge round pearls from a schegeli/cumingii hybrid in the most amazing range of colours, some pastel and some deep, such as deep purples, as well as rippled surfaced pearls, nicknamed ripple pearls, with shimmering play of colours and often an effect like gold leaf has been added in patches.

ripple pearls

Classic ripple pearls – pink, lavender, blues, and the gorgeous gold leaf overlay effect

Anyway, here is the result of the two broken pearls…

bead nucleated pearls- nacre depth

broken white bead nucleated pearls

You can clearly see the beads and the layer of nacre. In the smaller pearl the nacre is just 0.6mm thick (minimum depth for a Tahitian pearl is 0.8mm over 80% of the pearl surface) so that would be a fail, while the larger pearl has a happy 1.23mm of nacre. Plenty.




Michelle Keegan loves her Pearlescence anklet

It must be nearly two years ago now that we supplied a simple white pearl anklet to Michelle Keegan’s stylist for a photoshoot with a holiday look.

Michelle loved the anklet so of course we gave it to her. And if you want proof that she really does love the anklet here it is out in Dubai on the beach with her and her fiance Mark Wright this week

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright

And later on the beach (photo from The Sun

michelle dubaiMichelle is leaving top UK soap Coronation Street in May. It was her enthusiasm for this anklet which triggered the making of the whole Beach Collection – which she named.

Beach Collection items are specifically designed to be all the jewellery you need to take on holiday. Either simple pearls or pearls on leather. And they look great on men or women.

added March 30…The anklet is still sending postcards – Today’s Star Sunday calls it ‘delicate’ !

Buy one like Michelle’s here