Is it a great idea to knot your pearls? Or rather not? When I was a young girl I help my father in his jeweler shop with picking up the pearls from the broken pearl strings. Most of the time the pearls are expensive and when the string break the pearls roll everywhere, in small places, where only very small fingers and short people can reach them. So when you asked me at that time ‘Is it wise to know your pearls?’ I would say YES YES!!!
My grandmother always told me that you should not knot your pearls. Period. I am from a jeweler family and my grandmother knows her business. But there are old Mikimoto pearls that are not knotted and in perfect shape.
Is it a tradition to knot your pearls? Or are there modern solutions to keep your pearls safe and healthy? Why should you knot your pearls or shouldn’t you? Might be the terrible 1 million dollar question, certainly when we are talking about very expensive pearls
Why knot your pearls in the first place?
Let us start with the traditional way of keeping your pearls in perfect shape. To avoid losing your pearls jewelers knot their expensive strings of pearls and you should knot your pearls too. When the cord breaks you only lose one of two pearls and not the whole string. That is if you notice losing your pearls, otherwise, the whole string is gone.
That is what happened in the jeweler shop of my father all the time. People came with unknotted pearl necklaces and asked my father to knot them. Then the client showed him why it was necessary and there the pearls fly all over the place.
Besides the reason to prevent losing your pearls the knot is a kind of buffer so that the pearls don’t rub against each other. The nacre of the pearl is precious and soft and when the pearls hit each other all the time the nacre comes off. And a knot between each pearl prevents this. So… knot your pearls!
knot your pearls: disadvantages
- The pearls are beaded on a silk cord and there are knots placed between the pearls. After 4 to 5 years the cord stretches and becomes thinner. You have to ask a jeweler to restring the pearls. They charge per knot! And it is expensive to knot your pearls with a professional. When the cord is getting dark you know that you need to restring the pearls. And when there is a little space between the knot and the pearl due to the stretching of the cord, it is time to watch your pearls.
- When you have small pearls and the string is knotted, the knots look larger than the pearls. And the size of the knot is not always the same. This is not so beautiful (it looks more like a rosary than a pearl necklace) and you can decide not to knot your pearls, especially when they are smaller.
- The idea that the knot will separate and protect the pearls from rubbing is a bit old-fashioned. There are very small black or white rubber bands on the market you bead between the pearls to keep them apart. You bead the pearls on a strong string, use the small bands and you don’t have to restring them and it’s safe for the pearls.
- The knots between the pearls disrupt the ‘flow’ or the shape of the necklace. With a normal strong string and rubber bands, the necklace falls smooth around your neck.
- Knotting your pearls, especially when they are smaller or the strnad is long, can cost you a fortune. Not only because you have to restring the strand every few years (safety reasons, because the silk thread wears out and gets longer), but also because they will charge by the knot. At the moment jewelers ask €12,50 ($14,40) for adding the clasp and then €0,85 per pearl ($1)
red garnet pearl necklace (1 available)Product on sale
white pearl rhinestone necklace (1 available)Product on sale
On what occasions do you knot your pearls?
Of course, I cannot tell you to knot or not to knot your pearls. It is a matter of preference and style. But you find some ‘rules’ here:
- Natural large pearls (more than 1 cm) are expensive and heavy. When you choose the string them on a silk cord that can stretch and break, the advice is to knot your pearls or use a strong thread with the rubber bands.
- Multistrand pearl necklaces are difficult to make because the strings have to hang perfectly below each other. When there are knots between the pearls it is very difficult to make it perfect because every knot is just a tiny little bit different in size and the space between the knot and the pearl may differ too. So don’t knot your pearls on a multi-strand pearl necklace.
and more tips… about when to know your pearls
- A single strand natural pearl necklace can be knotted, but they look great without the knots too. It depends on the length of whether knotting is a wise thing to do. When chokers are shorter than 16 inches it is safe without the knots and it looks more beautiful. But when the necklace is longer than 18 inches the advice is to knot your pearls or use the strong thread with the rubber bands.
- Long natural pearl necklaces must be knotted. They are heavy and you can wrap them a few times around your neck as a multi-strand necklace or shorten it with a knot. The silk cord endures a lot of tension, so knot your pearls, to be on the safe side.
To be honest I prefer a ‘not knotted’ pearl necklace because it falls more beautiful and I don’t like the knots, that look too large sometimes. I string my pearls on a strong thread and when necessary I use the rubber bands.
Anyway… when you want to know more about pearls ask for my free ebook. Just click on the link and I send it immediately to your email address. So just click!
Hugs, Florence from FlorenceJewelshop