Monday, September 19, 2011

Bead Wish List: Freshwater Pearls

Is there anything more lovely than a strand of pearls? Thanks to a little help from science and nature, beaders can enjoy the natural beauty of pearls on almost any budget. Virtually all pearls on the market today are cultured - grown with a little help from humans - but the most varied and abundant are the freshwater pearls. They come in a wide variety of shapes, and are dyed in the most appealing colors.

Did you know that many freshwater pearls come from small, family run rice farms? They provide an extra source of income, as well as lovely beads. Although the mussels used to grow pearls today are selectively bred, and materials must be introduced to start the pearl making process, freshwater pearls are all natural in content.

I recently treated myself to a few strands of freshwater pearls, and they are so pretty, they make me wish I wasn’t such a bead snob. My favorite quality is their weight, as if they are hiding something underneath that shiny surface. If I could buy pearls all the time, I might choose some of these…

Turquoise Green Coin Pearls
Turquoise Green Coin Pearls

Peacock Potato Pearls
Peacock Potato Pearls
From Beads You Need

Peridot Zebra Pearls
Peridot Zebra Top Drilled Pearls
From Auntie’s Beads

Bright Pink Potato Pearls
Bright Pink Potato Pearls
From House of Beads

Lime Green Leaf Drilled Pearls
Lime Green Leaf Drilled Nuggets

Metallic Jeweltones Pearls
Metallic Jeweltones Lined Potato Pearls
From Happy Mango Beads

Fuchsia Biwa Pearls
Fuchsia Biwa Shaped Stick Pearls
From Beadaholique

Meadow Nugget Pearls
Meadow Green Nugget Pearls
From SilverSense

Plum Rice Pearls
Plum Purple Rice Pearls
From Lima Beads

Do you have a favorite pearl shape?

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  1. I love pearls of any shape, size, color or species - but I love keshi pearls - they just have that added flair that makes them fabulous!

  2. Lately, I'm into round, but I also love the potato pearls.

  3. My favorite is the potato pearl. I love that purple shot from Lima!

  4. The more irregular the shape, the more I love it. potato and egg shapes are my personal preferences. :)

  5. I love button pearls and lately used a bunch of herringbone /leaf drilled pearls as embellishments on a RAW bracelet and fell in love. They had been in my stash for years and I couldn't figure out what to do with them as they just hung funny most of the ways I tried to use them. As embellishment, they look wonderful and give the piece a sense of motion & energy that a flat drilled rice or round pearl would lack.

    I need t find some more now!

  6. I love pearls! And they look great with just about anything! I'm especially fond of any grey/silver pearls. Timeless.


  7. I like round pearls the best right now. I wish that I could buy them all the time, too. There are few jewelry styles that are as classic as pearl pieces.


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