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I have pearls but I don’t know what to do with them. What do you suggest?

I’m sometimes asked this question.

The problem is, of course, that in a blog I can’t give a definitive answer. That’s because a lot depends upon your exact situation.

The pearls

To begin with, you need to look objectively at your pearls.

If they’re synthetic pearls, the harsh reality of life is that they may have very little value – though there might be odd exceptions such as synthetic pearl jewellery, called “costume jewellery”, if they’re vintage and made by a big recognised name.

In most cases though, synthetic pearls may have such little commercial value that it just might not be economically sensible to do anything with them at all. For example, I have seen many broken strings of synthetic pearls that could be re-strung or single pearls that could be re-mounted but the costs of doing so might be far higher than their value.

Of course, if they are of great sentimental value then that wouldn’t be a consideration.

In terms of establishing what your pearls are, it’s always worth consulting an expert before deciding upon a “do nothing” approach. I have also known cases where people thought their old pearls were synthetic but they were, in fact, “real” and valuable.

So, be sure before deciding to throw pearls out.

Your options

Let’s assume you know your pearls are real or they have a great sentimental value for you.  Your options are many:

  • you can re-string pearls;
  • if they’ve become detached from their mounts over time, they can be re-mounted;
  • you can what today is called “re-purpose” them – for example, I’ve seen pearls from what were a set of man’s cufflinks converted into earrings.

You could also sell them, if they’re real and of sufficient quality.

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! It all starts with getting someone qualified to assess the nature and condition of your pearls to begin with.

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