I always know fall is just around the corner when all of a sudden pearl jewelry starts flying off the shelves. Technically, pearls are the gemstone for the month of June, but I’ve learned from experience that these peerless beauties are most popular during autumn and the holidays. It must be the timeless quality, the understated beauty, and the hint of nostalgia that make pearls so popular this time of year. Pearls have never gone out of fashion (and I think it’s safe to say they never will) so they make great gifts for women of any age.
Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about pearl jewelry, so it’s definitely time for a little refresher on positively perfect pearls!
Kristen Baird® Pearls
The most frequent question I receive is about what type of pearls I use in my jewelry. Here at Kristen Baird®, we exclusively use white freshwater pearls. We never use artificial or imitation pearls of any kind.
Because of the way I incorporate pearls into my jewelry designs, I always choose button-shaped pearls, which are naturally slightly flattened on one side. I then half-drill the pearls, which means I drill about halfway into them so they can fit onto a post. The pearls are further secured to their settings with a touch of epoxy. This is different from how many jewelers utilize pearls, which is drilling through them so they can be strung onto a bracelet or necklace.
To use a little bit of nerdy jewelry language, the pearl type is freshwater pearls, the shape is button-shaped, and the format is half-drilled. Now… onto the fun stuff
The Pearl Collection
The Pearl Collection by Kristen Baird® “combines timeless Southern charm with modern technique and just a hint of playfulness.” Like all my jewelry, my pearl designs are inspired by nature, which is evident in the contrast between my version of the Pearl Necklace and what most people envision when they think of a pearl necklace. The Kristen Baird® version features a single pearl nestled in a handcrafted oyster shell form, recalling the pearl’s natural origins.
The most popular pieces from my Pearl Collection feature simple, modern designs, like the Pearl Studs and Hammered Pearl Bangle. All of these Sterling Silver pieces also come with the option of a black patina finish. The patina adds an extra bit of visual texture and really makes the white pearls pop.
Introducing… Gold Pearl Jewelry
When I first released the Pearl Collection in 2017, it was exclusively Sterling Silver. While I continue to love the versatility of silver, I’ve received a ton of requests for gold jewelry over the years. Now, I’m happy to offer some of our most popular pearl pieces in 18K rose and yellow gold!
The gold pieces are petite, sweet, elegant, and classic - just like pearl jewelry should be! The Mini Pearl Studs, Mini Pearl Pendant, and Mini Pearl Ripple Ring are perfect for mixing and matching and pair beautifully with pieces from the Graceful Glimmer Collection. I will continue to add more gold pieces over time, so don’t forget to check back!
Reusing Heirloom Pearls
I’m often asked about redesigning heirloom pearl jewelry. This makes a lot of sense, because I specialize in heirloom redesigns and pearls are some of the most-often gifted pieces of jewelry. Up until recently, however, there hasn’t been a lot I can do with heirloom pearls. This is because most pearls are fully drilled and strung, as I explained earlier. This poses a problem with my style of pearl jewelry because the hole from the original drilling will remain visible.
That is… until now! This looks like a job for (drumroll please) our Laser Welder! Without getting into all the nitty gritty details, this tool allows me to apply localized heat without melting materials. (If you want those nitty gritty details, check out the laser welder blog.) This has opened up new possibilities and ways to repurpose pearls.
So, bring on those heirloom pearls… I’m ready!
Caring for Pearl Jewelry
As with all jewelry, it’s important to care for your pearls. One of the best ways to keep pearls looking clean and beautiful is to wear them often! Your natural oils are great for pearls. It’s also fine to clean pearls in water (they come from the water, after all) However, I do not recommend wearing pearls in a swimming pool. They do not play well with chemicals! Pearls can become stained or damaged when put into contact with chemicals and cleaning agents, so it’s best to simply avoid that. Other than that, my pearl jewelry is perfect for everyday wear.
There is truly so much to say about pearls I could go on forever, but I’ll leave it here for now. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever have any questions about pearl jewelry.
Have fun showing off your pearls!