In the past, silk thread was used to string peals throughout the industry. However, today pearl strands are strung on a silk thread that is much more durable and longer lasting than silk alone.
The thread is knotted between each pearl for three reasons:
- To protect the pearl at the drilling hole. The knot prevents one pearl from rubbing against the next one and chipping the nacre.
- To prevent the loss of more than one pearl if the string breaks.
- To give the necklace a fuller look and more flexibility. The more flexible it is, the better it will hang around the neck. It will still feel more comfortable, and better conform to the body of the person wearing it. She will look better and feel more at ease.
All Shane Co. Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearl strands are knotted between each pearl. However, since freshwater pearls are less expensive, it is acceptable in the pearl industry to knot after every third or fifth pearl.
When a pearl strand is newly strung, it will not "lay flat" right away. However, as the strand is worn it will relax and lay better.
Pearls will keep their luster for a very long time, when cared for. Proper pearl care is not difficult, as long as you remember that these gems are organic by nature, grown in water from living cells of a living creature.
What to do:
- Store your pearls separately from other jewelry, preferably in a cloth bag. Storing them in a slightly damp linen cloth, will help the pearls from drying out in low-humidity atmospheres and centrally heated areas.
- Apply your cosmetics, perfume and hair spray, before putting on your pearls.
- Wipe your pearls after wearing them, using a soft cloth.
- Restring your pearls every 2-5 years.
- Remove spills immediately when pearls come in contact with food acids. Wipe them with a soft damp cloth and then with a dry soft cloth.
What you should avoid:
- Contact with salt water and chlorinated water
- Makeup, skin creams, perfume, hairspray etc.
- Soap, detergents
- Commercial jewelry cleaners
- Steam cleaning