THE NEED FOR RE-STRINGING PEARLS
Most gold and other types of jewellery can be rinsed under water and carefully cleaned with a soft toothbrush or similar for a ‘spruce up’, apart from specialist cleaning. Unfortunately, this is not the case with pearls.
With strands of pearls, dirt and grease eventually gets in between the pearlsand attacks the material upon which they are threaded. As the thread weakens, the more chance there is of it snapping. Eventually, the thread will look discoloured, stretched and tired.
As with everything else, the ‘life’ of an object depends on how well you look after it. Typical recommendations for re-stringing pearls are usually every 1-2 years. This depends on how often you wear your pearls and how well you
care for them after use.
- ‘Baroque’ Pearls
The fashionable baroque type pearls (often multi-strand) usually cost between £70 and up to over£600. Due to the original cost, most people would not have them re-strung for four or five years (if at all), after purchase and then it would sometimes make sense to just buy a new ‘en trend’ strand.
- Classic, South Sea or Natural Pearls.
For the more classic, south sea or natural pearls a single strand style of round or round type pearls, will usually cost well over £1000. You will want to maintain these well as they are often very precious and can be considered investments.
WHEN TO HAVE YOUR PEARLS RE-STRUNG
As a guideline, if you wear your pearls weekly or more often, you are probably going to need to re-string once every couple of years or so. If you are wearing your pearls once a month or less, then re-stringing every three or four years will usually suffice.
Look carefully between your pearls at the thread. If it is bright white (original thread – white), they probably do not need re-stringing. If the thread is greasy, turning grey or you can see dirt accumulation, especially near the drill hole of the pearl, it is probably time to have them re-strung. The longer you leave it, the more difficult re-stringing can be as the thread can get stuck in the drill hole.
The different types of considerations are
The length of the piece determines the base cost for restringing. It is usually priced per inch, therefore, the repair will be more expensive for a longer piece as it will require more work. For instance, an 18″ pearl necklace starts at £60, while a 14″ choker will start from £40 to restring. For more prices, you can check out our pearl restringing service here which has a quotation calculator.
2. Type of string
Natural silk is most commonly used for pearl stringing due to its strength and texture, which does not wear down the pearls from the inside. As a preventative measure, the professional stringer can restring the piece with more than one string but usually one string is used. This proves additional security; if one string breaks, the other will still hold the necklace or bracelet together.
Other types of string are available as well, if your piece does not utilise silk. Wire, elastic, and other cords will cause the price to fluctuate depending on the availability of the string. Another expensive alternative is restringing on a gold chain, which has to be fine enough for the pearls to fit.
The most secure stringing method is knotting. Knotting means that the stringer places knots closely in between each pearl, so if the string breaks at any location the pearls will not slide off and scatter and potentially be lost. There are different options available for knotting, including single knot and double knot. For an even more seamless appearance, a skilled stringer can string it so that the knots are barely visible between the pearls. Opting for knotting will increase the price by a few pounds per inch, as the labor involved is more costly than a simple restringing.
4. Stringing Design
The design of your item will also affect the restringing cost. For instance, if you have a graduated pearl necklace, the stringer will have to sort out the loose pearls and string them in order from smallest to largest. More elaborate pieces including tassels, multiple strands, and complicated beadwork or wire wrapped chain will be more expensive to restring due to the complexity of the work required.
5. Clasp Replacement
Aside from your pearls, a clasp replacement might be necessary if you lost or damaged your clasp. This little bit of metal that holds your necklace or bracelet together can vary in cost depending on its design, material, and size. Standard pearl clasps, specially designed for pearl necklaces, range from £50 to £80 if they are 9ct to 18ct gold, but can advance upwards into thousands of pounds depending on the complexity of the clasp. A mystery clasp, which is a special type of clasp that is drilled into the two end pearls of a necklace to “hide” the clasp design, can start at £150 for installation and/or repair.