Saturday, 9 April 2011


Having lost heart at the opening of the first box of pearls, I plodded on.....the second box appeared to have some pearls sorted and a few strings of pearls threaded on cotton.  These pearls would have to be rethreaded onto silk thread and a clasp added.   Nothing yet to indicate that I could start a viable business with this factory clearance find.

More of the boxes first opened.....

The pearls are perfect individually but there were not sufficient pearls of any one colour or size that could be sold as a jewellery range.  Good quality that could used in making earrings but I felt that complete strings of pearls in quantity would be needed for me to turn this into a business venture.

Plod on.  Box 8 produced what look like a promise of paydirt.  Care had gone into wrapping these pearls in protective tissue and brown paper.
Unwrapping the first packet,  what a pleasure, perfect condition, perfectly graduated and all the same colour.

Every box after this contained a range of pearls.....pearls matching in colour, graduation size and length.  There were 29 different variations  of strings of pearls numbering from 30 to 600 strings per range.

I fell in love.

Friday, 8 April 2011


Retirement is looming so some years back  I started exploring ways and means of developing my  'SECOND LIFE' - I could not envisage a future of not doing any work at all.   

Opportunity knocked hard and loud when friends in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter contacted me and told me about pearls that they had been offered by a factory clearance contractor.  Intrigued, I was on the M1 within the hour.

In the storeroom was a pile of old boxes of different shapes and sizes. 

The first box I opened was a jumble of loose pearls and strings of pearls knotted and entangled and  all of different shapes and sizes and colours. 


creams of all varieties....rose creams,  velvety creams,  deep creams, metallic creams......

With a sinking heart, it was difficult to imagine the hours it would take to sort the pearls by sizes and colours however I felt I should look at all the boxes as my friends clearly felt that these pearls were just 'the opportunity' I was looking for.

Opportunity may well come in different shapes and sizes but clearly this was not the case in this instance.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


My first real introduction to the jewellery trade was when I went to work for a diamond mining company in a small village in South Africa.    The company paid for me to study gemology at the Gemological Institute of America based in Santa Monica, Los Angeles at that time.  

Marriage, family and life led to me moving and setting up home in England where I worked for  a  supplier of fittings for the jewellery manufacturing industry.   It was the most wonderful experience and for many years I attended jewellery fairs all over Europe and in England, Scotland and Wales.   

It was an incredible privilege to see the work of so many talented goldsmiths and silversmiths.  Of  course, the mass produced jewellery ranges were of note too.

My tastes are now firmly rooted in the appeal of ethnic jewellery which satisfies my need to own something that is handmade however I am also a lover of pearls.   Friends constantly tease that this gulf in taste is akin to my personality - from rough, unhewn, assertive go-getter to an about face complete 'girly girl' personality.   

This blog will hopefully be a place for me to meet with likeminded people who are interested in coloured stones and the history of beads and vintage pearls.