Have you ever heard of pearl knotting? Do you know how important it is for pearls in a necklace to be knotted? Let’s see why this is such a big deal.
What Is Pearl Knotting?
Pearl knotting is the practice of tying knots between the pearls strung in a necklace. Next time you are looking at a pearl strand, take a closer look at the cord. Chances are you will see knots between the pearls on it.
Why Are Pearls Knotted?
One of the reasons to knot pearls is to keep all of them from falling off the strand if it breaks. If that happens, the knots will ensure that no more than one or two pearls drop on the floor instead of all at once.
Knotting is also done for another reason, which is no less important. When pearls are strung on a strand, the adjacent ones will touch, and after some time, the rubbing will result in damage to the pearls’ surface. To prevent their shell from chipping, pearls are often separated by knots.
Not all pearls are knotted, though. Fake pearls usually don’t have a surface that is as sensitive to pressure and rubbing, and that’s why they don’t need knots. Often, low-quality pearls are also not knotted.
Keep in mind that pearl necklaces need to be restrung regularly. This is done because the strand wears with time and becomes weak, and you don’t want your pearl necklace to break suddenly.
How often should you have your pearl necklace restrung? The usual period is every four or five years, but this also depends on how often you wear your necklace. Check it regularly, and if the strand is worn out and stretched thin, don’t put off restringing. Look out for these signs:
Dark cord: If the cord has become dark, this means that it is old and most likely weak. You should have it replaced or you will risk breaking it.
Loose pearls: Look at the cord and see if the pearls are tightly held between the knots. If the pearls are loose and there is a distance between each pearl and the knots beside it, this means that the cord has become stretched with time. That’s an indication that the cord has become thin and you should have the necklace restrung.
Buying a Knotted Pearl Necklace
When you are considering buying a pearl necklace, looking at its cord can help you evaluate how well the necklace is made.
First of all, a pearl necklace should have knots for the reasons already mentioned above, especially if the pearls are natural and expensive.
Make sure that the pearls are not loose between the knots. This might be a sign that the cord is not new.
And while we’re at it, get a necklace with a clasp that is durable. A lobster clasp is a good choice and is more reliable than the cheaper spring ring clasp.
Photo Credit: © Vitalij Geraskin / Fotolia