Economy Strands

Low-cost freshwater pearl beads offer an affordable way to incorporate the timeless elegance of pearls into your jewellery creations. While they may not have the same uniformity or lustre as higher-end pearls, they still possess their own unique charm and natural beauty. With a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours available, economical freshwater pearl beads allow for creativity and experimentation in creating stunning necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more.

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What is a freshwater pearl?

A freshwater pearl is a type of pearl that is formed within freshwater mussels, typically found in rivers, lakes, and ponds. Unlike saltwater pearls that are formed in oysters, freshwater pearls are created in a different environment. They are known for their unique and diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colours, ranging from white and cream to pastel shades and even more vibrant hues. Freshwater pearls have a lustrous surface and are prized for their natural beauty, making them a popular choice in jewellery making.

How are freshwater pearl beads made?

Freshwater pearl beads are formed through a natural process that occurs inside freshwater mussels. It begins when an irritant, such as a grain of sand or a parasite, enters the mussel’s shell and becomes trapped between its mantle and shell. In response, the mussel secretes a substance called nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of nacre is deposited over time, resulting in the formation of a pearl.

In the case of freshwater pearls, multiple pearls can develop within a single mussel, unlike saltwater pearls that usually produce one pearl per oyster. The growth period for freshwater pearls is typically longer, ranging from several months to a few years.

Once the pearls have reached the desired size, they are carefully harvested from the mussels. The pearls are then sorted based on their size, shape, lustre, and overall quality. Some freshwater pearls may undergo additional treatments or enhancements to improve their colour or lustre, while others are left in their natural state.

Freshwater pearl beads are popular in jewellery making due to their unique shapes, sizes, and colours. They are cherished for their natural beauty and lustrous appearance, making them a sought-after choice for creating elegant and timeless jewellery pieces.

Freshwater pearl beads are then drilled using specialised tools and techniques to create holes through which they can be strung onto jewellery. The drilling process requires precision and care to avoid damaging the pearls.

To drill the pearls, jewellers or artisans use a small handheld drill or a machine specifically designed for drilling pearls. The pearls are carefully and securely positioned to prevent any movement during drilling. A gentle and steady pressure is applied to create a hole through the pearl.

The drilling process can be time-consuming and requires skill to ensure that the holes are evenly drilled and properly cantered. The size of the hole depends on the intended use of the pearl beads. Some may have smaller holes for fine stringing materials like silk thread, while in rarer cases, some may have larger holes to accommodate thicker cords or wires.

After drilling, the pearls are thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure the quality of the drilled holes. Any excess debris or residue from the drilling process is carefully removed. The pearls are then ready to be incorporated into jewellery designs, allowing for endless creative possibilities in crafting stunning and unique pieces using freshwater pearl beads.

Freshwater pearl beads are typically strung for sale on a temporary thread such as cotton. These temporary strung beads are referred to as a strand. Strands of beads are typically around 38-40cm in length however this can vary for freshwater pearls. We usually specify the number of beads on a strand in the product description. If you’re making a traditional pearl bracelet or necklace on knotted silk, the knots will space the beads out adding 1-3mm per bead. This will make the potential length of your jewellery longer than the original strand length.

Choose the best pearls for beading

Listen up, bead adventurers! Picture yourself strolling through the wondrous treasure trove of Beads N Crystals, where pearls beckon with their iridescent charm. As you peruse the delightful selection, you’ll discover freshwater pearls of all shapes, sizes, and hues, ready to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your beading projects. From luminous white pearls that radiate timeless beauty to lustrous pink and lavender pearls that whisper of femininity and grace, the options are simply dazzling. So, grab your beading needle and thread, and let these pearls guide you on a journey of creativity, where you weave them into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that will make heads turn and jaws drop. It’s time to unleash your inner mermaid and dive into a sea of pearls at Beads N Crystals!

Freshwater Pearl Beads for sale in Australia

If you’re looking for a great range of economical freshwater pearl beads for sale in Australia, Beads N Crystals has you covered. We have such a wide and diverse range of beads available online or in our bead shop in Annerley Brisbane. We’re open to the public and also cater to wholesale pearls clients too. If you operate a business and require freshwater pearls wholesale in Australia, look no further than Beads N Crystals with our wide range and industry-leading experience and advice.

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