What's this style of necklace called?
July 23, 2017 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I recently admired this necklace in a charming little shop. Alas, owning it is entirely out of the question due to cost, but I'd love to find something similar. Can you tell me what search terms to use?
posted by snickerdoodle to Shopping (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's a puka shell necklace!
posted by katypickle at 5:32 PM on July 23, 2017

The flat discs are heishe/heishi beads. Shell or dyed stone would be less expensive. You could probably have this commissioned easily.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:34 PM on July 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

A bit about why the non-machine-made stuff (which is generally where you see good turquoise, etc) is expensive.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:38 PM on July 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

The pearls are ringed or circled round. You should be able to get some nice freshwater pearls plus the other beads at a bead shop, together with the right kind of string. Then you just search for "how to string pearls" and Bob's your uncle.
posted by tel3path at 5:38 PM on July 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

If you search Etsy for "turquoise disc beads" you'll come up with a fair number of beads that are a reasonable match for the turquoise in that necklace. "heishi" or "rondelle" will also help you find the turquoise beads.
posted by amandabee at 5:43 PM on July 23, 2017

Oh man. I am now intrigued by the idea of making this myself. For reference, here's a better photo of the necklace (I'd want the longer length). Any pointers on good online bead shops?
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:56 PM on July 23, 2017

If you wanted to do it yourself, it's a really simple starter piece--with one exception.

There are knots between the pearls, but as there aren't that many pearls, there aren't that many knots. The knots are simple to learn and there are lots of good tutorials online. I'm guessing there are either two or four knots in the turquoise, but mostly the chips are just strung together one after the other (note, I'm looking at the shorter version, only because we can see the entire strand).

The tricky part comes in finishing the circle and tying the necklace off in a way that isn't evident. For that I'd suggest rather than buying the beads online, going to a local bead shop and getting the staff to show you the best way to accomplish this part of the job. The reason I say that is I have yet to see a really good only demo of it (although I could have just missed them if they do exist). Now, I can do what I think is a reasonably good job of it, but it helps to either have large holes or to be able to bore out some of the holes to get a larger diameter on two or three of the beads. (Yes, I have taken a powered electrical drill to freshwater beads before. Drilling pearls is tough!) The reason you need to do this is in order to bury the string end, you need to go back through one (or two or three) beads, retying knots in the process and the cut off the end, hoping it will slide into the last of the beads and hide there forever. I know I'm not describing this very well, but it's late, and it has been a really long day.

I do caution you, however, that no matter how many bead stores I've shopped at, I can't get anybody to really show me how to do this properly. I don't know if they want me to take a specific course to teach me this one skill, of if it's something they don't do themselves--it's much simpler to insert a clasp--or if I'm just unlucky or what. Anyway, it can't hurt to ask around, and maybe you'll find somebody who can give you a hands-on demonstration and show you some easy tricks to make it work. (And if you do learn the secret, please come back and share it with us.)
posted by sardonyx at 8:48 PM on July 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is a fresh water pearl and rough turquoise disc, necklace. All the parts are cheap. If you have a rock shop in your area who has a jeweler then you can bring in the components, and they will put on the clasps. There is something called the Gem Faire that comes to bigger cities four times a year. You can buy strings of stuff or individual pieces like the fresh water pearls. Those pearls are inexpensive. There are also a lot of jewelry making and bead shops around. See if there is one in your area. You can do this. It shouldn't cost you more than $35 to make this, probably a lot less, since that turquoise is so rough.
posted by Oyéah at 9:59 PM on July 23, 2017

That necklace is a lot larger than it seemed in your first photo.

Here are some turquoise heishi beads and freshwater pearls to get you started. Reconstituted turquoise disc beads google result.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:18 PM on July 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bear in mind, that if you use stone turquoise disks, that necklace will be hella heavy. I bought some really pretty stone disks on etsy and strung them up, but I can't wear the necklace because it's too uncomfortable.
posted by sarajane at 10:57 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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