People might think I make myself a lot of jewelry because I'm a jewelry designer and maker. But truth be told, I don't often do that because I'm too busy creating for my clients.
On the rare occasion when I do make myself a piece of jewelry, it's usually from:
A. A special gemstone I've saved for myself, or
B. Something from the Irene's-WTF-learning-moments screwup bin.
This 14k gold and pearl ring is a perfect example of option B.
A few years back, I was making my mother-in-law a pair of pearl earrings for her 75th birthday (or was it her 80th? Maybe it was her 50th anniversary.) ANYWAY, I bought all the materials I needed and got a very nice pair of Japanese Akoya pearls.
When I was getting ready to set the pearls, I realized the pre-drilled holes on the pearls were too small.
No problems! I got a pair of pearl-holding tweezers. I'll use it to hold the pearls while I drill the holes bigger. Mind you, this was the first time i drilled pearl. I looked at enough videos, "I've got this!"
So I got on my goggles, the correct size drill bit, the pearl, and a bowl of water (to submerge the tweezers and the pearl into during drilling to prevent overheating).
Oh, and finally THE TWEEZERS.
I bought this pair of tweezers for $5. As you can see from the photo, they have paddle-like tips that are concave to hold a pearl. They also have this red coating to prevent marring or scratching to the pearls.
So everything is in place. I held the pearl tightly in the tweezers in the water and my drill ready. I started the drill and slowly lowering it down to the pre-drilled hole on the pearl. But instead of enlarging the hole on the pearl, the drill bit caught the pearl and "took it for a spin", LITERALLY! And I mean like a thousand spins!!!!!
For the split second that it was spinning, it was enough to create friction and heat, and melted the coating on the dang tweezers down to bare metal! 😱 As the pearl was spinning, the tweezers scraped ridges on the middle third of my "beautiful" pearl! The ridges looked like those you'd see on hand-spun pottery.
Ridges look fine in hand-spun pottery. THEY DO NOT LOOK FINE in a freaking expensive saltwater cultured Japanese Akoya pearl! 🤬🤬🤬
"W-T-F?" I screamed!
Maybe I should have used a smaller drill bit first?
Maybe I didn't hold the pearl tight enough?
Maybe it was Mercury retrograde?
Maybe because this was a project for my mother-in-law !? OR
Maybe I SHOULDN'T HAVE BOUGHT THOSE SH*TTY $5 TWEEZERS.
I don't recall the choice string of four-letter words I used but I'm sure I use them colorfully. Needless to say, I cannot use the "hand-spun" pearl for the earrings but I'm not going to throw it away either. So I put it in a little plastic baggie and figure I'll deal with it later. I did purchase another pair of pearl to finished off the earrings 🙄
See the ridges above ⬆️
Well, fast forward a few years, I finally got around to "deal" with THE pearl. I decided to design it into a ring since the ridges are only on the "belly" of the pearl, and the top is still very smooth and lustrous.
It turned out beautifully, and I have a good story to go with it. The thing is, I don't think anyone would have noticed the ridges on the pearl unless they are looking for it.
I actually love it more. I'm all into the not-so-perfect-yet-still-beautiful-and-unusual gemstones anyway. I guess it was meant to be.
(Looks great stacked with my Little Drops Gold Filled rings, doesn't it)
Moral of the story:
- Sh*t happens.
- Curse or throw something around like I did if you need to.
- Learn from the mistake and put it behind you (or in a bin).
- One day, you might remember it and create something beautiful from it, even better than the original plan.
- Oh, and most importantly, don't buy cheap shitty tweezers 😁
By the way, if you love this ring design, I would love to make you your own. It will be with a lovely smooth and lustrous pearl. If you would like a hand-spun pearl like mine, I'd have to charge extra! It's a BSD exclusive, you know, LOL!