Updated: Apr 22, 2021
Pearls-- be they cultured freshwater, cultured saltwater, natural, or even faux-- need to be restrung every so often to ensure the strand is secure. Luckily, most strands are knotted between each pearl, so if it were to break all the pearls won't be lost.
The rule of thumb is that a strand that is worn often should be restrung every year or two and a strand that is worn less often should be restrung every five or so years. Depending on the length, it's not an expensive endeavor and it's definitely worth it to maintain your strand.
The necklace pictured above is 100 inches of freshwater cultured pearls and what you're seeing is where the ends meet since there is no clasp. One pearl slides on the silk and the knot is starting to unravel. I don't know whether I will restring this as a 100 inch necklace or design some other ways to use these pearls because this strand is unsafe as it is. What would you do? The suggestion box is open.
Which leads me to redesign. Not everyone is a fan of traditional pearl strands, but that doesn't mean you can't wear pearls. I have created many pieces using pearls that were either already owned by the client or inherited when we have added chain, or beads, or other accents to change the look from traditional to creative and fun. Pearls can be drilled out to slide on leather or satin cord or even ribbon, can be used as punctuation on a gold or silver chain, or have varying beads of gold, silver, or gemstones added to them for pops of color and personality.
So, do you have anything in your jewelry box that can be revamped or restrung?