Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Pearls





I have recently been feeling very motivated on the jewellery-making front and have a clearer idea of what I am wanting to make and why so I purchased a few more tools, materials and beads. I noticed that Marcia Lanyon had a few rows of pearls in the sale. They were dirt cheap so I decided to purchase them for future use. I was delighted with most of my bargains except for 2 rows of pearls which had been dyed pink. Despite being a huge lover of all things pink, these were too pink even for me ("Barbie on acid pink" to be precise!!!). However, for a while I had been hoping to experiment with some pearls after discovering that they dissolve in vinegar so I decided to see if it would take out some of the colour. Above is the little sample of beads and the vinegar/dissolving process. It was quite successful as the pearls came out a much nicer shade of pink and I actually just like the idea that these are pearls with a difference! 

Below you can see the change in shade after the pearls were left in the vinegar over night.




After a Google I discovered why: "A pearl is mostly calcium carbonate, which is susceptible to even a weak acid solution. The crystals of calcium carbonate are converted by acetic acid (vinegar) into calcium, which dissolves in the residual water, and carbonate that effervesces as bubbles of carbon dioxide, the formula for which is CaCO3 + CH3COOH --> Ca + H2O + CO2."


2 comments:

Adventures with Millie Making Jewelry said...

I'm with you, the pastel color is beautiful! This post was fascinating - who knew ...thanks for sharing!

Zoe Duthie said...

wow - what a difference! You really do learn something new everyday lol! x