To ask, ”How much does one pearl cost?” is an extremely broad question! Instead of answering, “$1” or even, “$1000,” I would follow up that question with many clarifiers starting with, “How big is the pearl? How flawless? What shape? Where will this pearl be set?”
I think of pearl costs a lot when it comes to The Pearl Girls Jewelry Repair Service. There is a big difference in replacing the small pearl at the back of your graduated pearl necklace (that might cost you between $1 and $3 for a vintage pearl) and matching the perfectly round 10mm pearl stud earring you lost (that pearl is closer to $100).
In this post, I want to tell you about replacing solitary pearls in a pearl ring. This would also apply to pearls in a pearl pin. Essentially, when you are replacing a pearl in a pin or ring, this pearl will be a showcase piece. Your ring may have only one pearl so that one pearl needs to look good.
If you have a necklace of pearls, fully drilled, you can get away with a few spotted pearls. Why? Well, when drilling pearls, where does the drill hole go? In the blemished part of the pearl! So, if you have a pearl with a bump in it, that bump can be easily disguised when it is drilled. Or, even when paired with other pearls in a strand! Pearls in pearl rings, on the other hand, need to look good almost all the way around! We keep a stash of flawless undrilled pearls for this purpose. I call them Solitaire Pearls. Because even if you have a few in a piece, they all need to look as good as stand alone pearls!
We get many requests to replace pearls in rings and the price depends a lot on the placement, size and shape of the pearl.
Monelle’s Pearl Ring
Let’s start with this week’s request. Look at this awful pearl:
Monelle sent us this image along with the following message:
”I need the pearls replaced in a pearl ring. Photograph attached. I can’t quite believe it, because I previously had the center pearl replaced by a local jewelry with a very fine reputation, but the center pearl (5mm) is obviously fully drilled! This hole was not visible when the work was first done. Also, the side pearls (3mm) no longer match. I remember that this jeweler had trouble finding 3 pearls that matched each other in color. I prefer cream color. White is my second choice. I really do not like pink. Can you help me, and how much would it cost? Thanks!“
Okay, first, what is going on here? It is clear the jeweler did not have any undrilled pearls on hand so they fooled Monelle by setting a fully drilled pearl in her ring. How is that even possible? They probably mixed a little pearl dust with some glue to temporarily fill in the hole. Unfortunately, poor quality cannot be hidden for long. Obviously, whatever the jeweler used to mask the hole has now fallen out and Monelle is stuck with a completely unwearable ring!
A note about drilling…. If a pearl is drilled all the way through, it is a fully drilled pearl. Many of our customers ask if we can take pearls out of their necklaces and make earrings. I tell them, yes, but, the pearl will have to dangle because it is a fully drilled pearl. If you want to make a pearl into stud earrings or place it in a ring, it must be half drilled, meaning the drill hole does not go all the way through the pearl.
So, Monelle wants to know how much it will cost to replace this pearl! In this case, how much does one pearl cost? Again, it depends!
We usually tell people our pearls start at $20 because that is our minimum charge to work on a ring and because our 7mm solitaire, button style pearls are $20! Monelle clarified the size of the pearls as 3mm and 5mm. Although this is super helpful, many people do not know the sizes of pearls in their pins or rings! Also, since there can be slight variations in pearl sizes, we don’t know if the 5mm pearl is closer to a 5.5mm or to 4.5mm. These differences may seem slight, however, they affect both the price and the placement in the setting. Monelle’s ring needs completely round pearls.
Here are the sizes for The Pearl Girls Solitaire pearls. These are the most common sizes we replace in pearl rings, pearl pins and pearl earrings with 6mm and 7mm being the most popular. You can find more at the pearl listing here.
How much does one pearl cost? Here are The Pearl Girls pricing for one round white AAA pearl:
Do you want to save money on your pearls? AA pearls and pearls of these same sizes but not as round are more affordable! Again,once we get your ring in hand, we can give you a better idea of prices!
Remember, we also charge a drill, epoxy and handling fee! For replacing all three pearls in Monelle’s ring, we quoted her the following:
Pearls $20 x 3 = $60 (please note if the center pearl is larger than 5mm, it may be over $20)
Drill fee: $6
Glue fee: $5
Total estimate: $81 + shipping
Truthfully, I quoted her a little high on the pearls, unsure of the exact size. Hopefully we will be able to come in a little lower when we get her ring in and confirm the exact sizes.
I know it might be tough to hear but, really, we can give you our most accurate quote once we receive your ring. Do you want to order a Jewelry Return Kit? Click here!
Thanks so much, as always, for trusting The Pearl Girls to repair your beautiful pearl ring!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA.