Colorful pearls, where do they come from? Here is my hot tip: they are dyed pearls! Yes, those shockingly wild pearl colors are not a normal pearl color. They are the result of a little RIT dye.
Are you familiar with RIT? As a child of the 70s we were well versed in the art of RIT dye mainly from the creation of tie dye t-shirts.RIT is a brand of dye offering up bright rich colors. They are great colors for tie-dye t-shirts. For pearls? I am not so sure.
Now, there are many ways to color pearls and some companies claim to have very fancy ways to color their pearls but the essence of dying pearls is this: submerge the pearls in a colored water and let them sit until they soak up the dye. Another option? Expose them to heat to speed up the dye process. Pearls are typically dyed after they are drilled to help them soak up the color in the drill hole. And some companies go so far to string the pearls on thread and use the dyed thread to complete a piece of jewelry. That way the string matches the dyed pearls.
I am amazed at the wonderful names that spring forth from these dyed beauties… cranberry pearls, apple pearls, fuchsia pearls and more. They are all crafty ways to pitch a rather unnatural looking pearl.
Now, I am a fun girl and I will admit there is a time and place for dyed pearls. We have even carried dyed pearls here at The Pearl Girls. Maybe you want bright fuchsia pearl necklace? I can understand. However, here is the most important thing you need to know about dyed pearls: the high quality pearls are NEVER dyed. So, know what you are getting! I you are spending big bucks on these fun pearls, know that are not getting much for your buck. In fact, according to the RIT dye website, RIT will set you back $3-4 dollars. You might do better to find your own cheap pearls and dye them yourself. Just don’t bet the farm on the wild and colorful pearls.