The collar is closed with gold cording that is wraped around four buttons. They were made by sewing an "X" with gold thread onto a piece of fabric. That was used to cover a padded "covered button". If you will notice that one pearl is missing from the motif on the right of the buttons. I suppose that makes it 12,999 pearls. I never really counted the pearls. I just multiplied the number in each motif by the number of motifs. There are 95 pearls on one of the motif that is on the sleeve so, it adds up very fast. I did not sew each pearl on one at a time they were strung. I did stitch between each pearl with four strands of gold thread. I went through 4 spools of Coats and Clark gold metallic thread.