I have an appraisal of a Mikimoto pearl pendant that I bought from Nordstrom (overpriced, but that was before I foundthis forum!). The appraisal describes the pearl as "designed by Mikimoto". I didn't think the Mikimoto company designs pearls and this appraisal is for insurance. I am concerned that in the event of loss, the insurance company will not consider this a true Mikimoto pearl, as I have never read of any pearl "designed" by Mikimoto. When I asked Nordstrom, they assured me that it is a Mikimoto pearl and that the Mikimoto Company is also a designer of pearls. ??? Also, I do not see any "M" or mark on the clasp.
The Mikimoto company is a pearl design house. They do not grow the cultured pearls they are selling themselves. If the setting of the pendant has a very small bail or overall too little goldwork to put a hallmark on, the hallmark is on the chain otherwise the hallmark should be on the pendant's goldwork itself. The value of your Mikimoto piece is defined largely by the paperwork and patented design. The cultured pearl itself is only a secondary value aspect.
To go along with Zeide's post, did you get any paperwork with the pendant when you purchased it?
Another question would be - when you purchased the pendant was it sold to you as a Mikimoto or was it sold to you as Nordstrom jewelry and the salesperson told you that Mikimoto designed it? I know that Nordstrom sells thier own "house brand" and they also carry items Mastoloni and from Gemological Trading, Inc.
I am a huge Nordstroms fan and have been to their "fine jewelry" department on occasion researching the brands they sell and so forth. The Houston Nordstroms is really huge and the last time I was there, they didn't carry Mikimoto. I wonder if this a new line that they recently picked up.