Hello everyone, I am new in this forum and I am hoping for a maker's hallmark initials ID. I recently purchased a black pearl necklace with a 14K clasp that bears the initials MI (merged together or on top of each other). Has any member came across or have seen these initials before? Any guesses as to the maker's name? According to the seller it was made and purchased in Hong Kong. I would attach a photo, but I don't have the necklace yet. I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you in advance
Hi BWeaves, I will take a photo of the necklace once they arrive. Thank you for the tip as to what background to use to photograph a black pearl.
(Update) i wanted to attach a photo taken by the seller, but it looks like as a new member to the forum I have not earned that right yet. Any idea about how many postings I need to post before I can or will be able to attach photos? Thanks
Last edited by CatsNme; 03-17-2017 at 12:41 AM.
Reason: Photo attachment
Below is a photo (used by the seller) of the "black pearls" with a 14k clasp (hallmarked MI) that I purchased from an eBay seller.
Stats are: length 18 inches; "All the pearls are the same size; about 5/16 inch in diameter. There are no knots between the pearls. Gram weight 49.9 (weighed on a jewelers scale." The seller claimed that this was an estate find and was made and purchased in Hong Kong; year unknown.
I'm not really sure what I am getting other than what the seller described because this will be my first black pearls necklace. I love vintage jewelry, which is what drew me to buy this piece.
Any educational advice and/or feedback about this necklace will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Jeremy, could you explain what is a dyed Chinese freshwater? My imagination is running wild with how they are dyed but would like to get educated on the dying process. Will the luster go fade faster because the colors were not naturally occurring in nature?
(Update/edit) How old do you think this necklace is?
Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
Marina del Rey, CA
It's impossible to say how old the necklace is, but it certainly doesn't look old. It's likely it's no more than a year or so old. My guess is that the person who sold it to you was not being truthful about how it was acquired. Dyed freshwater pearls can be purchased on every other street corner in China and Hong Kong.
Natural-color freshwater pearls, such as pink and lavender, are colored with an organic dye. They are subjected to heat and pressure and the dye penetrates the surface of the pearls.
Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
Catsname, were these sold to you as Tahitians? If so they were misrepresented, and you may be able to get your money back. Chinese freshwater pearls are worth much less than Tahitians. (The colors will be stable, however.)
If you didn't pay a lot for them and like them enough to want to keep them, consider that as dyed freshwater pearls the cost of restringing them may be about the same as the retail value of the strand, or even more depending on what is charged in your area. A few years ago I was quoted about $70 to restring an 18" strand.
It would be really easy to restring them yourself, and would not cost much either. Many of us do our own restringing. See the tutorials on the Lowly Beaders Club. P-G member Pattye sells what you would need in her Etsy shop: a synthetic thread that many of us prefer to silk (it won't stretch, and can be washed), a few wire needles, some gimp (the little gold wire that covers and protects the thread where it meets the clasp). Links in the tutorial thread.
Hello Jeremy, thank you for the information on the dyed Chines freshwater pearls. This is a valuable lesson I will never forgot
Pearl Dreams, the eBay seller was careful not to say that the necklace was of Tahitian pearls. Based on Jeremy's and your feedback, I probably paid too much for it. I like how the necklace look, however, and will probably keep it. I will check out Lowly Beaders Club - Pattye's Etsy store for the supply to re-strung.