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Thread: Pearl Values

  1. #1

    Red face Pearl Values

    Just love this site. I came for a little information, and I have become fascinated with all of the interesting and informative threads. I never knew how much I love pearls. Thank you so much.. I think I may be addicted. My question pertains to pearl values, in general, and my own strand, in specific. In 1996, I purchased a strand that was appraised by an objective gemologist for $5500.00. The pearls have been carefully kept, worn once, and I have noticed no change in condition. They were not identified as cultured. The clasp is gold, but I could find no identification of its K. Assuming the appraisal was correct, would the value have increased, stayed the same, or declined, all things being equal? Thanks for your help and providing a wonderful spot to learn about these fabulous gifts of mother nature and the divine oyster!!

  2. #2
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    What type of pearls are they? Can you show us a photo with them in natural light on a white paper towel?

    Are you asking about their value because you want to sell them? Because pearls tend to lose their value.

    If you are looking to insure them, then the price might be different. Then you might be looking at replacement value.

    Pearls can deteriorate if not worn. Wearing pearls next to your skin actually make the pearls more beautiful. If pearls are kept in a safe or box and not worn, they can yellow or dry out.

    Then again, some pearls with thin nacre can wear out if worn. Pearls with thick nacre are usually just fine when worn a lot.

  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    "Value" can be replacement value for insurance purposes, or resale value, which is much lower. If you are wondering about current replacement value, you could look at what similar strands are selling for now online to get an idea of what it would cost to replace it. If you're thinking of selling them, that is another matter.

    You've only worn them once in all these years; do you not care much for them and so are wondering their potential resale value? (Are you referring to the cream colored strand in your other thread or another strand?
    http://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/sho...h-Cream-Pearls)

    One buys at retail but sells at wholesale. Pre-owned cultured pearls lose value just as a new car loses value as soon as you drive it out of the lot. (I know you said yours are not identified as cultured, but at that price point they would not be either imitation or natural pearls, so that only leaves cultured, which includes both cultured freshwater and cultured saltwater pearls. If humans were involved in the process of farming them, they are cultured.)

    Also affecting value: Styles change. Several decades ago people seemed to be wearing cream colored pearls more, whereas now whiter pearls seem to be more in demand.

    A good way to get an idea of what they might bring you on resale is to go on eBay and do a search for sold strands like yours. Not that eBay is the only venue. Many people sell on Loupe Troop or Diamond Bistro. Some sell on Ruby Lane. Some consign with their local jeweler. I'm sure there are other venues. However, you would need to pay listing and final fees, PayPal fees, etc. and if consigning, the store owner will take 40-60% of the final sale price. Generally speaking, you can expect to sell pearls at a significant loss. Still, if you don't like them, however much money you gain by selling them can be applied to pearls you actually want to wear.

    If you do like the pearls but don't like that particular strand as it is, it's possible to restyle them. Shorten the strand, or restring it as a station necklace (a.k.a. "tin cup" style necklace, so named after Renee Russo's station pearl necklace in the movie of the same name.) Or make a bracelet out of it. Or restring it wire wrapped, with colored stones between the pearls. In other words, if you don't like it as is, you can always turn it into something you like better.

  4. #4

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    Thank you all. I actually love my pearls, but would have considered selling for the right price. I will wear them routinely now that I know I should. I have a tendency to keep things for special occasions and probably never realize the full value of anything. My pearls introduced me to this wonderful forum, so that was definitely something of value.

  5. #5
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Appraisals on pearls are so much subjective & in most cases not at all accurate unless its GIA.

    I trust Mikimotos certificates but they are replacement value & not what you could get from a private party.

    I would assume older cultured pearls with top luster have a thick nacre but today even hanadama can have only .4mm on the circumfreance which in my opinion is not thick but its about the best you can do now with akoya pearls.

    Odd the clasp is not marked with metal content but its really not where the value comes from in a pearl strand but I would not expect a gold plated clasp to contain quality pearls but not all strands with gold clasps are hi quality either.

    A good pearl appraisal should at least measure the pearls & count them as well as comment on nacre & luster & skin quality.
    Sometimes the pearl origin is not always known.

  6. #6

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    Just louped the clasp. 14K appears on the plunger. These are the yellowish cream pearls I described in an earlier thread. Thank you. Sorry - I won't have multiple parts in future threads. I'm just learning the system.

  7. #7
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Glad you are hanging around, Periwinkle, and asking questions. There's always more to learn! (I've only been here since 2004, lol!)
    Pattye


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  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camelotshadow View Post

    I would assume older cultured pearls with top luster have a thick nacre but today even hanadama can have only .4mm on the circumfreance which in my opinion is not thick but its about the best you can do now with akoya pearls..
    I'm curious about this. Is it true that older Akoyas have thicker nacre than today's top quality Akoyas? (I know there are cheap Akoyas out there with very little nacre, but I'd assume that top quality Akoyas should be fairly similar regardless of vintage, right?).

    My understanding is that Hanadamas have a minimum of .4mm of nacre on each side of the bead nucleus, and I'm assuming that many have more. Plus there are vendors that charge $$$ with a guarantee of .8mm (not sure if this is true or if these are in fact nicer as I've never seen one in person). Do vintage Akoyas have more?

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Periwinkle, IMO, no jewelry is a great investment as you buy at retail and can never sell for the same price that you paid. Some things hold some intrinsic value (gold, diamonds, gemstones), but you will never sell them for the retail purchase price once you factor in inflation. You're better off investing your money or putting it in an interest bearing account if you want ROI. So buy jewelry for enjoyment and wear it often and with pleasure.

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Some old pearls have thin nacre too. Just like now there was difference in quality but in general older vintage pearls were cultured a longer time than they are now so the nacre was thicker. Even Mikimoto has cut the culturing time but I never did get a straight answer from the saleman & I don;t think he really knew.

    These days some akoya pearls may be harvested at say 8 months when it could have been 2 years in the 60's. They make much more money harvesting 2 or 3 seasons of pearls in the same time as it used to harvest one.

    .4 mm on each side is really not too bad. I think that can be durable enough if well cared for but 2 to 3 times the nacre should give more depth & enduring quality but not all will be deposited with a fine tight layers so length alone does not make for luster in fact a thinner nacres peal could appear finer as it has less chance of getting messed up by blemishes or out of round.

  11. #11
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Life is too fragile to keep anything for best. Enjoy it now, while you can

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    I agree...I have done that...its hard as I want to preserve the best things but truthfull the best thing is the self enjoying the jewelry!

  13. #13
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I have some 60 year old pearls (my grandmother's) that have very thin nacre and look worn out, but they were worn almost daily.
    I have some 60 year old pearls (my mother's) that have thick nacre and look brand new, and they were worn a lot, too.

    Good quality pearls will always be good quality.
    Bad quality pearls will always look it.

    Wear your pearls. Don't save them for special occasions.
    I love to wear pearls with denim. They look great together.

  14. #14

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    Where else could I have learned all this?? Thank you! You are wonderful!! Point of interest: I shop estate sales, and sometimes I get lucky.

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    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    I love estate sales! Unfortunately, my area has been growing tremendously and so estate sales are often times pricier than something at retail on sale so I quit going a few years ago. My favorite store in town is one that buys gold and silver. They don't pay for gems or fancy work, just pay by the ounce. And when you buy, there is a markup, but you pay by the ounce. We've got some really neat stuff there.

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