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  1. #1
    CLICLASP
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    Default Burmese pearls from Martaban Gulf

    Hello everybody on the forum,

    I wanted to share with you the pleasure of a 60' issue of Tiffany Blue book, offering Burmese pearls, claiming to be - at the time- the most beautiful and rarest pearls of the world. Burmeses cultured pearls possessing pure white color with pink overtones...
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  2. #2
    Valeria101
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    Aparenlty, prices have gone a long way since then... even at the same shop. I'm guessing those are 12-15mm or so.

    Wonder what the cultivation time & quality would have been back then. The shapes look pleasantly near-round rather then industrial-design perfect
    Last edited by Valeria101; 04-07-2007 at 03:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Burma actually has a long pearling history dating thousands of years. The old Salangs from the Mergui are famous pearl divers and shell collectors.

    On the cultured pearl side, blisters were produced there before Mikimoto?s first harvest of rounds in the early 1900?s. They did not start producing rounds, however, until the end of the 1950?s. Their first auction was in 1964, and the South Sea pearls were the best the world has ever seen (even until now), with fine pink colors. They were also the largest, and commanded the highest prices anywhere. That Tiffany piece is not far off what one would expect from one of those early strands.

    What is very interesting of the Tiffany advertisement is its description of the necklace. It states that they believe pearls of this quality (Burmese) will be nearly unobtainable in the future. Quite an accurate premonition, considering the quality of pearl dropped drastically in the early 90?s, and the industry has never fully recovered.

  4. #4
    Valeria101
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd
    What is very interesting of the Tiffany advertisement is its description of the necklace. It states that they believe pearls of this quality (Burmese) will be nearly unobtainable in the future. Quite an accurate premonition, considering the quality of pearl dropped drastically in the early 90?s, and the industry has never fully recovered.
    Yeah, that sounds prophetic: 'wonder if they just had the nationalization in mind, or truly realized that the bigger free-er market will end up in the same place by other means anyway.

    With a really short record of nucleated pearls (and only recent interest, to boot), must have missed more than I realize

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    The nationalization did make a big difference as all the Japanese technicians left and took their perliculture technology with them. But they left more than 100k nucleated oysters. The Burmese were able to harvest and renucleate existing pearl sacs for years until they developed their own technology.

  6. #6
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Wow! I wonder what that would go for in 2007 dollars?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Could not find a currency calculator later than 2005, but these are the results:

    In 2005, $93,000.00 from 1963 is worth:
    $593,171.13 using the Consumer Price Index
    $480,955.05 using the GDP deflator
    $717,664.95 using the value of consumer bundle
    $670,316.37 using the unskilled wage
    $1,194,129.21 using the nominal GDP per capita
    $1,875,326.86 using the relative share of GDP

  8. #8

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    Wow. It looks great even in a picture.

    Have you guys been to Burmese Emporium show lately? They've been attempting to produce cultured south sea pearls again since late 90's. I don't know much about the quality, but from a pearl farmer I know, buyers are mostly from Hong Kong and Australia.

    It was probably a bad idea to nationalize back in 60's. I guess, they thought they could do it better or at least as good. I actually didn't know Burma produced great pearls just a few decades ago even though I was born there. hehe. But I digress.

  9. #9
    CLICLASP
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    I came across the Tiffany blue book 1974 issue, featuring another Burmese necklace, that I wanted to share with you all.
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  10. #10
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    A web site about Burmese pearls:

    http://myanmarpearl.com/profile.htm

  11. #11
    Valeria101
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    So... what changed more: the pearls, or the times?

    I do not see the 'Burmese' label on pearls often at all. THESE have it. What you see is what I see...


  12. #12
    Jones
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    I was wondering what the general opinion in the pearling industry is condering burmese pearls and the involvment (ownership of pearl farms) of the (not so) democratic government of Burma?

  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl
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    Amazing thread and like stepping back in time, Burma seems to be throwing up some rare pearls indeed late http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/w...-in-Burma.html - apologies for the aviation link in a pearl forum - I had the pleasure of sitting in one these amazing crafts at Battle of Britain ceremony at Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester this year and liked the Burmese connection.
    Last edited by Donzi32; 10-06-2012 at 07:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BlackPearlDudeDC's Avatar
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    A few years back, the only time I had ever seen what was apparently "Burmese Pearls" was from jewelry store receipts dated from the late 1960s in London. A client had a pair of pearl and diamond earrings, a pearl ring and a ruby brooch, all detailed to be burmese set in platinum and 18kt yellow gold. At the time I don't know that I would've thought much about the pearls had the ruby and diamond brooch not been a part of the collection.

    Her grandparents willed her some pieces, and her being the only girl she received all of the rest of the jewelry too. Mostly 9kt gold and glass pearls. She mentioned her grandfather traveled a lot, I don't recall what he did for a living or if she even mentioned it. I do remember her mentioning he would return home after extended travels and buy or bring back "guilt gifts" for having been gone so long.

    Me being cynical me, I thought guilt gifts had nothing to do with being gone too long from traveling. Still it was a pretty brooch and the pearls were nice, all pieces she thought were sentimental but sadly too big and old lady-like for her to wear. I also thought more pretty pieces to be shoved back in the vault and neglected : (.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLICLASP View Post
    I came across the Tiffany blue book 1974 issue, featuring another Burmese necklace, that I wanted to share with you all.