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  1. #1

    Default Are These Cultured Pearls ? White 18k & Platinum Clasp

    Greetings - My first post!

    I have had these pearls of my aunt since the mix-sixties. I never really looked at them closely until recently.

    Now I do I see by the marks on the short tongue in round barrel clasp that it has a rather expensive clasp. The stringing is original to the pearls, of that I am sure. So next I wonder what type of pearls they are?

    Before registering I've been reading as much as I can about pearls and am amazed at how many different types there are. I know by looking at the bead holes and looking at each bead with high magnification that there is no flaking or damage. They are definitely not simulated pearls - ie not glass or plastic or Roman pearls.

    There are some marks on the tiny clasp tongue which I cannot read. There are four marks on that side of the tongue. The first is the makers name initials and reads MH.
    The second I cant see but in one image it looks like a big letter M in the middle, but in other images not. The next is the number 750 the export mark for 18k gold and the last a shield with a pointed base.

    The necklace itself is just under 22" long. The pearls vary slightly from 7.5mms to 8mms. The drill holes are tiny. There is a knot in between.

    I know from reading this site that Mikimoto seems to have been the inventor of a certain type of pearl and that he has many immitators. But I wonder who MH is and if anyone knows?

    I read somewhere that wearing pearls increases their luster, so I am wearing them. To me they just look pearl coloured, not with a particular colour or sheen apart from creamy pearl. I will photograph them more closely after I have worn them for a week.

    Lastly, I am thinking of selling them. The economy is tight and we could use the money. But how on earth can I figure out how much they may be worth ?

    I really would appreciate guidance from the experts here and thank you for reading and looking at the images.

    Jools in UK
    Last edited by jools; 11-26-2011 at 05:06 PM. Reason: accuracy

  2. #2
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Hi
    The marks on the clasp are probably a hallmark - proof of what the metal is and when the item was assayed, where and who set it for marking. There is plenty of information on the internet - wikipedia and other sites
    . From there it should be possible to work out if the pearls are still on their original clasp.
    I'm in no way an akoya expert but these seem large and ungraduated for what appears to be a 50 year old strand.
    The mikimoto trademark (not a hallmark) is a letter m in a clamshell. just the one logo.
    Other than that we need a photo to be able to tell more
    Cheers
    Wendy

  3. #3

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    Hi Wendy - Yes, I know the hallmarks etc are for white 18k gold and platinum.

    Now I want to find out what type of pearls and if possible, the maker. The makers initials are part of the marks on the tongue of the clasp and are the initials 'MH'.
    I am trying to post images of the series of marks and the actual necklace but so far cant.

    I will give it a go now again by trying to show images of the marks on the (very tiny) tongue of the clasp.


  4. #4

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    Now some macro images of the marks from the tongue of the clasp:






  5. #5
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    That is an unusual clasp, never seen one like it. I can see your camera is white and that the pearls need re-stringing. They could be very nice akoya ....
    did you say you have had them for about fifty years...they would have to be akoya then as freshwaters were not of such quality, but I am going to wait for the antique pearl experts to comment here as they know far more about such things than me

  6. #6

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    Hi Wendy - Thanks for looking, yes I guess they have been in the family for about fifty years (but could be longer).

    I inherited my aunts stuff, my mothers and her mothers, and my own stuff along the way. I have boxes full of VCJ and at least 30 pearl necklaces. Most of them are the typical fifties double strand glass bead pearl with pearl like coating on the outside.

    But one strand are quite rare far as I can make out - they are Roman pearls. Do you know about those? In case you dont, they are not from Rome nor from the Roman era.

    I kinda think pearls are out of fashion right now so have not really paid much attention to them. I must dig out a bag full of them and take another look.

    As to re-stringing; I dont know. I like the fact they are on their original stringing and it seems strong. I've been wearing them for a day or two now hoping they will give off some
    kind of orient or luster when I take them off to photograph them.

    Not sure I would even recognize it if they do though.

    Now to dig out the bag of pearls if I can remember which box they are in..........

    Kind regards



    Jools

  7. #7
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Jools
    Please take more pics! I'd like to see one of the entire necklace. the value on older akoyas varies depending on the actual beauty of the pearls, today. those do need cleaning and restringing. A clean pearl will have more luster than one that hasn't been cleaned in decades. Wearing them may not be the ticket until they are cleaned and restrung, then they will respond much better to wearing.

    As for selling, do the cleanup first. Maybe our friend Wendy of Pearlesence already over there in England can help you get started. She is a VERY good re-stringer and knows pearls. I would take her advice after she sees and cleans them up and restrings them.

    It may be a bit late to sell them this Xmas unless, maybe someone here sees photos of the cleaned up version!Or if you know how to sell on eBay. You will NOT get their value from a jewelers or pawn shop.

    Good luck!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Caitlin
    Thanks for your input. I never thought of cleaning them. I seem to remember reading somewhere over this past week or so that they dont like being put in water, so I wonder can anyone advise me on how best to clean them ?

    I am very tempted now to dunk them in some hot water and scrub away with an old toothbrush. And I've taken them off now, although they look clean to me. I come from a family who dont wear their jewels, yet nevertheless collect them.

    I will indeed take some more pics of the actual necklace. I only took one and it came out blurred so binned it.

    I hope maybe after you see the pics you or someone else can give me some idea of a ballpark figure. I do sell on ebay but it is really bad right now what with the economy. I'd hate to see them go for peanuts.

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

    Kind regards


    Jools in England

  9. #9
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Pearls don't mind water, that's where they come from, but the silk on which they are strung doesn't like it at all..being a natural fibre it rots,e specially inside the pearl where it takes ages to dry.
    and not hot water. please not hot water and scrub.
    there is always dirt around - think how often you have to clean a mirror in the house - where does all that dirt come from and the pearls have been in skin with oils and craems and sweat and...
    i once re-strung a farmer's wife's very much loved strand, she never took them off, even for milking. I could tell!

  10. #10
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Hi Jools,
    Welcome to the forum.
    Your treasures really do need a good wash. Just a gentle bath in warm water with Castile soap (pure coconut oil and vegetable glycerine) and rub them between your fingers. (Please save the tooth brush for cleaning teeth and shower grout!)

    For safety they should be re-strung. After 50+ years thread becomes very tired and breaks easily, plus silk thread can hold a lot of dirt/skin oil. Also the French wire coil at the ends of the necklace are most likely silver plate (showing tarnish) and should be replaced.

    I would give Wendy (pearlesence) a call for help with that.

    Good luck with your beautiful find. Hope that you will be able to keep and enjoy them.
    Marianne

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Hi Wendy,
    Looks like we were posting at the same time and of like mind

  12. #12
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I was talking on the phone and didn't see the brush comment until now. Ouch!. I'm glad Marianne and Wendy got here first!

    If you do not knot pearls, it is easy to learn. This site is full of all the help you need to learn. It is actually quite within most people's ability to learn, if you can knit or crochet or type. We'll help you. Go look at the Lowly beader club pages to learn where to get a thread and needle and decent gimp. (Wendy has those) at a local beadshop or whereever they sell stuff like that in England. A pair of scissors is the only tool other than the needle. In fact, Wendy has a really good video on youtube on how to knot! It is the best one out there, so far. (though I don't think she needs that extra needle) Darn, I don't have the link! I'll go get it the next time I post! Put it in your signature, Wendy!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I think you can even embed the video in this thread.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 11-26-2011 at 10:31 PM.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  15. #15
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    It also need to go in the books and resources forum!

    Anyway, jools, I hope we have given you some ideas!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

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