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  1. #1

    Default I purchased these pearls in Mindanao. Are they South Sea?

    I recently purchased this necklace in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. I was told by the place that I purchased them that they are cultured saltwater South Sea Pearls harvested in Palawan. They were purchased at a Pearl dealer in Davao City. The sizes range from 9.5 to 10.5mm. Since the people on this board seem very knowledgeable I decided to seek opinions from here. Do these appear to be the real thing? I tried to do the best I could with the pictures and I know it is probably difficult without actually physically inspecting them but thought I would ask. If the pictures are not enough to tell from, what should I look for to tell if they are? Thanks in advance.Name:  100_1138.jpg
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  2. #2
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    What did you pay for these pearls?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cees View Post
    What did you pay for these pearls?
    14,400 php or around $335. That is the reason I am asking. Sounds too cheap for real South Sea pearls. However they were 40% off the original price of 24,000 php I was assured by the sales person that they were authentic and she told me the history about the supplier, but I do not remember all of the details, except that they came from Palawan.

  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    The first photo makes them look a bit eggy. My first guess would have been freshwater pearls but I am not an expert. That is a nice size for freshwater so I would still be happy with the strand.

  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Hi,

    They would be really small for South Sea Pearls, but a good size for being freshwater. I assume that they are gritty?

    - Karin

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    The first photo makes them look a bit eggy. My first guess would have been freshwater pearls but I am not an expert. That is a nice size for freshwater so I would still be happy with the strand.
    They are actually very round. The first picture is a bit blurred because of the distance it was taken. I was hoping that the close ups would help.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KarinK View Post
    Hi,

    They would be really small for South Sea Pearls, but a good size for being freshwater. I assume that they are gritty?

    - Karin
    This was actually the smallest size they offered in South Sea, and all I wanted to invest not knowing if they were real or not. The price almost doubled for each millimeter higher you went. For example these have an average size of 10.1mm, the next size they offered averaged 10.7mm and was almost $600. the 11 to 11.5mm was over $1,000. As for the surface, they are really smooth, however; when you rub to together they do produce the white chalky substance so I at least know they are real pearls. The rest is up for debate.

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Ramona's Avatar
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    They also look freshwater to me. But the price is reasonable.

  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Welcome Tullioz,
    Pretty pearls. My concern is the part about rubbing them together and production of white chalky substance. Pearls should not be producing powder unless it is residual from the drill holes and yours appear to be well knotted. If the powder is coming off the pearl surface, they could be over processed. (scary to buy from an unknown supplier). Hope that you will enjoy them.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
    Welcome Tullioz,
    Pretty pearls. My concern is the part about rubbing them together and production of white chalky substance. Pearls should not be producing powder unless it is residual from the drill holes and yours appear to be well knotted. If the powder is coming off the pearl surface, they could be over processed. (scary to buy from an unknown supplier). Hope that you will enjoy them.
    Thanks for the welcome.

    I created the powder when I rubbed two pearls together by overlapping the strand. I had read online that this was a way to tell if pearls are real. Other than doing that there has been no other powder residue.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Unfortunately what you have there is a strand of Chinese freshwater pearls. The fortunate thing is that you got a pretty good deal for what they are.

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tullioz View Post
    Thanks for the welcome.

    I created the powder when I rubbed two pearls together by overlapping the strand. I had read online that this was a way to tell if pearls are real. Other than doing that there has been no other powder residue.
    That sounds like a test that would ruin the pearls a bit. I wouldn't want to do it with any of mine. Feeling the grit carefully with my teeth or gently robbing two pearls together to feel the grit ought to do it. Don't you have to rub the pearls really hard to rub the nacra off?

    - Karin

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    Unfortunately what you have there is a strand of Chinese freshwater pearls. The fortunate thing is that you got a pretty good deal for what they are.
    This is what I was afraid of. I would expect this from one of the stalls downtown in one of the low end shopping areas, but these were purchased at a chain jewelry store at the newly opened Abreeza mall. Most of the stores there are high end compared to the other malls in the city.

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nerida's Avatar
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    Yes it is a shame that you have been sold this strand as south seas - they are a pretty nice strand of freshwaters - nice and clean and reasonably round, and sold for a very good price. Just a little short on honesty!

    Enjoy your pearls - they are lovely.
    1

  15. #15
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    So many people say freshwater pearls are Tahitian or South Seas to unknowing people. They usually sell them for a freshwater price though, and that seems to be what happened here.
    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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