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  1. #16
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for the overview, I truly appreciate your candor and thoughtfulness.
    I have actually been doing a preliminary gathering of information for a while now, though since being mostly consumed with thesis writing and editing it's been a very slow process. I do have a quick and dirty photography of my entire jewelry collection as well as an excel file with brief descriptions and a value guesstimate based on values I've seen online and the current value of gold.

    I graduate in December (hopefully) and after that will have much more time on my hands for undertaking a project such as you've outlined. Of course, I'd be more than happy to post updates once I've actually started into the meat of the work. I think the most difficult thing to find out will be the species of the pearls without getting a GIA certificate. The rest of the information will be a matter of writing everything down that I know, taking measurements and photos. Should be really fun to do it for the entire collection, and at over 100 pieces will be a nice long project! Maybe I'll have the entire portfolio bound in the end, that would be pretty cool

    I'd like to share one quick story about a non-pearl ring: a few years before passing, my Nonna decided she wanted to disperse her jewelry to all of the female grandchildren (there are 4 of us). She gave to each of us one piece of jewelry that reminded her of us individually. To my one cousin she gave a beautiful art deco white gold, diamond, and aquamarine ring, so absolutely beautiful just like my cousin's loving personality. To my other cousin she gave a trio of gold bands from Sicily (where the family is from) that were interconnected to each other and of different colors, exemplifying my cousin's open-mindedness and loyalty to our heritage. To my younger sister she gave a pair of retro yellow gold and blue topaz earrings that glowed like my sisters beauty. I really had no idea what my Nonna was going to leave to me, and when she pulled out this ring I never saw before I was surprised. Unlike the pieces she gave the other grandchildren, I never once saw her wear that ring! When I asked her about the ring, she told me she picked it out especially for me because she knew that I would be the only one who would appreciate it. It is not a ring you could wear in the everyday and it takes a particular type of person to be able to rock it without looking silly. Nonna told me that my Nonno gifted her with it for an anniversary and he called it her "pope ring". When she told me this she mimed putting out her hand with the ring on it to be kissed! She was a hysterical woman with a subtly dark sense of humor. She told me that since I loved jewelry, and she knew that I am weird enough to wear such a ring in my daily life, that it belonged with me. I don't get much opportunity to wear it these days, but I like to look at it once in a while and remember her and our wonderful relationship. Thank you all for letting me share this story with you (and a pic of the ring too)!

    Attachment 19024

    Thanks again for all the advice, I'm excited to put it to good use!

  2. #17
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsciencechik View Post
    I think the most difficult thing to find out will be the species of the pearls without getting a GIA certificate. The rest of the information will be a matter of writing everything down that I know, taking measurements and photos. Should be really fun to do it for the entire collection, and at over 100 pieces will be a nice long project! Maybe I'll have the entire portfolio bound in the end, that would be pretty cool
    This collection is consists of multiple pieces of various species and designs, all pearls presenting as natural.

    Many of the thought-to-be natural sets posted here on P-G have concerns, but these certainly impress. Hence as to provenance, this lot stands by virtue of itself.

    Your grandmother had a wonderful eye and vicarious gift. Even without the pearls, my estimate would be... priceless.

  3. #18
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Does the attachment open for anyone?

  4. #19
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    here's the pic again...it opened for me when I attached it the first time, so hopefully it will work now.

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    "Your grandmother had a wonderful eye and vicarious gift." Thanks, Dave! I'll take that a complement onto myself as well since some of those pieces were acquired by me

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by madsciencechik View Post
    here's the pic again...it opened for me when I attached it the first time, so hopefully it will work now.

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    "Your grandmother had a wonderful eye and vicarious gift." Thanks, Dave! I'll take that a complement onto myself as well since some of those pieces were acquired by me
    Oh my what is it? to much doubling for citrine or topaz I think. Zircon? tourmaline? Then again maybe imperial topaz.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by madsciencechik View Post
    The wire cage earrings are emeralds; thank you for the lovely complements!
    Don't mean to be a wet blanket but unless the colors came through all wrong the caged stones are aquamarines and I love them.

    The two blue stones in the pendant appear to be zircons and magnificent.

    Of course looking at images on the web should not be taken as wrote.

  7. #22
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Without lot of blah blah. I have bought natural American pearls since 1965. I have enjoyed traveling up and down the Upper Mississippi as part of my Territory. Occasionally, (emphasis added) I would encounter some to buy. Often I had little more than curiosity and no money. Not being allowed to pick I ended up with lots of slugs. One time I passed up three bags each weighing couple kilos.
    Regarding value, A GIA cert helps give the buyer confidence of its origin. At least it did on the last time I used them for a cert, 10 years ago. If you like natural pearls you might like to read an article in the Spring issue of Wisconsin Magazine of History I helped research and added the pearls for the photo portion. I wasn't the main author, as you can tell here I have no writing capability.

    See this >>>>http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/...id/50925/rec/3

    Many of the finest photos were not printed. We have many more but most are newspaper and not originals so reproduction is unclear and often blurred. Not to mention that newspapers from the late 1800's and early 1900's are in short supply. Endless topic

    Norm

  8. #23
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    hey thanks for the article, awesome photos! american freshwater pearls are my faves by far
    those earrings are emeralds, but the color in the photo on screen does look bluish, they'd be pretty as aquas too.

    does anybody know if there is some sort of pearl size to carat weight chart out there? i'm guessing different types of pearls have different masses...
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  9. #24
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Good Day
    While assisting writing about the natural pearls of the Upper Mississippi River Basin and organizing my collection and from the research the formula I discovered is to square the weight as a basis
    to start. Then you can multiply by any number you want 5-10-20-30 depending how round it is. Slugs have nearly no value. My associate who is on the River says $25-50 covers most of them.
    I think it is a question of beauty and not source when the sizes and shapes are not significant. At a time when pearls were much more desired than now the slugs were sent to India and China to
    be ground up for all types of purposes. Some Chinese used them in their eyes as some kind of elixer ???. During their heyday they were collected by the 50lb grain sacks and sorted and sent to
    various locations outside the US. Some speial ones went to Tiffany and others here or in Europe.
    I still have magazine articles available if you would like one.
    A 5 or 6 mm round could bring a hundred or so with a GIA cert. If it is a button then the value gets difficult. They are irreplaceable no matter what and the mountings you have are very nice and
    suitable for the pearls.
    Norm

  10. #25
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Fabulous collection, hope you are planning on keeping them! I second the suggestion about the safe deposit box, that solves the insurance problem for now, and a tiny shot glass with a little water in it inside the container to protect the pearls is what our local fine jewelry pearl wholesaler recommends. Your pearls should be safe unless the bank literally blows up. Don't pick a bank in a flood zone however. For 20 bucks or so get a small portable gram scale, any local pawn shop or jeweler can tell you where to find one in your city, then you can weigh your own jewelry. On those that have the gold marked as to its fineness, you can go to a site called "silver recyclers", and insert your weights by either grams or pennyweight (dwp) and enter the correct fineness of gold (or silver if you have that too), and get a pretty accurate SCRAP value for the gold. That would be the least your item would be worth without the pearls. Multiply that by at least 2 times or more for retail value, in your case as these are old, probably multiply it by 4. Then go to several of the fine pearls sites on the web, such as Pearl Paradise to get an idea on RETAIL prices for the pearls, then check ebay for a general idea of WHOLESALE TO LOW RETAIL for the pearls, etc and get an idea of what the pearls go for unmounted. On any unmarked jewelry that you think is real gold, assume 10K which is usually the lowest fineness that would be used (although they did some pretty fabulous antique jewelry in gold filled as well). Doing all this actually takes very little time and will give you a ball park amount of the least and a guess as to retail for your collection. In the evenings while relaxing at your tv is a good time to cruise RubyLane where you very well might find things similar to yours, those prices would be low to high retail.
    All the pieces are quite lovely, you are very lucky! P.S Do not store any of the jewelry that has pearls in plastic bags for any length of time, get some cheap velvet bags or wrap them in small pieces of fabric when putting in the lock box. A home safe would work also, but if you get robbed, most crooks are strong enough to dislodge and just carry a small safe out the door.

    Daddys Little Pearl

    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures on RubyLane

  11. #26
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    I just wanted to add a quick update to this thread (my first): I have finally finished photographing my jewelry collection, including the pearls, and creating an index with concise descriptions. The next step will be to write fully detailed descriptions!
    I also wanted to add a piece that I received for my birthday this year (quite a while ago now), the large pearls appear to be cultured and maybe are replacements(?). What do you all think? Happy Sunday!
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  12. #27
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    The large pearls may very well be replacements, but they are beautiful! Can we get a neck shot?
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  13. #28
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    I will definitely post a neck shot later today!

    edited: to add neck shot
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    Last edited by MSC; 12-01-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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  14. #29
    Pearl Designer & Collector Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Love all of your jewellery but especially the Emerald necklace and the pearl necklace you just posted. Don't just presume those large pearls are replacements and therefore cultured. They may very well be original and natural pearls. Can you take up close photos of the large pearls and take some from the sides as well. Plus the back of the necklace.

    All so wonderful. Lucky you. Have you worked out an approximate value of them.


    Dawn - Bodecia
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    eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.

  15. #30
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dawn!
    I haven't figured out a valuation for either of the necklaces yet, mostly because I haven't been looking for any similar pieces. But also because the emerald necklace was a frankenproject I put together and I have no idea how to valuate something like that. The central component is the antique part and I made the rest of the necklace around it. The pearls on the chain are just CFWP, but someday I'd like to replace those with P. sterna.

    Some back and side views of the big pearls. It would be awesome if they were naturals, but I'm not holding my breath on that one

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