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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    Default Show us your Mikimotos

    I'm sure Mikimoto fanciers and traders would find it useful to see a selection of Mikimoto pieces. I've often wanted to access a database of Mikimoto necklace clasps with dating references so I can make a judgement on the age and genuineness of pieces I come across.

    I'll start the ball rolling with this string of 106 x 6.00 to 5.6mm Opera length (73cm - 29in) Mikimoto pearls with a lovely twist, they have a very unusual Mikimoto enhancer.

    They're boxed by B.P. de Silva of Singapore, who were Mikimoto agents in the mid 1950's and later. I would date this clasp style to the 1960's.

    The very versatile Mikimoto Brooch / Clip-on Knot / Enhancer is a total treat, I think it takes this necklace to another level, and I'll talk a bit more about these enhancer brooches after the pics.



    Most times I go to to the usual jewelry hunting grounds, I see silver and cultured pearl brooches/pins. These were a favorite accessory with a string of pearls from the 50's to 70's. Now they're totally out of fashion and hence Grandma's brooch gets discarded to the thrift shop. When I check brooches maybe 1 in 20 are Mikimoto.

    Amongst those Mikimotos, very rarely you'll find a true enhancer. It's not always obvious because at first glance they usually look just like a brooch.

    An elderly lady told me a fashion sprung up in the 60's of clipping your pearl brooch to your string of pearls, this was called "accessorizing".
    In our part of the world most luxury goods were bought during shopping trips to Singapore and Hong Kong. As people purchased their pearls and brooch together and tried fitting the brooch to the pearls, the Asian merchants saw the opportunity, and either modified brooches themselves, or influenced Mikimoto to make special lines to suit.

    I believe this is one such "Mikimoto special". The hook at the top of the brooch back, (that the spring ring attaches to) is original, so it seems the whole set-up was intentional (and not a later modification). It is very ingenious, and lot more than just a brooch. Luckily the seller had no idea what it was!

    Look forward to seeing other peoples Mikis!
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    Last edited by kiwipaul; 09-21-2013 at 10:05 AM.

  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    Default Show us your Mikimotos - postscript

    Below an advert from Mikimoto listing B.P. de Silva as their agent, AND something extraordinary:

    Two Mikimoto pearls for a dollar (presumably a Singapore Dollar worth about USD$0.05c - a nickel at the time) and two Rinso box tops!

    Ah, the good old days!


  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Great idea for a topic, thank you! I love the leaf and pearl enhancer/brooch, and didn't realize Miki made them.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member whicker's Avatar
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    Thank you for starting this thread. I'm always looking for clever versatility. I like this enhancer/brooch. Its mechanics are intriguing, and it is beautiful, too. Sometimes, the enhancer or pendant is too heavy, and the option of pinning as well makes it much more useful. Plus, it. hopefully, keeps the wearer from have a black eye when it swings up into one's face.

  5. #5
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Yes, please keep going, this will be great and your photos are super!

  6. #6
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    This is our other set of Mikimoto "keepers". (We try and keep the best and sell the rest).

    This choker length 41cm (16in) Mikimoto necklace has 58 x Akoya cultured pearls of 6.4mm to 6.0mm, of very high quality. I cannot find a single blemish, and they look like they've never been worn. I'll be conservative and call them AA's under the Mikimoto pearl grading system (see: http://www.mikimotoamerica.com/about...rading-system/ ) It was a very good day when I got these in an antique shop, unrecognised as Mikis, for $200.

    The silver clasp is marked "M" and "SIL". I'd date this clasp to the 1960's to 1970's. I believe this style of clasp was among the last generation of clasps before Mikimoto made silver clasps obsolete (They now use only gold and platinum).

    The 14k gold enhancer is marked "M" and "K14". This was a brooch with a damaged clasp, which my jeweler removed. The enhancer clip is a 14k yellow gold finding with a 14k white gold front. It's a nice match and now looks like an original fitting. The gold work on those grape leaves is a very fancy combination of textures and frosting, with a fine milgrain edge. A most successful design by Mikimoto IMHO.

    The red velvet fitted case is a Mikimoto standard design of the period. It was the icing on the cake to pick this up for free in a side deal on some other items.

    Last edited by kiwipaul; 09-23-2013 at 09:53 AM.

  7. #7
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Kiwipaul, I love this thread. It makes me wish I had something from Mikimoto. Oh, and GREAT PHOTOs!
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    Thanks GemGeek. Recently bought a secondhand Panasonic Lumix FZ35 and a Lightbox with a couple of 5400K (natural light) lamps.
    It has transformed my photos and means I can take them anytime instead of waiting for a sunny day.

    When I first tried to post to this Forum it's picture handling threw me. The Forum seemed to resize pics I loaded with no rhyme or reason.
    This made it impossible to get my pics in the size I wanted, and in the location I wanted.

    I've discovered that if I host the pics on an external website, and only reference them by their URL, (the Forum puts them in between an "IMG" tag), they come in perfectly as planned.
    Last edited by kiwipaul; 09-22-2013 at 10:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Wow, I did not know that was how you were getting the big photos. Better for us to enjoy, I say. Your ability to get extreme closeups makes it so much easier to evaluate and learn.
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  10. #10
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    We have a huge space for someone who knows something about old Mikimotos! Welcome. I hope you will not only add to this thread, but comment when people put a Mikimoto possibility up in the "What kind of pearls?" forum.

    I would love to see other people's mikis, too. This forum needs a good nod to Mikimoto where we can learn about the oldest brand of cultured pearls, ever.

    Also a huge gap here is knowledge of pseudo-mikis- the secrets of the clam clasp, and so much more!
    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.

  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member LitGeek's Avatar
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    Kiwipaul Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Mikis with us! As others have stated, your photos are fantastic! Loving those enhancers too

  12. #12

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    Name:  Graduation Earrings resized.jpg
Views: 1438
Size:  20.6 KB

    Not Heirlooms, these are from this years Mikimoto catalogue (US), the line varies slightly depending on the country of sale. I bought them for my daughter as a University graduation present (posted to AUS). They are deliciously lustrous. This photo was taken with a mobile phone indoors, it gives you an idea of how good they are even in a bad photo.

  13. #13
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwipaul View Post
    I've discovered that if I host the pics on an external website, and only reference them by their URL, (the Forum puts them in between an "IMG" tag), they come in perfectly as planned.
    However, if the photos are ever deleted from that hosting site (either by you or by the site), the link will be dead and the photos disappear from this thread.

    This has happened to some wonderful photos from certain members who posted on older threads.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    Lucky girl, and congratulations on graduating, they are tomorrows heirlooms.

    Interesting how modern Mikimotos are noticeably whiter than vintage ones.

  15. #15
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    Default

    Name:  20130923_143420.jpg
Views: 1491
Size:  18.5 KBWell, may be it is a wrong place to post, but these are my Mikimotos, Mikimoto has a variety of pearls. I previously posted my pendant, but the matching ring is new[ATTACH]25087 And I also have this bracelet.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Elenayak; 09-23-2013 at 06:36 PM.

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