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  1. #1
    Valeria101 Guest

    Default The best of both worlds

    OK, almost... the valuation of two pearl items in a current Christie's auction caught my attention - the two are exceptional South Sea and natural pearl necklaces. The striking different look of the peer items seems to tell a story all in itself: these guys are arguably not 'the best' of each kind (at least for the SS part there was mentioned), but the real-time 'race' should be fun. I am leaving to you to decide what would have been a better matched pair

    Auction: IMPORTANT JEWELS, Sale 1343, 21 Feb 2007, St. Moritz

    The two items are:

    Estimate: 75,000 - 100,000 Swiss francs
    Special Notice: This lot is offered without reserve.
    Lot Description: Comprising twenty-three graduated South Sea cultured pearls measuring from 20.0 to 16.0 mm to the polished 18k white gold ball clasp with brilliant-cut diamond detail, 45.0 cm long


    Estimate: 80,000 - 100,000 Swiss francs
    Lot Description: Comprising 192 and 183 natural pearls and one cultured pearl measuring from 7.6 to 4.8 mm to the cushion-shaped ruby and sapphire, old-cut diamond and seed pearl clasp, shorter row 103.5 cm long, longer row 111.0 cm long. Accompanied by report no. 46806 dated 29 June 2006 from the SSEF Swiss Gemological Institute stating that 395 pearls are natural saltwater pearls and that one pearl is a cultured saltwater pearl.
    Last edited by Valeria101; 02-06-2007 at 12:54 AM.

  2. #2
    pattye Guest


    HUMMMM, how interesting. I'd have to favor the natural pearls, even though I love large pearls. Somehow I have the impression naturals are more rare. It even has that "poison pearl" with 1 cultured pearl on it.
    I find that much more romantic.


  3. #3
    Valeria101 Guest


    What strikes me is how inexpensive would be to have a 'copy' of the old natural pearl strand made of cultured pearls these days. It is nearly unthinkable that cultured pearls started out as a substitute for that and meant to replicate the small natural's look. How far from there they've gone!

    The other way around - a natural peer of the cultured south seas - would be just as unthinkable...

    Rarity, just don't know - such large, fine cultured pearls are really not easy. It might have been possible to put together a strand of natural pearls like that in several years for the little I know, and it takes a few years to make a strand of huge, perfect cultured pearls like that - or so they say. Wonder if either could change with technology, but that's always the question with anything.

    It only seems fit that a rarefied achievement of pearl culture and a great example of the natural counterpart are similarly valued. Such different look though!

    Choosing? In a perfect, alien world...
    Last edited by Valeria101; 02-07-2007 at 08:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Bogus Guest


    "Choosing? In a perfect alien world"

    Great minds think alike, Valeria! I too would take that almost 60ct natural baroque pendant over either of the pieces mentioned above!

    (The deco multi-strand natural pearl necklace with tutti frutti acoutrements aint bad either...aah, it's fun to dream!


  5. #5
    Valeria101 Guest



    Anyway, the buyers voted with the wallet and results are in: Cultured South Sea? Unsold; Rope of small naturals? 78k (lower third of estimate range), Large natural drop? 156k (nearly twice the high estimate).

    It would be nice to look for 'statistics' over a couple years worth of such results and away from the most publicized auctions, but that... it would be quite some research task. Anyone interested?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Upstate New York


    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria101
    It would be nice to look for 'statistics' over a couple years worth of such results and away from the most publicized auctions, but that... it would be quite some research task. Anyone interested?
    I find it easier to look through the Sotheby's results than the Christies results for this type of the "What's it Worth" link on the Sothebys home page (, then select item 2 "Sold Lot Archive". It gives you a very useful search page. If you choose to order the results by auction date (most recent first), the lots with photographs come up first.