I recently inherited a graduated pearl princess-style necklace from my grandmother that came in a Mikimoto box. My grandfather bought them for her in Japan some time between 1944 and 1953, as he was a pilot in both W.W.II and the Korean War and visited Japan a few times during those years. He has since passed away, so I am not able to ask him the specifics around his purchase of this necklace.
The necklace is 19” in length, not including the clasp (a little under 20” with the clasp). The clasp is a single strand box clasp with a pretty little floral etching. I am unsure as to what type of metal the clasp is made from, as it doesn’t appear to have any markings...but those may have worn away over time, due to its age. It looks to me as if the clasp is sterling silver but, again, without a stamp, I cannot make any exact claims.
There are 91 pearls total, the largest central pearl has an 8mm measurement, the two pearls on either side of it are approximately 7mm each, the third pearls on either side are approximately 6mm each, and so on. The smallest pearls closest to the clasp measure in at approximately 3mm. The pearls’ body color is a light cream with a yellow-pinkish overtone, and bluish-greenish iridescent luster that is apparent when viewed under certain lights. The pictures I’ve taken of them truly do not do their coloration justice. They all appear to be perfectly round with no scratches or imperfections that are visible to the naked eye. Since the necklace doesn’t have the trademark Mikimoto clasp, I am unsure if the strand broke at some time and the original clasp was replaced or if they are from the “Mikimoto Gift Selection, (Mikimoto brand name packaging in non trademarked jewelry settings and value grade pearls)”- something I learned about in a post that Caitlin left in response to another consumer’s inquiry.
I called the Mikimoto store in Costa Mesa to find out if I could receive a certificate of evaluation from them. Apparently, due to the fact that my necklace does not possess the signature Miki clasp, they are unable to provide me with that service. When I mentioned that my necklace does not have a certificate of authenticity accompanying it, I was told by the Miki sales lady that, due to its age, it wouldn’t have come with one at its time of purchase. Apparently, Mikimoto didn’t begin providing those until many years (decades?) later.
Long story short, if there is anyone who might be able to provide me why a very rough estimate as to what the value of my pearl necklace might be, or any additional relevant information, including resources to seek out how to determine the grade and value of my pearls,I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you so very much for your time!!!