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South sea keshi or reborn freshwater keshi

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  • #16
    Originally posted by pearlescence View Post
    I think that all too often natural is used to mean 'from some mollusc as opposed to made in a factory fake' rather than the more narrow specialised meaning the pearl world applies to it. (also cultured is problematic)
    perhaps it is time to start using the more clear and accurate terms 'wild' and 'farmed'
    Yes, as someone who is obsessed with naturals, I believe this is the case. People who are not familiar with the "correct" terminology unintentionally misuse this word all the time. I think "wild" (instead of "natural") makes more sense at this point. Although, then we have the problem of computer keywords hitting on "wild" for descriptions! (for example, people will say "wildly beautiful" or "wild shapes" to describe the pearls). Although not as often as natural I suppose.......

    "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
    - Lucy Maude Montgomery -


    • #17
      Hi and Welcome

      The thing about pearl liars is that they rarely charge what the piece would be worth were it real. $625. isn't bad for a big soufle, compact fireball type CFWP. The equivalent in actual genuine SS keshi that big, is that it costs over $6,000 dollars on a very quick google. The guy who has it is not my favorite seller, but he doesn't sell FW as SS, his is SS So go googling and find out what a SS keshi that big is worth.

      Ps I didn't go to tahitian, but I bet he costs less but still many times more than the asking price for the rubylane piece. OK I did go. He has ringed baraque necklace for in the 600's, but no keshi in that range. Keshi, if it is actually called that in SS pearls is rare and highely desirable.

      I do admit, your piece LOOKs like SS Keshi, but that is what freshwater pearls can do. Whether or not it has beads, it is assuredly a freshwater piece. The piece you argue for absolutely could not ever be genuine SS keshi for that price.

      If there is any doubt whatsoever, about a particular piece being Tahitian or SS, it is invariably freshwater.

      Having said that if if it as big as it looks, you didn't over pay any more than for any rubylane piece.

      Heck if it were real, each pearl that that siz3 would retail for $400-$600.00. So sorry, but believe it.

      We have all been fooled by beautiful fw pieces!!!

      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.


      • #18

        I was hesitant too, as the seller has sold two other pieces as cultured SS but from the photos I think they are cultured freshwater (one potato, one off-round, but you can see the typical freshwater shape and surface markings). That said, she has also sold as "natural" (meaning as opposed to "cultured" what I do think are antique Victorian/Edwardian seed pearls). So in this case the word natural does not mean cultured in a mollusk with human interference as opposed to man made in a factory, although I agree that all too frequently the term is used that way by many people.

        Please do not go by price alone. I understand a single pearl that size would retail $400 to $600 … but only if you were a pearl specialist selling it as guaranteed natural (I have been to the two recommended sites, and ebay seller). This did not come with a certificate, it's at best a layman but hopefully not totally ignorant guess. Here are two close up photos, one is of the better, smoother side, the second, the not so nice side with concentric marks etc. There is no potato pearl, it looks more like a shortened bullet with a ring at the top and concave bottom. There is one slightly bi-colored pearl. Many but not all of the pearls have a small flattened bit, but the flattened bit is relatively smooth not pluckered or slightly druzy. Color is many shades of beige (I think champagne may be a nice word for beige), from off white to very light gold. I hope the photos show the orient, but I think it's better in real life.

        It is FOR SURE a)not nucleated, b)not ripple (I have Japanese and Chinese kasumi), c)not fireball or reborn keshi.

        It may be SS keshi, as the transparency/luster/orient comes closest to some single Indonesian champagne and bicolored keshi I have purchased from forum recommended members. These have more orient than my Indonesian SS keshis.

        I have only one undrilled SS pearl with this concentric marking at the bottom (slightly button, 9mm). If I were purchasing single pearls I would consider these birth marks as flaws.

        These are definitely vintage, it's not from the last 10 to 15 years of CFWS culturing. BTW the string is yellowed/grayed. It could be freshwater, but I really haven't come across any vintage freshwater pearls like this. Older freshwaters did not reach this size, or color. These are not matched by color or shape, but roughly by size and orient (I would say the only thing these pearls have in common is their uncommon orient). If these are cheapie CFWS from the last 10 to 15 years, I doubt anyone would use a 14kt clasp of any sort (my CFWS examples, which were bigger, came with plated lobster clasps). And, someone would have to spend a lot of trouble picking pearls to make sure that there were no usual freshwater shapes (potato, ringed or otherwise, potato nugget (flat on one side), corn (flat on both sides), drop, button (round, flat) … if they went to that much trouble why would they leave in so many pearls with so many flaws, and why wouldn't they at least pick matching colored pearls? According to online anecdotes, when SS pearl culturing first started (in Australia, Philippines and Indonesia), wild mussels were harvested live to nucleate beads in, and the amount of natural pearls found in those wild mussels was the same percentage as in pre culturing days. Only an infinitesimally tiny percentage was gem quality (round, white and good size). What happened to the non gem quality? These pearls are not round (not even off round, they are relatively plumpish compared to CFWS barqoues, and some are slightly plumpish buttonish, but nowhere near to round), not white (ivory, cream, champagne, light yellow, one a bit pinkish, beige), have great orient (I know new CFWS pearls and older biwas have good luster and orient, but size and timing, and just not the same IRL), and of a size that is too big for biwas or US freshwaters (or early CFWS), too big for akoya keshis … but correctly sized (9 to 11mm is an accurate baroque range, say most of the pearls look 9mm face front) to make it possible they were found in SS pinctada maxima shells harvested from the wild. After all, Australia has been harvesting up to 500,000 wild SS oysters per year for the last 50 years. Natural pearls have only come back in favor in the last 15 years, and the pearls that merit their high prices are gem quality ones that need an x-ray to determine origin. These are very imperfect. And even if these are only keshi and not wild, as is definitely possible, I have read online that saltwater keshi pearls used to be a bargain for quality versus price (most small SS and akoya keshi used to be sent to India as there was no Western market in terms of demand or knowledge). I have been to the non recommended website mentioned, those have to be considered current retail internet prices … and, um, I am afraid that particular online store is also not my favorite for it's tendency to exaggerate B&M retail prices. That said, I have found single strands of SS, Tahitian or even sea of Cortez keshi from reputable sources for US$1k to $1.5kt ballpark, admittedly graduated so the ends are smaller though the middle may be bigger.

        Once again, thank you all for your answers and interest, if anyone has pearls like these, please do post a photo and share with me where you got them. I tried to get the colors as close as possible, it's off white, ivory, dark ivory, cream, beige, bit of light gold … every pearl has a slightly different body color. In terms of overtones, if the usual overtones are rose, silver and cream, IRL I would say mostly cream with some pink, I can't see any silver or gray. The colors are warm rather than cool (though in terms of touch the pearls are very cold when you put them on at first).

        Last edited by Pipypupy; 12-08-2013, 07:25 AM.


        • #19
          Sorry, but I think they are baroque (non-keshi, non-ripple, non-nucleated) freshwater pearls, which do come in those colors and shapes.

          If you check out baroque pearls being sold by Chinese sellers on eBay, you'll see shapes, colors and surface markings like those. Some are quite lustrous.

          As far as the clasp, it is well-known that Chinese sellers commonly use clasps that are stamped 14K but are not, in fact, 14K. Just recently I bought a strand of petite pearls for my daughter on Etsy which were advertised as 14KGF but when they arrived the clasp read 14K-- and I am sure it is not 14K. (I do not say all Chinese sellers do this, but it is common enough.)

          I believe if you decide to send them in to be certified, you will discover they were freshwater baroques.


          • #20
            First, those photos are outstanding. That is why I am sure now that they are not south seas and not natural, but they are really beautiful. The luster is gorgeous and the flaws just add character as the strand is nicely matched for baroques.


            • #21
              You would make a good lawyer and probably get someone off even if they committed the crime. But none of your reasoning or logic is relevant. Keshis are by prodects of culturing by definition. The Gia apparently seems to hold that there are people out there purposely growing keshi and selling them as natural pearls. This may be true- Gemgeek is at the source, not me, but these keshi still are raised by people who know what they are worth. Those are matched. I may go for your argument for one pearl, but not a entire matched necklace. That was deliberate and who over had a natural like that would not be selling it publicly.

              But, it is not south sea. It is not natural and it is not SS keshi. The thread and the lock are circumstantial evidence and of practically no weight. What carries weight in the argument is the pearls themselves and they LOOK like freshwater.

              Yes, the luster on some of those baroque pearls, such as yours is incredible. And the ones in colors are even more so. That shows it is practically brand new because the luster has just gotten like that on freshwaters in the last 4-5 years!

              You may convince yourself or someone you might sell it to it is what you say- obviously someone convinced you and you believe them over an entire neutral pearl forum.

              We WANT them to be what you say they are, but they just aren't.

              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.


              • #22
                Thank you all for weighing in.

                The consensus of this forum, base on the luster of the pearls ("gorgeous"), their baroque shape and flaws, and price, and disregarding the thread and lock as circumstantial, is that these are 4 to 5 year old beautiful freshwater baroques.

                Well, I am definitely not going against the opinion of an entire natural pearl forum.

                I have no intention of selling this strand (ever), and probably wouldn't even have posted about it if it hadn't been spotted. I started this thread to ask your opinions about another strand I was considering, because I valued all your opinions and experience.

                At the moment I do not intend to risk further ebay CFWS purchases, as I have found that the quality IRL is seldom up to scratch. Indeed, I have never found anything that looks like this despite repeated attempts. Instead I would keep a look out for something similar from one of the recommended members of this forum. Or as I can dream, to be able to go to the next trade show in HK myself. That might be difficult as I am not in the trade, only a member of the public who buys pearls to wear, not to sell … I agree and find that the third generation CFWS is on the whole incredibly beautiful.

                I would like to add that while I do not own a metal testing kit, I have no reason to doubt the person who sold me this necklace about the metal of the clasp. It is very solidly made. Whatever they are, I too find the pearls very beautiful and do not regret this purchase. The seller did not sell me these as SS keshi. I indicated that the luster and orient comes closest to the SS keshi I own from other recommended sources (I guess I should have clarified, their orient look more like the orient on some of my SS keshi than the orient of any of the CFWS freshwaters I own). Now I understand that non nucleated freshwater baroques with orient and colors like these are available, I will certainly buy them from the recommended sellers.

                Thanks again to everyone who posted for all your informative input, this is such an educational forum, and there's so much to learn.


                • #23
                  Well, you really do have an "eye" for the insanely gorgeous. I personally love a lot of freshwaters just because they look so natural. They do look natural because those are natural shapes. They just don't look like wild pearls.

                  When I first came to this forum, white round pearls did not interest me so much as the baroques which have far better luster. I am so happy they are now more widely available- I like them better than the mechanical precision of round, round, round ,round, etc.

                  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.


                  • #24
                    Baroque shapes are fun and they can show a degree of orient that round pearls rarely do. I'm sure you will get lots of pleasure out of your strand!


                    • #25
                      We may be neutral, but not when it comes to the beauty!


                      • #26
                        Are SS keshi only 9 1/2MM and up like SSP or can they be in smaller sizes. I was googling them to see what I could find, since there were no photo of actual SS keshi posted to this thread. Can anyone point in the right direction as to what they actually look like?


                        • #27
                          I've not had a lot to do with them but I got some ss white keishi for a customer in HK a year or so ago and they were something like 5mm. By definition, with no bead, they start from nothing, so they can be any size. They looked not much differen to familiar freshwater keishi
                          Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021


                          • #28
                            Thanks Wendy! That's good to know. I will keep looking


                            • #29
                              Hi CharmedOne,
                              Sven at AGUSTUS-Collection (on Ebay) has quite a few SS Keshi right now! He is a member here and his pearls are the real deal. While visions of keshi pearls danced through their heads…..


                              • #30
                                Thank you Marianne! I have a strand of pearls and I couldn't figure out what they were. Your suggestion has helped me out quite a bit. Thanks again ~d