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Weird pearls -- does anyone know what they are?

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  • Weird pearls -- does anyone know what they are?

    Hi,

    I posted this question yesterday, but couldn't work out how to post photos. Now I have, and here are some photos:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/44wir7v3u...bdR3RSdVa?dl=0

    I bought a bunch of really weird pearls. I have other, very nice pearls, but I like these very much for their oddity. I paid very little for them, so if they are not pearls I don't mind. They pass the "teeth test." The seller at Panjiayuan (Beijing's enormous outdoor market of antiquities, rocks, books, etc.) claimed they were a couple hundred years old. A friend of mine who is a respected archaeologist told me they are real pearls, from around the 1980s. I am interested in how they are made / how they end up being so odd and seemingly with dirt embedded in them. At the same time I also bought a strand of white smaller pearls, also with dirt in them that won't come off.

    Any thoughts would be most welcome!

    Baobao
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I wonder if they are just low quality attempts at bead nucleated freshwater pearls? They have some of the "pondslime" colors we were seeing a few years ago and one of them has a metallic look.

    The ruler is just out of the picture. How large are these?

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    • #3
      Bao Bao :
      They look much like Chinese fresh water with absolutely no lustre. We often refer to this look as "boke" which in Japanese means "out of focus". These are actually quite common , just that so few people see beauty in them, so they are rarely photographed. I doubt that they are very old... but it is not out of the question for them to be teenagers (dependent on their size). Here is a photo of an interesting strand one of my suppliers sent me a couple of months ago (albeit with out the dirt). I appreciate when people can see the subtle beauty of these, I too find them odd and with a certain old world beauty. I am not sure what the dirt could be, but I don't imagine we could even venture to guess. I bet you had fun in that market, and I hope you will make something very cool with these.
      Click image for larger version

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      Sarah Canizzaro
      Kojima Company
      www.kojimapearl.com

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      • #4
        Gotta agree. They look like poor quality Chinese Freshwater pearls.
        Kevin Canning
        Pearls Of Joy
        www.PearlsOfJoy.com
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        • #5
          Finally I measured the pearls. The bigger ones are around 16mm. Are they particularly likely to produce "dud" pearls when they are aiming for large ones?

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          • #6
            Hi,

            I thank you for your very kind reply. It's funny, I have bought a lot of pearls over the years. I go to China several times a year and often take a look at what's available. I have a strand of very large near perfect white pearls -- which I never wear. And I have my mother's really super nice pearls, which I wear occasionally. But for some reason, these weird pearls attracted me. They are uneven in size, shape, color, lustre, everything, and I imagine are worth next to nothing, but I like them. I am curious, what are the characters for Boke? I am guessing this is ke 颗. But what is bo?

            Thanks,

            Britta

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            • #7
              For what it's worth, I think jewelry is all about finding pieces that speak to you and make you happy, not necessarily about accepted standards of quality - they're more of a factor in calculating purchase price and resale value. But if you're buying a piece for yourself, I think the only thing that really matters is whether you love it! If you do, then it's a great piece. I think your pearls would look really cool with brushed or matte yellow gold findings!
              Instagram: @LiliasTreasures

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              • #8
                Originally posted by battah View Post
                For what it's worth, I think jewelry is all about finding pieces that speak to you and make you happy, not necessarily about accepted standards of quality - they're more of a factor in calculating purchase price and resale value. But if you're buying a piece for yourself, I think the only thing that really matters is whether you love it! If you do, then it's a great piece....
                This is so well stated, and I could not agree more.

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