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What do I have? Quahog Pearls?

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  • What do I have? Quahog Pearls?

    These are from my great-great-grandmother. They were found in Long Island around 1890.
    It would be great if anyone could tell me what they are and what they are worth. Thanks!
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  • #2
    My goodness! That is quite a collection! I have never seen pearls like the ones on the top, only rocks, so I await a better answer as you do.

    The whitish ones on the bottom seem to be food-oyster pearls, but could be little food clam pearls. Quahog pearls are hard to identify if they don't have purple on them, but these could be whitish quahog pearls. We have a guy who can be more definitive than me, so I figure he will come along later.

    These unusual pearls have no equivalent market values because they are too rare and not useful as gems so they are not a marketable item as jewelry pearls go. They might go as some kind of collectors item, maybe, if you can find a buyer. If you installed them in a pretty shadow box, they might sell as a collection to someone who never knew they were looking for it, until they saw it.

    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.


    • #3
      In the absence of purple, I'm inclined to think Long Island oysters too, although it's possible this collection may be from more than one species.

      Safely rule out mytilid or pecten. Need to look closer to distinguish ostrea or venus.