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Should I send these to GIA for identification?

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  • Should I send these to GIA for identification?

    I have this string of pearls and would love to know if they are as they were advertised, "natural ocean pearls, not cultured." This was actually from an auction for goodwill charity and the woman handling these happened to know something about pearls. I have restrung them (no jokes it's bad I know ha!) the clasp has also been changed, the original was marked silver, but not sterling. I'd like to know if I should send them to the GIA to verify what they really are or if they even can do this for me? Oh and some of the pearls have little bumps or pits or just imperfections if you look at the second photo I think it shows. Thanks so much!!!!
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  • #2
    Welcome!

    You have a strand of cultured akoya pearls, not natural pearls, unfortunately. It wouldn't make sense to send them off to GIA.
    Jeremy Shepherd
    President and Founder
    PearlParadise.com, Inc.
    The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
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    Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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    • #3
      This brings up an interesting question...when should you send pearls to GIA for a report (or certification, not sure exactly what they do for pearls)?
      http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
      Instagram: Ocean's Cove

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JerseyPearl View Post
        This brings up an interesting question...when should you send pearls to GIA for a report (or certification, not sure exactly what they do for pearls)?
        I would do it only for pearls you're convinced are naturals just for the X-ray and certification for value.

        GIA is a "diamonds and colored stones" institution, not pearls. When I toured the Carlsbad campus with their one pearl expert, Doug Fiske, he showed me the contrast between the lab that certifies pearls and the parts of the campus that certify diamonds. I am guessing there were 3-400 diamond people. There was one pearl person and her expertise was differentiating cultured pearls from naturals.
        Jeremy Shepherd
        President and Founder
        PearlParadise.com, Inc.
        The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
        PearlParadise.com on Flickr
        PearlParadise.com on Facebook
        Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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        • #5
          Thanks Jeremy! Very helpful perspective.
          http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
          Instagram: Ocean's Cove

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          • #6
            So if GIA's pearl expert's expertise was just in differentiating cultured and natural pearls, then what institution should one send natural pearls for identification and valuation?
            Check out my jewelry here

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            • #7
              No I don't know yet if that's exactly what the GIA does. I was just thinking out loud at what I was interested in.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by madsciencechik View Post
                So if GIA's pearl expert's expertise was just in differentiating cultured and natural pearls, then what institution should one send natural pearls for identification and valuation?
                Short of owning an xray, you are probably as objective and experienced as most labs.

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                • #9
                  I see a business opportunity, Madsciencechick!
                  http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
                  Instagram: Ocean's Cove

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                  • #10
                    Thank you so much your information is very helpful!

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                    • #11
                      I think you are misunderstanding the GIA Carlsbad lab. They are definitely focused on diamonds. But, if the pearls need any specialized examination, GIA Carlsbad will send pearls to their NYC or Bangkok labs. The Bangkok lab is highly skilled in everything pearls.

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