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  1. #1

    Smile Safely Selling Pearls

    Hi There,

    Bit of a weird one, but I have have inherited a pearl necklace and accompanying earrings from a family member who passed away and I am at a bit of on odds end as to what to do with them, although they are very beautiful hold sentimental value they just aren't something that I would ever wear and I am looking into options as to what to do with them. I have the valuation report which was also given to me, but I'm rather hesitant to do anything further with the pearls as the fear of being ripped off is constantly looming.

    Please help... Feeling very confused x
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    Last edited by Irene__AU; 09-06-2016 at 03:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Hi Irene, and welcome to Pearl-Guide!

    What pretty baroque pearls! Are they South Sea?

    I suppose you have several options. Right off the top of my head:
    • Have them refashioned into some sort of jewelry that you would actually like wearing
    • Give them to another family member who would like them
    • Donate them
    • Sell them

    • Have the pearls refashioned into another piece of jewelry that you would like wearing-- or do it yourself!
    Since you say they are sentimental, think about this option. Lots of us here on Pearl-Guide have learned to do our own stringing and wire wrapping (it's really easy). I love baroque pearls personally, and think they lend themselves particularly well to artistic designs, such as interspersing them with gemstones in bezels, or wire wrapping them into a "tin cup" (station) style...there are lots of possibilities. For inspiration, see the Lowly Beaders Forum. P-G member JerseyPearl has made a lot of fantastic tin cup necklaces -- you might want to have a look at her threads and photos for ideas.

    As to the earrings, if that finding doesn't suit you, the pearls could be removed from the finding and glued into another one that suits your style better.

    • Offer them to another family member.
    Sometimes interest in pearls skips a generation. I love pearls but my daughter is largely indifferent. I only hope she'll save my pearls when I'm gone, in case a future daughter of hers wants them. Once they are gone, they are gone. This option keeps the sentimental pearls in the family.

    • Donate them.
    We donated a lot of things left to us by our elderly parents. There are worthy charities who would sell your pearls and put the proceeds to good humanitarian use.

    • Sell them.
    Unfortunately, pre-owned cultured pearls do not tend to hold their value on resale. We buy at retail but sell at wholesale. The valuation you have is likely their replacement value (for insurance purposes) rather than a resale value (which would be much lower.) Also the valuation itself maybe outdated, and thus not of much use. The value of Tahitians and South Sea Pearls dropped very significantly during the 1990s/early 2000s.

    But if you really want to sell them, the question is where.
    -- You could consign them with a local jeweler, who then takes his cut. This could be 50%.
    -- Some people sell their used jewelry on sites like Loupe Troop or Diamond Bistro. Members of Pricescope can put a link to their listings on the Pre-Loved Gems forum of Pricescope (visible only to members.)
    -- I wouldn't want to sell them on eBay, but that is an option as well. The problem with eBay is that a lot of unscrupulous sellers sell freshwater pearls as South Sea (or Akoya, or Tahitian). If it were me, I'd try Loupe Troop or Diamond Bistro first.

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