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  1. #1

    Default Freshwater or Akoya?

    Hi folks,

    Just made an account to get some feedback on these pearls. They are genuine - i.e. pass the tooth test - true 14K yellow gold clasp, knotted in-between. Strand measures 18" long, pearls vary slightly in size but are around 7.3mm - 7.5mm. Where I'm stuck is that while some may have the "potato shape", it doesn't match up to other freshwater potato shapes I've seen. However, these seem to have more variation than a semi-round akoya. So any help would be much appreciated! *Pictures are taken in a lightbox with slightly warm yellow lights.*
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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Hi JArendsen, welcome to Pearl Guide.

    Can you give us a little history on the strand? If they are 20 years or older, they are likely akoyas, but ....

    • The clasp, although marked 14K, may be base metal with gold plating, if it comes from China. It seems to be a bit on the large side for the strand, which makes me think it is either not original to the strand (i.e. it has been restrung), or is plated base metal.

    • The strand lacks the gimp (French wire) that is typical of how fine pearl strands are finished. Many fw strands from China are finished that way-- with the thread connecting directly to the clasp without the protection of gimp. Again, if it has been restrung, that could account for it.

    • The luster does not appear to be high. Akoya pearls have a sharper luster than fw pearls. However, if they are older pearls, not the highest quality, or if they were exposed to things that dull pearls (like hair spray and perfumes), this could also account for lower luster.

    * The color is somewhat yellow/cream/peach in that light. That is more typical of fw pearls (or older akoyas that have yellowed). What is the color like under natural light?

    Assuming they are known to be older pearls, I'm leaning toward akoyas that were not high quality to begin with, possibly restrung.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 07-02-2019 at 09:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hey there, thanks so much for the insight! Unfortunately the history on these pearls is very much secondhand - I'm trying to help an older lady out. She said her mother gave them to her, and I am assuming she is around mid 70's now, so 20 years old at least is very probable. The clasp is true 14K, and is a type that Stuller sells currently. Coupled with the end knot (in pictures) you asking about restringing seems about right. Unfortunately once more it is an educated guess. I tried to take pictures in more normal light - unfortunately we have been having a week of storms, or else I'd try to get one out in sunlight fully. They do have a slight cream color to them. Hopefully these clarifications may help some. Thanks again for your time Pearl Dreams!
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  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Just so you know, the filigree style fishhook clasp is a very common sort of clasp that is widely available in different metals, and is not particularly valuable. You refer to it as "true 14K" but without testing you cannot be sure. (I'm just telling you this because it sounds like you may be trying to help the owner sell it.)

    Based on the vague history and the new photos showing elongated shapes, I am now leaning toward saying they are freshwater pearls from China. The luster and color are consistent with FWP also. If she is selling them she can say they are cultured pearls-- that description encompasses both akoyas and freshwaters.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 07-03-2019 at 08:59 PM.

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