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  1. #1

    Question Need your expertise - Great find or fake?

    I found this pearl necklace at a church op shop (second hand thrift shop)
    Back of the old fish hook clasp is marked with word 'SILVER'
    I dont really know anything about pears except for what i have read but my gut tells me these are real, but im not certain and need your wisdom please to help me determine if these pears are real or fake?

    Pearls obviously haven't been cared for or worn in many years as i found them tangled with another necklace and appeared to have had a drink or something spilled on them. I rinsed the sticky residue of them and left them as is.
    Each Pear size is around 4mm and Total length of necklace is approx. 45cm
    They do feel gritty to me and can have a chalky when scratched or rub together. With a magnifying glass i can see a line through each pearl but not sure if this is the string.

    Please have a look at pics and let me know what you think. Also should i wash them? What is the best way to clean them?
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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


    I'm inclined to say they are imitation based on some things I see near drill holes and the appearance of some of the beads that seem to have lost all coating.
    Are they very light-weight? If so the bead inside, under the coating, might be plastic.

    However, by all means give them a bath in mild soapy water (not detergent), wipe them clean with a soft cloth, and photograph them again when they are clean.

  3. #3


    That's looks like stone not pearl......

  4. #4
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Orlando, Florida, USA


    It's very hard to tell, but if they were pearls at one time, the surface nacre has been completely worn off. Some of the beads are barrel shaped, which makes it look like the beads are worn down.

    So, even if they were cultured pearls, they are still not a good find, because the nacre is gone on most of the beads.

    However, I think you need to give them a good wash and then restring them, and see if they improve. If they don't look good after a good clean up, save the clasp and use it on a different necklace.

  5. #5
    New Member Isis Pearls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Oxford, UK


    Dear Melodious,
    I agree with BWeaves, these could well be cultured pearls. I have recently bought a 1975 strand in a condition just like yours. On vintage Akoya strands the pearls nearer the clasp can get very worn down and end up barrel shaped, some of the other pearls may have such thin nacre that you can see the mother-of-pearl bead beneath.
    I am currently soaking mine to see if I can save any of the pearls, there maybe enough for a bracelet, but if all else fails it has a lovely clasp!
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    I'm leaning toward beads with a pearlized coating of some sort. Clearly loved and worn often. Look at the clasp in the middle photo ~ the silver has worn thin on the attach ring, which might need to be repaired before reusing on another necklace.


  7. #7
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Marina del Rey, CA


    They look like very old, very worn down pearls to me.

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