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  1. #1

    Default What kind of pearl necklace is this?

    Hi guys,
    My name is Ryan and I bought my wife a pearl necklace when I was working in Japan about 20 years ago.

    I can't remember to much about it. I remember it was expensive for me back in the day but no clue on how much I spent on it. They were bought in Yokohama, Japan at a store specifically for pearls.

    Any idea what type of pearls they are?
    Any idea what the approximate value might be?

    There is no markings on the necklace and it is an 18k gold clasp.

    Thanks in advance for all your help,

    Ryan
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  2. #2
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Welcome to PearlGuide, Ryan. This appears to be a strand of good quality and nicely matched freshwater pearls cultured in China. Beautiful and wearable for any occasion.

  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    As Marianne said, these are freshwater pearls cultured in China, solid nacre. That oval shape used to be called "rice" shape. Many of us have a set of those pearls.

    At the time you bought them, these oval pearls were fairly common. I bought several strands loose (unstrung, no clasp) at an Intergem show to string myself, around 15 years ago. They cost me $24 per loose strand as I recall. Of course a ready to wear necklace with an 18K gold clasp would have cost more in a retail store. [Edited to add: I misremembered the pearls I got for $24 at Intergem. Those were nuggety baroques. The rice pearls cost more like $75 unstrung.]

    Around the same time the Chinese began producing near-round pearls, which quickly became more popular as affordable substitutes for classic akoya pearls. Oval pearls are still sold -- crafters enjoy using them.

    You asked about their value.
    For insurance purposes there is "replacement value"-- however these are not so valuable that they need to be insured. When you bought them, the pearls cost more and gold less; the situation is reversed now and the 18K clasp on your necklace may be the most valuable part of the strand at present!

    Then there is "resale value", which is always lower. Pearls do not hold their value on resale, but if you need to sell them, look on eBay for SOLD examples of similar pearls; that will give you an idea of what you might get for them if you sell them.

    However, in my opinion, the greatest value of the pearls you gave your wife is their sentimental value, and you can't put a price tag on that.

    They do look like they could use restringing. Having it done professionally may cost more than you care to spend, but you (or she) could restring them yourselves at very little cost; many of us string our own pearls. See the tutorial and videos on the Lowly Beaders Club forum. Modern polyester threads are very easy to work with and require no special tools.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 06-08-2020 at 06:14 PM.

  4. #4

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    Thank you very much for your response, I appreciate you taking the time to explain things to me.

    From a financial standpoint, I think I got hosed pretty good! But as Pearl Dreams said - "the greatest value of the pearls you gave your wife is their sentimental value, and you can't put a price tag on that."

    Again, thanks for taking the time, I really appreciate it!

    Ryan

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It is a nice strand though-- as Marianne said, well matched-- and buying retail in a jewelry store always costs more. Sometimes a lot more.

    Also, most jewelers have a very limited selection of pearls. For lower price and wider selection, many of us buy our pearls online.

    Edited to add: I misremembered the pearls I got for $24 at Intergem. Those were nuggety baroques. The rice pearls cost more like $75 unstrung.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 06-08-2020 at 05:15 PM.

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