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  1. #1

    Default Help me confirm the origin of these pearls

    Hi,

    My mother gave these pearls to my wife when we left to stay in another country. She said I should insure them. Before I do that and go theough the effort to have them appraised for insurance, I would like to confirm the origin. She said she purchased them from a Mikimoto store in Japan in 1970 when she and my father was there.

    I dont know if it is the orginal box and I dont have any paperwork. They are gritty to the teeth and 8mm in size.

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  2. #2
    Once upon a Cortez Pearl... Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CortezPearls's Avatar
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    Hello Jc12345 and welcome to our forum!
    It looks like and old box there...but I am not confident of these being Mikimoto Pearls. They do look like Akoya pearls, but Mikimoto matching was (I believe it still is) superior to many other brands and I see a very different sized pearl in between the others in your closeup photo, and that would be unacceptable under a Mikimoto label. Of course: could be that the strand broke and someone fixed it and that particular pearl was not placed in the correct place.
    The clasp...doesn't seem Mikimoto either.
    I'm hoping more forum members (much more knowledgeable than I am) will be able to help out here...what do you think of this necklace family?
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  3. #3

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    Some more photos

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CortezPearls View Post
    Hello Jc12345 and welcome to our forum!
    It looks like and old box there...but I am not confident of these being Mikimoto Pearls. They do look like Akoya pearls, but Mikimoto matching was (I believe it still is) superior to many other brands and I see a very different sized pearl in between the others in your closeup photo, and that would be unacceptable under a Mikimoto label. Of course: could be that the strand broke and someone fixed it and that particular pearl was not placed in the correct place.
    The clasp...doesn't seem Mikimoto either.
    I'm hoping more forum members (much more knowledgeable than I am) will be able to help out here...what do you think of this necklace family?
    Thanks for the warm welcome and your assistance so far with my journey of identifying the pearls.

  5. #5

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    One more picture if I zoom in on the markings. It looks like it could be “871US” perhaps?


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  6. #6

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    I spoke to my mother and here is some more information. She bought the string at the Shima Kanko hotel in Osaka in 1970 during the expo that was held there at the time. There is a Mikimoto shop. She also confirmed that it has been restrung once. My concern would be (1) if the string was sold as a “Mikimoto” but it wasn't or (2) if during the restrung, components were changed, or pearls put back in the wrong order.

  7. #7
    Once upon a Cortez Pearl... Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CortezPearls's Avatar
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    Yup! I knew it... a Mikimoto brand Akoya necklace usually has/had excellent matching pearls and great graduation...so, you see the mismatched pearls and you can imagine a "bad job" at restringing.
    The clasp is actually very nice and looks quite 1960'-1970's I believe the 871 marking could mean it is not 0.925 sterling silver but 0.871 silver, meaning it has less silver to make it stronger and less prone to scratches and damage.

    I'm hoping some of our forum members that are knowledgeable in clasps can join in!
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    What an attractive mystery pearl necklace jc! Is it possible the back of the clasp is stamped "silver"? This is something we see often. Whatever is stamped there, isn't clear, of course.
    The pearls are a lovely size, less graduated than we often see. I would recommend having it restrung again; you see the French wire (gimp) by the clasp is tarnished. The pearls need to be rearranged; measured with a caliper if necessary to put them in their correct, slightly graduated order. Recommend knotting between each pearl to prevent wear; it looks like at this time there are knots only near the clasp. Knots will also add a little length. This is typical of how Akoyas were strung back then. What is the length of the necklace now?
    The abstract shell design in the case isn't the Miki logo.
    Perhaps Mikimoto brought in non-branded pearls to sell because of the expo and needed additional merchandise on hand. (Like many department stores do when having a big sale!) Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to authenticate these as Mikimoto pearls. However, your strand is priceless in sentimental value! Pearls have never been more popular than they are right now!
    Pattye


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    What an attractive mystery pearl necklace jc! Is it possible the back of the clasp is stamped "silver"? This is something we see often. Whatever is stamped there, isn't clear, of course.
    The pearls are a lovely size, less graduated than we often see. I would recommend having it restrung again; you see the French wire (gimp) by the clasp is tarnished. The pearls need to be rearranged; measured with a caliper if necessary to put them in their correct, slightly graduated order. Recommend knotting between each pearl to prevent wear; it looks like at this time there are knots only near the clasp. Knots will also add a little length. This is typical of how Akoyas were strung back then. What is the length of the necklace now?
    The abstract shell design in the case isn't the Miki logo.
    Perhaps Mikimoto brought in non-branded pearls to sell because of the expo and needed additional merchandise on hand. (Like many department stores do when having a big sale!) Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to authenticate these as Mikimoto pearls. However, your strand is priceless in sentimental value! Pearls have never been more popular than they are right now!
    Thank you very much pattye

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    What an attractive mystery pearl necklace jc! Is it possible the back of the clasp is stamped "silver"? This is something we see often. Whatever is stamped there, isn't clear, of course.
    Thanks Pattye, now that I look at the stamp on the back, if you turn it around it could very much be “silver” and not “871US”.

  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It does look like "SILVER".

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    It does look like "SILVER".

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    Which manufacturer marked the clasp with “silver” stamped on it?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Knots will also add a little length. This is typical of how Akoyas were strung back then. What is the length of the necklace now?
    pattye, the length of the string from the first pearl the last is 15”. Including the clasp components it is 16”.

  14. #14
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Many manufacturers, no doubt.

  15. #15
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    The clasp says SILVER as others have noted. They look like very nice pearls, but not Mikimoto brand.

    The pearls are not worth insuring. Just enjoy wearing them.

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