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  1. #1
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    Default The jeweler switched pearls and removed pearls from my miki strand

    I am a newbie here. Always loved pearls (even wear them with jeans) - and don't really wear any other necklaces (except one red necklace - don't know what it is).

    My whole life I have worn and adored pearls (all given to me by my Mom before she died) and I KNEW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about pearls, except what my mother said about them back in 1957 (when I was being potty trained - ha ha).

    She spoke about cultured pearls with some kind of secretiveness and embarrassment; my young child impression was that cultured pearls were not real pearls; that since "the war"(WWII - where my Dad served), real pearls don't come about anymore because people have not respected nature .

    Sorry . . I don't mean to write my life history here.

    The point is that when I got my 22 INCH pearl necklace back after restringing (with BIG KNOTS), it didn't look or feel the same - -


    Slide show of a few photos on webshots:


    Keep in mind, I am not a photographer, and I discovered that pearls are extremely difficult for an amateur to photograph.

    slide show view: http://good-times.webshots.com/slide...63998453YaCEie

    BIGGEST DARK TURQUOISE-COLORED PEARLS GONE . . .
    and my necklace had shrunk (shrunken ??? ) to only sightly more than 19 INCHES.

    What would cause a life-long jeweller and/or his son, a budding GIA certified jeweler, swipe my pearls?

    I suspect they must be extremely valuable to make the older jeweler toss his ethics. i have spent the past 2 months READING EVERYTHING ABOUT PEARLS. There is so much information about pearls. I learned that the logo on my clasp stands for Mikimoto -- read a lot about him.

    I wondered why the jeweler didn't tell me my pearls were Mikimoto, and why he asked me if I wanted him to change the clasp. YIPES

    This Pearl-Guide forum has the best, most straightforward information I have found anywhere. I LOVE HOW YOU PEOPLE SOLVE MYSTERIES ! Sort of like . . . CSI Pearl. So, can you solve this mystery for me?

    Pearl Poor
    Last edited by PearlPoor; 07-09-2008 at 08:46 AM. Reason: image doesn't show

  2. #2
    pattye
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    Hi Pearlpoor,

    That is a horrible story. So very sorry to hear. Do you know how many pearls were on the original necklace? What did the jeweler say? Yes, I agree those are very large knots, too. Do you have any photos of the necklace before restringing? Were there any previous appraisals with photos?

    We love family stories of how you came into your pearls, glad you found P-G.

    Pattye
    so many pearls, so little time

  3. #3
    Pearl Diver Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Mikeyy's Avatar
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    I like that. Pearl CSI. Or maybe just PSI.

  4. #4
    jerin
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    Hello PearlPoor,

    I think the best way to prove that You had all the pearls including the large center pearl would be an earlier photo. Otherwise it might be very hard to get justice! Very sorry to hear about the theft, probably the jeweller realised that the pearls were old and had much thicker nacre
    than Akoyas have nowadays... If you have a photo go to him and ask him and see what he has got to say in his defence. Make sure you don?t give away original photos to him... Good luck and let us know..

  5. #5
    Pearl Collector & Designer Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sueki's Avatar
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    Hi Pearlpoor,
    I agree that's an awful thing to happen.
    Did you ask the jeweller why he removed the missing pearls and what he had done with them ?

  6. #6
    pattye
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    Another thought, not every jewelry store restrings in house, it is possible the pearls were sent out for restringing, at Nordstrom we did that, but would count the pearls with the customer at intake.

    Pattye
    so many pearls, so little time

  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Ugh, what a terrible story! The fact that the jeweler asked about changing the clasp makes me think he is responsible rather than a stringing service.

    How long ago did this happen? Maybe he still has the pearls in his possession. I would go ask-- and bring any older photos with you. If he realizes that you know, maybe he will "find" the pearls rather than risk legal consequences or loss of reputation.

  8. #8
    Ashley
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    Is it possible that he found cracked or peeling pearls while doing the restringing, and just decided to leave them out when putting the strand back together? I would hate to think that a family jeweler would indeed toss ethics out the window here and steal pearls- the jewelry community is pretty tightly knit, and word gets around about issues like that- I just don't see how stealing would be worth it once the theft is discovered...

    If there was an original appraisal that came with the pearls, it would be a good idea to dig it up and see if there was an official pearl count noted; I definitely agree with everyone here on the forum about using photographs to prove your case, and get a few answers from him. Good Luck- please do keep us posted!

  9. #9
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    A restrung necklace will be shorter, because the slack of stretched silk is gone - an old necklace can lose an inch or even more
    Useful tip on counting the pearls Pattye, I'll do that in future. thanks

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Caitlin, for making this a separate thread.

    Do any of you know what my pearls are? I always called them "black pearls" and had no idea what that meant in pearl terms . . . but, now I have read more than 300 hours of pearl information. So, because of the sizes, it seems like they wouldn't be Tahitian pearls.

    I searched everywhere on line to find a similar necklace --
    also, I was never able to find natural color Akoyas that look like my pearls.

    I read that Mikimoto had pearl experimental operations in Paua and maybe Australia ???


    Jerin, you commented that the jeweler probably recognized the pearls are old with a thick nacre. Can you tell from my photos (I have lots more photos) how old these pearls are and what type? How do you know if the nacre is thick?

    When I took them to the jeweler, I guess I revealed my ignorance because when I asked if he could restring them, I asked him if they were real or fake cultured pearls. (So, so stupid/uninformed I was.) He looked at me strangely, and then I said: It doesn't matter - - the value of these pearls to me is that my mother gave them to me.

    When he was measuring the pearls and looking at them with an eye piece thing, he showed me that one of the bigger pearls (3rd or 4th from center) was missing and that these colors cannot be replaced anymore.

    Why, oh why, didn't I ask why?

    Instead, I just said maybe I could find it. He showed me how he would move a pearl from the other side to make it less noticeable. You see, when I brought it in to the jeweler, it was so obvious, even to a child's eye, that the pearls were perfectly graduated.

    Anyway, that's when he asked if I wanted him to change the clasp. I think I must of looked at him kind of funny when I said no - - because the clasp has such a beautiful pearl on it. Why in the heck would I want to do that ????

    Now, 300 hours later, I'm wondering why he didn't mention to me that they were Mikimoto, and why he did not write that on my claim ticket - also the number of pearls. Isn't that something any GIA certified jeweler would do when receiving a valuable pearl necklace for restringing?

    Would you like to see more photos and scans? These pearls change colors and appearance on me all the time - - so, I am trying an experiment: have a glass of milk next to them when I photograph. That way I can have an idea if the picture truly represents their color in a particular lighting or location. YES?

    PearlPoor

  11. #11
    Ashley
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    PearlPoor- Try to photograph them in various kinds of light (indoor/outdoor) on a plain white background. Also, it would be best to use a penny or a dime next to the smallest and largest pearls in the strand in order to get a better sense of scale.

  12. #12
    Ashley
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    A restrung necklace will be shorter, because the slack of stretched silk is gone - an old necklace can lose an inch or even more
    Pearlescence- that makes such perfect common sense, I would have missed it on an IQ test! Geez... why didn't I think of that??

  13. #13
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Heidi's Avatar
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    Photos would be great. Many of the people on this forum use a white paper towel under the pearls to help demonstrate the color. It would be really interesting to see what you have in some different lighting conditions. They sound as though they may be silver, but I will leave that to photos and the more-expert-than-I around here. If you have a camera with a macro setting, the details may tell a good story.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Cathybear's Avatar
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    I would have thought if any pearls were damaged he should have returned them to you loose
    Cathy

  15. #15
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlPoor View Post
    Now, 300 hours later, I'm wondering why he didn't mention to me that they were Mikimoto, and why he did not write that on my claim ticket - also the number of pearls. Isn't that something any GIA certified jeweler would do when receiving a valuable pearl necklace for restringing?

    PearlPoor
    I'm so sorry PearlPoor! I hope this gets resolved for you.

    I just wanted to note that jewelers are not GIA certified, but they may have a GIA graduate gemologist on staff who should know to do a pearl count!

    The reason a gemologist or employee may not write on the ticket that your pearls are Mikimoto is because they were not appraising your pearls, just restringing them. For example, if I brought in a 18k yellow gold ruby ring, a staff gemologist would write "yellow metal ring, stamped 18k with red stone" on the ticket--sounds weird, I know, but that's generally how customer tickets or "take-in" forms are written. Many jewelers operate under the guideline that it's best not to assume anything. If they were doing an appraisal to assess value, then they would notate the brand.

    The number of pearls? No excuse! They should have counted them in front of you and made clear notations of color and condition on the form.

    Sorry about your experience! The strand is so unique!
    Last edited by Kaywal; 07-10-2008 at 03:32 AM.

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