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  1. #1
    Administrator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    Default girl finds 12mm natural pearl?

    I'm going to be honest, I've got a feeling something fishy is going on but here's the story:

    Girl's pearl find could be worth thousands

    Portia Himsel thought she had found a marble in a shell while playing at a Banks Peninsula beach on Boxing Day, but she may have stumbled on one of New Zealand's most valuable pearls.

    The Halswell 6-year-old was at the water's edge at a bay near Birdlings Flat when a partly opened grey shell caught her eye.

    "I threw a rock at it and it didn't move," she said.

    "That's why I opened it up and I saw the pearl. I didn't really think much when I saw it.

    "I thought it was a marble. I pulled it out and showed Mum and Dad."

    Her father, Daniel Himsel, said they initially had trouble believing it was the real thing.

    "It seems perfectly round. That's why we didn't think it was real, but she said she found it in a shell," he said.

    "I don't know anyone who's ever found a pearl before."

    Portia waited some time before showing her father, mother Megan and sister Claudia, 9, her find.

    Daniel Himsel said Portia first held the pearl in her hand for safekeeping and then left it in the pocket of a tent.

    "We've taken better care of it since," he said.

    Roger Beattie, of Eyris Blue Pearls in Christchurch, said Portia's pearl "could be the find of the year".

    "I've never seen a good-quality large oyster pearl in New Zealand," he said.

    "It's got good lustre, it's a white pearl. It's smooth and it's large and it looks pretty round."

    The pearl, 12 millimetres in diameter, would be worth thousands of dollars to the right collector, he said.

    "This is what they call a free pearl.

    "Free pearls are worth more than one that's attached to the shell.

    "And it's a natural pearl, which is worth more than cultured pearls," he said.

    "My guess is it's from a New Zealand oyster shell. I would call it double-A probably. It's good quality."

    AAA is the highest grade of pearl.

    The Himsels have not decided what they will do with the pearl but will consider getting it valued.
    Kevin Canning
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  2. #2
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    Default

    I know the area well and not somewhere that you would even be likely to find an oyster shell.
    However Rodger Beattie is certainly someone who's opinion I would trust

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Canning View Post
    something fishy is going on
    Fishy? More like "Whaley"

    There are some serious inconsistencies here. When a bivalve dies (naturally or otherwise) the shell springs open. The only exception would be a clam that dies in the substrate and the hinge weakens over time. Only then to be scoured by tide or weather out of the sand and tumbled ashore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Posted Article
    "My guess is it's from a New Zealand oyster shell. I would call it double-A probably. It's good quality."
    If this is the case, I have a few issues with it. First, the oyster was never buried in the substrate, as opposed to above it or suspended by lines. Second, there are no "New Zealand oysters" per se. Crassostrea gigas is known all around the world (even here) as the Japanese oyster and while they do yield pearls from time to time, they are certainly not nacreous nor are they ever remotely in the "A" category of grades. Lastly.. any shell coming ashore with both valves attached tend to be packed in mud or sand so it seems highly unlikely a pearl would even be noticeable. I cannot think of, or find credible evidence of anyone finding a quality pearl alone in a shell on a beach... ever.

    I suppose it's possible, but the chances of it are infinitely improbable. My guess would be this was found by some oyster shucker somewhere and stashed, only to be found in a box by a surviving relative or something along those lines.

  4. #4
    Administrator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by antz View Post
    I know the area well and not somewhere that you would even be likely to find an oyster shell.
    However Rodger Beattie is certainly someone who's opinion I would trust
    yes I agree but I got the impression the author asked Rodger about the pearl but it didn't say if Rodger had actually inspected the pearl.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    The "pearl" is being held in a caliper, something Roger or anyone else in the business would have though. So it would stand to reason that someone with knowledge has looked at it.

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    So it would stand to reason that someone with knowledge has looked at it.
    But would a knowledgeable person apply an A rating to a non-nacreous pearl? Natural pearls tend to be rated by intrinsic value, rarely gem quality.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    No, definitely not. I've never heard of natural pearls getting rated A-AAA. Roger could have just been putting it into layman's terms for them.

  8. #8
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    If she doesn't keep it, all she will have is a story. I wonder if she kept the shell? However she found it, it would make a good ring or pendant. It has hardly any luster. I can't see it being worth thousands. Or if it is actually a natural pearl. The story is just too far fetched- unless a mermaid gave it to her! Then I would believe it.
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  9. #9
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    In the same paper on face book as the story on weighing the pearls, was this story.
    Complaints pile up as Groupon fails to deliver

    Ben Flanagan
    Dec 29, 2011

    Groupon is the global leader in the online daily deals industry. Scott Olson / Getty Images / AFP







    Groupon has come under fire from scores of unhappy shoppers in the UAE amid ongoing delivery delays and a customer-service hotline overwhelmed with complaints.


    The US retail giant, which launched its online deals site in the UAE this year, has received more than 100 messages complaining about its service and has admitted to being overwhelmed by demand.


    Groupon is the global leader in the online daily deals industry, which specialises in discounts on goods, services and travel. It launched an initial public offering last year and has a market capitalisation of US$14.7 billion (Dh53.99bn).
    A flood of such sites launched in the Middle East this year, including LivingSocial, which bought out the local start-up GoNabit.
    But in a widespread consumer backlash against Groupon, UAE residents cite late delivery of goods and a failure by the company to deal with complaints promptly.
    Many users posted multiple comments on Groupon UAE's Facebook wall, where there are currently more than 100 messages critical of its service.
    "Groupon seriously needs to clear the backlogs if they want to stay in business," wrote one user on Facebook. "This is really pathetic, backlogs not cleared and new deals are being marketed."
    Groupon says the problem is specific to the UAE, and is because of increased demand for its deals over Christmas.
    "Delivery times haven't been as fast as we would have liked," said Ainsley Duncombe, the chief executive of Groupon Middle East.

    "Demand has been up 50 per cent over the festive period. We have had an overwhelming response to our products."
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  10. #10
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    I have just got The Press which is our local newspaper and the story is on the front page ( its good to see something thats not about earthquakes) it doesnt say that rodger has inspected it although it certainly implies that he has. The beach that it has came from is very stoney with next to no sand and I have fished the area for founder and sole on trawlers and have never seen an oyster on that side of the penisula apart from small rock oysters that are very firmly attached to rocks and even when they are dead the half thats attached will stay there while the other drops off

  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Knowing the area around Birdlings flat, there are two types of structure. One being volcanic and the other sedimentry. The stones on this beach are all sea worn and they are mostly flat, ovals and so one but in small sizes. A possibility of a fossil pearl would be the most likely from my point of view.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by antz View Post
    I know the area well and not somewhere that you would even be likely to find an oyster shell.
    However Rodger Beattie is certainly someone who's opinion I would trust
    One would have to very sure of them selves before make such bold statements ,in this case bold could be the wrong word.
    The father phoned us about the find but there were to many variables that didn't stack up to comment with out seeing the item,
    "My guess is it's from a New Zealand oyster shell. I would call it double-A probably. It's good quality." is not a quote e I would trust.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Murray Brereton ... Akaroa, right? I visited your shop a few years back on the GIA alumni trip.

    The area was magnificent!
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  14. #14
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    I certainly dont think that my statement is bold there Murray but it doesnt seem likely to me, however if it is true then good on her
    Last edited by antz; 03-03-2012 at 03:18 AM.

  15. #15
    First-graft Pearl
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    OMG. I laughed so hard when I read this quote. The story is just too far fetched- unless a mermaid gave it to her! Then I would believe it.[/QUOTE]

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