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  1. #1

    Question Need help identifying these pearls.....I am a pearl novice

    Hi everyone

    These are real pearls. I know that much. I just don't know anymore about them, so if you have any ideas or info, it would be appreciated.

    Here is a picture of the pearls

    Name:  DSC_3593.jpg
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    The clasp is marked 14kt gold followed by what looks like three Japanese characters. Also on the thinest part of the clasp there is w or m with a line above (or beneath it, I don't know which way is up). They measure about 1/4" each. It is 18" long not counting clasps.

    Thank you in advance for any help

  2. #2
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oceanside, CA


    Hi There,

    At first glance, they look like Chinese freshwater cultured pearls. A white paper towel would be a better background. Can you get a close-up of a few pearls? Does your camera have a macro setting - a little flower? Okay, time to do a second photo or two.

    Thanks, and welcome to Pearl Guide!
    The World Is My Oyster!

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl Expert Amrita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tianjin & Beijing, China


    Agree with GemGeek - at first look these look like FW pearls…but a picture on a white background in natural light would help to clear things up more...

  4. #4
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl Expert Sea Urchin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I agree, rosedl, and the reason is that unless it's something to do with the camera angle, a lot of the pearls look very slightly "flattened." Freshwater pearls are often that way. Unlike the saltwater pearls, freshwaters usually don't have a round (shell) bead nucleus to make them more perfectly round.

    I'm no expert, but I don't know of anything important that the "M" or "W" on the clasp would mean. "Mikimoto" is a well known pearl company, of course, but I believe they use a clamshell design along with their "M" on their clasps, and a small pearl as part of the clasp design as well. That clasp looks like a standard fish hook one to me.

    In any case, it looks like a pretty necklace.
    Last edited by Sea Urchin; 02-24-2014 at 04:47 AM.

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    True, they look like Chinese cultured freshwater pearls due to their slight barrel shape. I estimate them to be around 8mm, which is actually a very useful size.

    The nice thing about these pearls is that there is no bead inside-- so they are all nacre, and very durable.

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark


    What can you tell us about their history? If age can be proved to be older than the last couple of decades that rules out a couple of of options. But just having a seller claim it is not enough

    Do you see any markings on them? If you, it's a good idea to photograph those as well on a white background.

    Do you agree with the description 'barrel shaped' or 'potato shaped' or do you see them as completely round?

    - Karin

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