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  1. #1
    19BoKi96
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    Question Pinna Nobilis Pearls!?

    Hello guys,
    My grandpa gave me some old pearls from pinna nobilis (wing shell) he collected in the 70's when it wasn't prohibited.
    I have a lot of pearls, most of them are silver, some are brown and some are even red or yellow.
    I didn't measure them yet but I would say most of them are 2-4mm in diameter and a brown one is even approx. 10-14mm.
    I don't know what to do with them and I know next to nothing about pearls, so I have some questions.
    Are they worth anything?
    The big brown one looks strange, is this even a pearl?

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    Thank you for the answer

  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    gorgeous pearls, not sure what the big brown thing is, blister concretion? Dave would know. maybe he'll see this thread.

  3. #3
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19BoKi96 View Post
    Hello guys,
    My grandpa gave me some old pearls from pinna nobilis (wing shell) he collected in the 70's when it wasn't prohibited.
    I have a lot of pearls, most of them are silver, some are brown and some are even red or yellow.
    I didn't measure them yet but I would say most of them are 2-4mm in diameter and a brown one is even approx. 10-14mm.
    I don't know what to do with them and I know next to nothing about pearls, so I have some questions.
    Are they worth anything?
    The big brown one looks strange, is this even a pearl?

    Thank you for the answer
    I'm not sure what the large one is either. My first thought was a rejected nucleus, but the size seems big for pen shells.

    Otherwise, you have a few pearls that present as natural. Most in the image are mature or over mature, as they appear nacreous. In nature and pen shells, it takes a minimum of four or five years of growth to form that structure.

    A large percentage of pearls harvested from pen shells are known to crack spontaneously weeks, months and even years later. Good news though, given the age of these pearls that's unlikely to occur. Are there any cracked ones in the clutch?

    The images support the provenance, but more information is always encouraged, if possible. Area of harvest, harvester history and other pertinent information is useful.

    As to value. Natural pearls are valued and collectible, although pen pearls fall into a medium category. Not rare or highly prized, nor worthless either. There are ten grade points to consider. The same as cultured pearls with the addition of translucency and flame pattern. Matches also add value. Merits double while demerits half the score. A favorable report from an accredited lab would support origin and add value.

    It's all but impossible to appraise value from a single photograph. Please post more.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Welcome to P-G,

    Thanks for sharing your collection, most interesting! Sounds like you have more than the ones shown in the photo?
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  5. #5
    19BoKi96
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    Thanks for the replies.
    The pearls were collected in the adriatic sea in the middle of the croatian coast. My grandpa used to sell these pearls for a good price. I know other persons who even lived from selling these pearls.
    There are a lot more of them, they are all hidden in the cellar of my grandpa since decades. Some of them have cracks, mostly the orange and brown ones. I threw the broken ones away as they have no purpose anymore I think.
    Here are some more of them
    Two round black pearls have a silver spot on them and one is half silver half brown (the big one with the irregular shape)

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  6. #6
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19BoKi96 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.
    The pearls were collected in the adriatic sea in the middle of the croatian coast. My grandpa used to sell these pearls for a good price. I know other persons who even lived from selling these pearls.
    A very interesting history of the origin of these pearls. I'm intrigued to other stories you'd share with the group.

    Quote Originally Posted by 19BoKi96 View Post
    There are a lot more of them, they are all hidden in the cellar of my grandpa since decades. Some of them have cracks, mostly the orange and brown ones. I threw the broken ones away as they have no purpose anymore I think.
    Here are some more of them
    Two round black pearls have a silver spot on them and one is half silver half brown (the big one with the irregular shape)
    Broken pearls have some scientific value. Scraps and fragments can be analyzed more effectively some times and there's no need to destroy an otherwise entire pearl. Some can be polished flat for fitting in bezels. Please don't discard any more.

    The latest image posted undoubtedly supports pearls from pen shells. The clutch also presents with structural growth in all age groups from juvenile to senescent. The highest incidence of cracking occurs in the amber colored group, where the protein content itself (polysaccharides) crystalizes into non-orthorhombic forms. This creates inclusions and fractures.

    In other species, that level of cracking is rare.

    The species is supported. There are some near matches. There are some alluring solitaires. The clutch is seasoned... for lack of a better term as far as relative humidity is concerned and you appear to have considerable knowledge of the chain of custody.

    All reasonable value adds. Again, medium value.

    You have a terrific collection, thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. #7
    19BoKi96
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    My grandpa told me a lot of stories about them. He said he has hundrets of them stored. If you want to, I can ask him for permission, to search the other ones and upload more photos!? His house is not far away and I can visit him whenever I want to

  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Yes, please, more photos and more stories! You have a large audience of pearl lovers here from all over the world. You can help preserve this special piece of history shared by your Grandpa. Please let your Grandpa know how much we appreciate your sharing all this with us.

    By what process were these pearls collected?

    How did they go about selling them?
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  9. #9
    19BoKi96
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    My grandpa used to dive for them on a single breath of air. He had little equipment. When he spotted a big wing shell, he submerged and pulled it out with gloves to propect his fingers of the razor sharp edges. On the surface he opened the shells by cutting through the muscle, which is holding the two halfes together. He then just took all what was inside of the shell and put it into a small bag. When he collected enough shells, he got home and examinated all what he collected. It took long time to find the pearls, because they were so small and very well hidden. He said, that some pinna's didn't even have a single pearl but sometimes he found up to 30 pearls of all different sizes, colors and shapes (just like the ones on the photo) in just a single pinna. He said the best shells where the big missformed (because of ship anchors) ones. They where up to one meter in lengh and where pretty heavy.

    The story behind the big brown one: All pearls where found in the flash of the shells, but the big brown one, was on the very bottom of the shell and not where he usually found pearls. He only found one. So any ideas what it could be?

    I've found a bunch of other pearls today (although I didn't have much time for searching) and I put them together with the other ones.
    I've also uploaded another photo of the brown one, maybe somebody could tell me now what it is!?
    When I find more I will let you know.
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  10. #10
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    How fascinating 19BoKi56; thank you for sharing you and your grandfather's legacy and history with us ... a great privilege.
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  11. #11
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Really enjoying your wonderful family story and the amazing photos! Thank you!

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl
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    Very interesting stories from your grandpa and lovely variety of pearls. This thread from another PG forum looks rather apt to share here: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9359

  13. #13
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    The latest image shows the colors and structures nicely.

    I enjoy the earthy appearance of these pearls. They have semblances of wood, chestnuts, amber, carnelian and beeswax.

    Although somewhat scruffy in ways, they certainly compensate with character in others.


    The big brown piece could be a pearl erupted from the sac then being reabsorbed. Reabsorbing calcium from shells is common in many mollusks, especially in the temperate latitudes or estuaries.

    It has a coral-like appearance to the structure and if it were any other species than pinna, it would resemble the concentric layers of a onion. Pen shells on the other hand, produce big proteinaceous pearls and it stands to reason they could be erroded in this manner.

    It's no gem, but intriguing nonetheless. It's infinitely more rare than the others.

  14. #14
    19BoKi96
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    The pearls are stored in little white boxes. My grandpa gave me another one, he said that whenever I come visit him, he will give me another box of pearls. Now my curiosity for pearls has awakened. I love the way they look like and it makes me wonder, how might the other pearls look like. The variety in shapes, colors and sizes is huge. This time I even got some which are half silver and half brown. I don't know if this makes them more valuable or not but for me this is special.

    I will buy a precision scale to find out how much they weigh, maybe somebody could give me more information about the value. Im don't know much about pearl's, so I don't know what medium value means.

    Look at the last photo, can somebody explain how this symetric shape is possible? The brown ones have often interesting symetric shapes. The amber ones are often shaped like a teardrop and the silver ones are mostly round. But there are no teardrop shaped brown pearls and no symetric amber pearls, why?
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  15. #15
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    It's a treat for us to see so many interesting natural pearls. Thank you for sharing.

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