Are these freshwater pearls?



My husband just came back from a business trip in Manila and brought these back for me. He said he paid about $250 US. I think these are freshwater pearls but he said he was told that it was "baby south sea". I think he was taken for a ride. Can anyone confirm my hunch? Also, does anyone know if he overpaid? I think he did.:confused:

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Pearl necklace

Pearl necklace

These appear to be low luster, off-round freshwater pearls. The quality looks a little bit too good for Philippine home production and were probably imported from China. In Beijing you can get a strand with a clasp like yours for one US dollar if you buy wholesale. About US$20 tops at the tourist rip-off level.

Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I better not tell him he lost 249 bucks! He was being considerate but I'll let him to stick with something other than jewelry with no returen policy when he goes abroad.
Zeide is exactly right. I have heard the term 'Baby South Sea' a few times. Some use the term to describe small South Seas (8mm range) that are prevalent in Japan where there is more of a market for them. But most of the time when I have seen advertisements for 'baby south sea' it is for low-end freshwater. Sellers use the term to make the pearls seem more valuable than they are (do a google search). For $250, I am sorry to say, your husband was really taken.
Well, at least they are solid nacre -! :D . So wear them, wear them, wear them! Everyday with everything! :D You will never wear them out, This is a gift you can enjoy in spite of everything!
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I though it would be helpful to other readers to point out some of the things that show that these are Freshwater. Here are some things that are evident in this picture that may help others determine what type of pearls they have:

  • The thread is not double knotted. The pearls are strung with each pearl up against each other. This is characteristic of how Freshwater pearls are sold in markets in China.
  • The clasp looks like a standard filigree silver plate clasp. This clasp is one of the lower cost clasps and is usually found on the least expensive Freshwater pearls. Usually you will find more expensive clasps on South Sea pearls.
  • The clasp is also tied directly with a knot in the thread. It is not using a "french wire". Usually tying directly on the thread is only seen on the less expensive Freshwater pearls.
  • The pearls are off-round. This is would either indicate Freshwater pearls or natural pearls. This is not to say that all Freshwater are off-round - they are not. However, and off-round pearl usually indicates Freshwater or natural.

* Please - anyone feel free to add to this list. These are just the first things that jumped out at me.