Boyfriends Heirloom Pearls


New Member
Mar 1, 2018
So my boyfriend has these pearls. To his mother's knowledge his grandmother never had them restrung. They're pretty much the one family heirloom they have. His mother called the Mikimoto Pearls and so that's what he believed them to be. Everyone was upset at me for not wanting to wear them after I heard they haven't been restrung in my 41 year old Boyfriends lifetime. But, since NYC is not out of the question of places that I go, I offered to take them to Mikimoto to get restrung and apprased for the homeowners policy. This sounds reasonable, right?

So I went yesterday and the woman who helped me was charming but she could not find any M marking on the clasp. She said there is writing on the inside of the clasp that says "Sterling Silver" on one side and she cannot make out the other side. Using my iphone I could not get a good picture of the text to figure it out.

Does anyone have any idea what kind of pearls these are? I've gone through a few dozen posts here and so far I cannot find the same clasp. His mother is looking for any paperwork she might have on them. But I stumbled across this website and figured I'd ask. The only image of it I can find on google is asking the same question with her also being told they were Mikimotos.

The necklace is about 15 inches long not counting clasp.

Welcome to Pearl Guide, TameYourHeart.

The pearls look like cultured akoya pearls but the clasp looks generic. The fact of the matter is there is nothing in particular to distinguish pearls sold by Mikimoto from any other pearls, other than the clasp.

Maybe his mother was using the term "Mikimoto" to mean "akoya"?

In any case I agree they ought to be restrung before being worn. Silk becomes weak and it would be a shame to lose the strand if the silk broke. If you feel motivated to restring them yourself, have a look at the tutorials on how to restring pearls on our Lowly Beaders Club forum. Many of us restring our own pearls-- it's actually quite easy, and it saves money as well.

Also, it is probably not necessary to have them appraised. Just restring, and enjoy wearing them!
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They look to be a nice size - 8.5-9mm perhaps?

And definitely restring them. You can see that the silk is stretched out in the picture and the finishing on the clasp attachment could be better. It looks like a jump ring held on just by the silk, which can lead to wear on the last pearl and on the silk as well.
You were smart not to wear them. There is no gimp at the clasp ends and this could have caused a failure with the pearls being lost.
Good point made by lilliefuzzysocks! The thread is under extra stress where it meets the clasp. Gimp (also called French wire) is a little coil of metal that protects the thread there, while also giving the strand a more professionally strung look.
Thanks everyone!

We're planning on taking it to get restrung sometime in the near future. They're a little bumbed that they're not mikimoto, but its better to know for sure.

Thank you for Defining Gimp. Cause I was lost a few moments.

Mikimoto has brand prestige, yes, but even if they are not Miki brand, they still look like very nice quality pearls!

When restringing, consider getting a different clasp (e.g. a gold one that won't tarnish) if you don't care for the silver fishhook filigree one it has now. There are many beautiful clasps out there.