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Chipped Pearls

Camelotshadow

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
I have these unmarked platinum earrings with a supposed gold south sea pearl from the E place.

I dropped an earring on a tile floor & a chunk of ?nacre" chipped off yesterday.

At first inspection of damage I saw shiny tiny particles like glitter.

There was one today but it does not appear to be in the chipped area now.
There is a bit of dark dirt inside one area.

They feel like pearls to the tooth test.

Nacre looks sort of odd...kind of crystalline & it is a pale yellow.

Help...

I want to be sure they are pearls before I take a beating as if they are pearls & I damaged one then its bad.
If they are inferior or some sort of faux then I need to build a case to return.

I've tried to take closeups of the damage.
 

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BritM

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Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
86
I know next to nothing about pearls, especially compared to others here, but the last photo looks to me like the coating is different than the substance below the coating. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like, and I don't think that's what one would see. But again, mine is about the last opinion I'd rely upon around here.
 

Camelotshadow

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Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
Thanks. I tried acetone & it has no affect. I think they are probably pearls but maybe the nacre was very thin...

Hard to get good pictures but the area is pretty big almst 3 1/2 mm X 2mm. Not too deep but deep enough.

Appears to be a layer of dirt under the coating on one side. I wonder if that is the nacre line. If that is the bead exposed it looks very much like the pearl & I see some sort of textures areas. If thats the nacre line its much too thin.
 
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Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
8,958
How thick is the nacre-- can you measure it? They could be yellow akoyas, which would have thinner nacre than SSP. Although I'm puzzled that the inside looks the same color as the outside, rather than like a bead nucleus.
 

Camelotshadow

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Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
Inside does look the same...arrrgh...I really can't guage the depth of it. You can feel it with your nail but its pretty thin....

Maybe .1 mm to .15mm?

Why dirty line under the nacre? Guess dirt could be in the oyster when it is making a pearl?
 

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lilliefuzzysocks

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Dec 16, 2010
Messages
1,148
Take them to pearl paradise when you have your meet up there. They can tell you what you have.
 

Camelotshadow

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Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
I don't have an appointment with PP. Left a msg last week ago but no call back & then I had chemo this week so did not persue. I got them June 17 so there is time. These pearls started out as a nightmare.
USPS had entered a online notice that they were left at the building with some individual. I started a lost case but they came in the mail the same day. Seems they are cursed! LOL

I should have sent these back sooner & just got a nice pair of tahitians at PP...Arrhhh

I've dropped pearls & I know they are fragile but darn my luck.

I need to get this straight asap so I can send them back if there is a problem that led to this. If its my fault dropping them & they are damaged
I might have to eat it...Still I need to be sure they are platinum or its a big bust!!!!\\

Seem to be pearls but maybe some sediment got in during the culture & created a weak line of nacre...

I saw sparkle glitter yesterday at the break line. Apparently is washed off...not sure what was up with that.
 
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Lugana

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Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
317
Are they from a Chinese seller or someone reselling chinese sourced pearls? There are enough polished/ lacquered pearls there, and the chip you've got looks to me as the top coating lacquer cracked. The dirt might have got there after it being chipped or it could have been cracked before and you only noticed when the whole piece came off.. I wouldn't think the oyster layered the dirt in the pearl..
What's the size of these pearls? They look like yellow akoya to me rather than south seas..
 

Camelotshadow

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Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
Gosh my post got deleted....

I'll try to be brief as want to try to take them around some more.

Private seller. Said 10 plus mm gssp platinum settings Said she Paid $750 from an estate sale.

They are 9 to top 9.2mm weird yellow sometimes champagne & platinum did pass the acid test but stainless can pass too.

I've louped & candled them & there was no sign of damage. The dirt is underneath & they are freshly chipped & not subject to dirt so it was under the layers.

They had been out to 2 jewlers...One said who knows could be old stained pearl RETURN IT other said OK & plat settings are $$$ & thought it OK.

Seller says she showed her crummy photos to a jeweler & he said they look nice. Her photos were really bad & you could not see anything so I don;t know how a jeweler could base an opionion on them. First pictures are hers...

She wanted to give me $20 to offset that they were not 10 plus mm or take them back as she "misses" them.

I have been toying with the idea but still was not sure if I wanted to spend all the money they cost just for the settings as the pearls are sort of blahh...

I think they are cultured pearls but I dont know how good they can make the shell...They just don't look right. Nacre is very translucent more crystalline looking than layered though I do see some sort of layer evidence. Had them under 40X & still just dont know. I can still see sort of sparkle features which should not...

Well....I need to figure this out...
 

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JerseyPearl

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Apr 25, 2014
Messages
5,862
Honestly, now that you've damaged them, unless you can prove they are not what you were sold (i.e. not cultured pearls in a platinum setting) I think you're out of luck and need to move on. If it were me, I'd remove the two pearls. You can soak them in Attack and they should loosen right up. That will allow for inspection of the drill holes as well as inspection of the mountings. I actually got a pair of earring mounts in 14k from a supply house that were marked inside the pearl cup. Strange, right? And if the pearls dissolve in the Attack bath, then maybe you'll still have an opportunity to dispute the sale.
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
Messages
8,958
Good advice from JerseyPearl IMO.

You like the settings, so use Attack to get the pearls off the setting, then throw away the pearls since they are not to your taste and find some pearls you like, maybe some Tahitians, to glue onto the settings.

I think this is one of those "live and learn" situations that we all have experienced. It's probably time to move on from it, as it's stressing you at a time when you need all your strength to deal with chemo.
 

Camelotshadow

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Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
Yeah, as long ss they are platinum then I paid full new price for the settings.

I dragged myself to Ventura Blvd like the walking dead. The 2nd chemo has drained me...

Stopped into the Diamond & Jewelry Gallery on Ventura Blvd & whittsett in Studio city.

Walked out with my mouth open! Salesperson took them to the back for the owner to look at & she came back & said... He Said...

They were not real pearls & not platinum. I inquired as how to get that in writing...maybe a quick appraisal as his wife quoted me $40 to appraise my diamond earrings which is fair. No he wanted $85 & frankly said they were not worth appraising.

I asked her how he tested the metal & she said he put a drop of liquid on it. I inquired more & seems he did an acid test.

How come his acid test says they are not platinum. My acids are old but I don;t think ???? that should affect it????

Anyway I walked down to the coin & jewelry buyer on Laurel Grove who told me to send the ugly pearls back to reevaluate & get another opinion.

He said for sure they are pearls & he used an electronic tester which he said had a weak battery...oooh good thing I wasn't selling.
Anyway they tested at least 18K & he says they look like platinum not 18K. I told him of the other jewelers opinion & he said the guy is a crock & most jewelers know little about evaluating estate jewelry. He told me I know more than that jeweler. I still don;t know what to think but I could have paid $85 for that bogus appraisal. I could never bring anything to him to appraise & frankly would be uncomfortable buying from someone who does appraisals & could be that wrong. (If he was wrong???/)

Thats if the coin store is correct & he as a sharp eye & buys estate jewelery for a living. He can't rely on what it is said to be or marked.

I could buy fresh acids & the attack..not sure what compound that is but I am not going to spend $400 for fake pearls even in 18K.

I bought platinum & south sea pearls. Then I went to another jeweler down the block who did some visual inspection. He just said the settings were very old & thought it was a cultured pearl but you can't know age or kind of pearl without in depth testing.

That first jeweler swearing they were fake pearls & not platinum has me really concerned.

Don't have attack but guess I could try soakng the pearls off as they are pretty much mine unless I have some good evdidence the pearls are fake & they are not platinum///
 

cmd2014

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Sep 18, 2014
Messages
308
Would it be worth $85 to be able to send them back? I'm strongly suspecting they are not real, or at the very least, not what you were told they are. You have proof of the size difference, and they don't look like GSS pearls to many people here's eyes. And in my mind, if one part is not what you were told it was, why believe the rest? If it were me, I'd get the appraisal and use that to send them back. Unless of course you think you have a strong enough case on size discrepancy alone.

Many jewelers don't know pearls. Those that do can spot a faux pearl easily (and it sounds like they were advising you against their self interest in spending $85 to appraise an item not worth $85, which makes me inclined to believe them).
 

Camelotshadow

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Jun 12, 2017
Messages
362
Well even if the guy was wrong it would have been nice to have a certificate saying they were fake. I could at least get $300 back rather than spending it all on fake earrings.

I may go back when the wife is there & not tell her about what her husband said. He did not want to do the appraisal & I was sort of in shock at what he said about them. She won;t be able to confirm platinum by looking at them either. If they were all fake it would be worth the money to be able to return them but there is the little catch that they are now chipped. Suppose she says they are real pearls...then paying for that won't help me as its really the platinum I am interested in being real.

Really is a big jewelry place but not every jeweler is an expert on pearls. Still if he did an acid test & thought it not platinum. How could my acid test say platinum & an electronic tester say least 18K. My head is just swimming & I want to build a strong case before I write the seller.


I could have sent them back but now that I chipped one my only recourse is if they were not as described. Certainly she was wrong almost 1mm on size but she only wanted to give me $20 for that mistake.

She listed them from memory. Who does that? Memory of what someone told her in an estate sale. Who spends $750 for unmarked earrings at an estate sale. She may have been taken & was totally unaware but I don't want to be the next one to be taken by the earrings if they are not right.

You're right...he could have taken my $85 to appraise them but the salesperson said he was adamant about saying it was not worth it.
If they are real pearls & platinum then this jeweler is really bad & should not be appraising!
 

Katbran

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Jan 2, 2011
Messages
6,498
Many jewellers don't know about pearls. If you are in LA call PP and have them take a look , you can compare them with real GSS . You already have one jeweller who said they are real pearls and either 18kt or Plat. Going back to the other place sounds like a waste of time as they don't seem to have any expertise. Take the pearls to a pearl expert if you want a true answer. Or , Just take the pearls off and get something else to put on them . .sounds like the settings are good.

Attack is a solvent for glue / epoxy. Good to have around. You can buy it from Rio Grande .
 

Lugana

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Sep 13, 2016
Messages
317
How about sending them to PP? Priorly speaking to them whether the would want to make themselves referees in the situation and issue the certificate if needed.. I'm afraid local jeweller (even high end one) wouldn't possess 100% knowledge on pearls..
 

GemGeek

Pearlista
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,235
Looks real to me. I chipped a lovely SSP myself. Conchiolin can show as a dark protein layer between layers of prismatic nacre. This is clearly damaged nacre showing more nacre underneath. Sorry. I look at pearls under the microscope frequently.
 

Pearl Dreams

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Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
8,958
GemGeek would know. I think you have your answer.

I bought my Attack on Amazon.

I you do buy Attack to remove the pearls from the finding, I recommend putting the tin in a ziplock type bag after opening. I later found that most of my tin had evaporated even though I had screwed the lid back properly. Apparently the seal wasn't entirely adequate, and it is volatile.

Depending on the glue used it can take 24 hours or even days to remove the pearl from the finding.
 

JerseyPearl

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Apr 25, 2014
Messages
5,862
Pearl Dreams is right, most of the pearls I "Attack" are loose in a few hours but some do take longer. I usually do it at night, and come back the next morning to a pearl and mounting separated. I would highly recommend that you use a glass jar (baby food, or small jelly jar works well). I pour in the solvent, cut a small square of foil and place it on top of the jar, then screw down the lid. I have found that the off gas from the compound will dissolve a plastic coated lid. I do the set up and removal in the garage, with the doors open, and wearing my respirator (I have asthma, so I don't take any chances with triggers!) I also use tweezers to handle the pearls and posts until they have been rinsed in water. I do wear gloves, but I do not directly put my gloved hands in contact with the solvent. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I feel it's better to be safe than sorry...besides, I think I look cool in my pink mask and gloves!IMG_3469.jpg
 

Cicadalady

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Dec 21, 2015
Messages
326
That's definitely a "signature look", JP. The pink, the Tin Cup, the ... je ne said quoi. It's all your own :)
 
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