Found these in a jewellery box.

gRimmus

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Hi everyone!

Thank you in advance for any advice that you can offer - I've looked through some of the threads and it's a really great community you've got here.

So, I have absolutely no idea what pearls are supposed to look or feel like, but I went through the questions as per instructed:

1. Do the pearls feel slightly gritty or smooth when rubbed gently against another pearl (or against the edge of your tooth, if there is only one pearl?) Please rub gently!
If they are gritty, they are likely to be real nacre (genuine pearls.) If they feel smooth, they are likely imitation pearls.

1. To me they feel slightly gritty and not completely smooth. They are also quite cool to touch at first.

2. Please provide clear, in-focus photos without flash against a white background (a paper towel works nicely.)
Include close-ups of the clasp (front and back) and a few of the pearls. If there are flaws, include a photo of those. Also the box they came in, and tags if you have them.

3. I don't have much history to give other than they were owned by the mother of the lady who recently passed away - found in a jewellery box with some other items such as rings and some gold necklaces (a 9K and a 14K).

4. There are no marking on the clasp, just a small ornate clasp with some kind of a stone in it.

5. They all seem to be bewteen 5mm and 6mm


My inclination is to believe they are fake or cultured due to the similarity in the size and looking "too round" with not enough irregularity in the pearls, alas, I thought it was worth finding out what they may be!
 

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Hi gRimmus and welcome to Pearl Guie!

The pearls are cultured akoya pearls. The surface characteristics help identify them as real pearls.
 
Check the clasp more closely...

Check the clasp more closely...

To my eye the round indentation in the doesn't look quite right it looks to me like dried glue residue it "may" be that the class had a little tiny round Pearl glued there.
 
Hi gRimmus and welcome to Pearl Guie!

The pearls are cultured akoya pearls. The surface characteristics help identify them as real pearls.

Amazing! Thank you so much for the swift response!

It seems to be quite a long necklace, the pearl string lenth is 50cm (19.5"), is this a standard length or is it just dependent on the style of wearing?
 
They could benefit from a gentle cleaning. There are no knots at all, which isn't the norm for akoya pearls, and no variation in color. Uniform size is normal for akoyas. They usually have a few knots near the clasp.

The pictures are great, but I'd love to see more closeups, especially if you can get one of the side of the pearl at the clasp where we can see the surface around the drill hole. Thanks!
 
Ooh, good catch GemGeek. They are also finished in an inexpensive manner and the clasp does look like it had a pearl glued in.
 
If these are imitation pearls, could they be Majorcas? Is that one reason why the pearls would have grit? I have some old paste pearls and MoP pearl beads and neither of those have a surface texture like the ones pictured. They're both smooth. Hmmm, an interesting pearly mystery.
 
If pearls are grimy, this can make them a bit gummy or resistant when rubbed together. I'd clean them and then try your rubbing test again. Use bottled water (to avoid chlorine and hard water minerals) and swish some mild soap around in it (not dish soap, not detergent.) Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse and let dry on a soft towel. Then test again.

If they still feel gritty after that, try looking at them with a jeweler's loupe (10x magnifier). If you don't have one, you could visit your local jeweler and ask to use theirs. Inspect the surface of the pearls-- specifically look at a part of the surface that appears smooth. Real nacre looks very smooth under 10x magnification, while imitation pearls have a coarser appearance. If you aren't sure, compare what you see with a strand of known-real or known-fake pearls.

People use the term Majorca or Majorica loosely but Majorica is a brand name. I own quite a few Majorica brand imitation pearls, and can assure you that those are not Majorica brand.
• Majorica imitation pearls feel smooth when rubbed together.
• They have a final coating that imitates the colorful iridescence of genuine pearls.
• I have never seen any Majorica strands finished that way with those bead tips near the clasp.
• Majorica pearls are knotted between each pearl.
• Majorica are the highest quality imitations (with a price to match) and have smooth surfaces. Pearls with that appearance would not pass inspection.

We have a thread about imitation pearls, with photos-- see [h=1]Fake, Imitation, Laguna, Faux, Majorica, Majorcan, Swarovski Pearl Photos, Stories[/h]
 
If these are imitation pearls, could they be Majorcas? Is that one reason why the pearls would have grit? I have some old paste pearls and MoP pearl beads and neither of those have a surface texture like the ones pictured. They're both smooth. Hmmm, an interesting pearly mystery.

Definitively not Mallorcas. They display very typical Akoya traits...even the dark blotches I was able to glimpse on a few.
 
rGimmus,
Cultured akoya pearls do not tend to be strung that way (unknotted with bead tips and what looks like a base metal clasp with a glued-on pearl) but remember pearls are often restrung. They could be akoyas yet have been restrung at some point the way imitations are more often strung.
 
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