Grandmother’s Pearls - Real?


New Member
Jan 29, 2023
Hello! I was doing some cleaning and organizing and found a gift that was given to me after my grandmother passed. I’m not sure if these were hers or my great grandmothers, but I would guess early-mid 1900’s.
They are broken at the clasp, and four pearls are loose.

Are they real, and if so, what kind are they, what would they be worth?

I have put them between my teeth and they are gritty. As well as rubbed them together and there is powder.

But I don’t know anything much else about pearls. Thanks :)


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They appear to be an older strand of akoya pearls. Most akoya strands around that time would be graduated, though. This looks like a more recent strand.
Thanks for your reply! When you say recent, you think more like the later 1900’s or so?
I think non-graduated strands started becoming more common in the mid-1960s.

I believe their value is largely sentimental rather than monetary. Pre-owned pearls do not tend to hold their value on resale, if that is what you are thinking of doing-- not unless they are a prestigious brand (think Mikimoto). To get an idea of what you might get for them, I suggest checking similar sold necklaces on eBay. You will get less for a broken strand--but if you have to pay someone to restring them, you may just break even!

I suggest you restring them yourself, to either sell or to wear. There is a tutorial and other threads about stringing on the Lowly Beader's Club forum:, or check YouTube for DIY stringing videos. It's not hard to do, and it does save money.