Let me know about this Egg Shaped Clam Pearl

Reech

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May 18, 2024
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Got this from my belated grandfather who was eating clams one day 30+ years ago and found it! It weighs EXACTLY 225mg or 1.125 ct which is a pretty cool number because it’s 11(2) then 25 for both. It’s about 7mm in length and It’s very special to me I am planning on setting it in an 18k gold ring. Can someone fill me in on if it’s a flame or not and how much it’s worth thank you
 

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Your grandfather's pearl has a very nice shape and size for a ring. It would be good to see a couple of photos using your camera's best macro setting while shining another light directly on the pearl from different angles attempting to 'excite' the flame. This would also be helpful to determine if there is a superior side for setting the pearl. From your photos the pearl surface is quite uniform, with no obvious flame but with a subsurface texture that is suggestive of more.

Value is a minor consideration given the small size. The numerology aspect might inspire a meaningful personal name for the ring.

In any case, please post photos of the ring when finished!
 
Reech, thanks for the PM and as agreed we'll continue here for everyone. That's great you found Kari Pearls, where realistic pricing and examples of flame are shown. As you have seen from those photos, flame effect in clam pearls is typically found at the top and bottom of the pearls due to the organization of the aragonite fibres, so pay close attention to the two ends of your pearl, which may need to be left exposed in your ring mounting.

For curiosity, where did your grandfather find the clam he was eating, and did he tell you which species it was?
 
The last photos downloaded with delay, just seeing now. A simple adjustment to exposure and contrast shows more detail of the subsurface structure. It is organized perpendicular to the core vs. radial, so a classic flame pattern would not result. This would follow the shell microstructure of whatever subspecies of clam your grandfather ate. However, the aragonite lathe distribution is regular and does offer a random reflective pattern that would nudge this pearl into a low gem grade.

Dave/Lagoon Island Pearls would likely be able to offer further insight.
 

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If I had to describe what it looks like under light in real life I would say it looks very shiny/reflective, very Very white so no signs of yellowing after 40+ years and a tiny bit opaque which you can’t really see in the photos but it looks good in person. As you told me the price per ct is around or above $100 for a nicely shaped good looking pearl, does this fall under that $100+/ct category due to it’s very uniform egg shape and reflectiveness? Also I found just this one 18k ring online as a reference to what I’m shooting for and how good it will look just without the diamonds, want it cheaper
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It is organized perpendicular to the core vs. radial, so a classic flame pattern would not result. This would follow the shell microstructure of whatever subspecies of clam your grandfather ate. However, the aragonite lathe distribution is regular and does offer a random reflective pattern that would nudge this pearl into a low gem grade.

Dave/Lagoon Island Pearls would likely be able to offer further insight.
Agreed. There may have also been some degradation which could have occluded the sub-surface due to cooking.

That said, the shape has good symmetry and significant size for a natural pearl. Although not a highly lustrous piece, it may still be crafted into something attractive and unique.

Fashioned into a ring is a good option so long as the pearl is correctly mounted for strength and aesthetics. Retaining it as is may also be a good option. A great part of the value is in it's story, which your grandfather luckily found, retained and passed along to his family.

Thank you for sharing it with us.
 
There may have also been some degradation which could have occluded the sub-surface due to cooking.
I optimistically did not assume the mollusk had been cooked, at least to an excessive degree. Grandfather may have spoken of this, in addition to clam species and location. Here is a project of mine from a few years ago using a 9 carat button pearl, with flame on top. A similar claw (non-drilled) setting to the ring you have found.
 

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does this fall under that $100+/ct category
The pearl should retain $100/ct as a symmetrical natural pearl, there would be added value for special optical phenomena that may or may not have existed prior to any heat degradation.
 
Thank you Steve, I’m definitely going to be buying clams every weekend now what’s the best type of clam for pearls my Wegmans has little neck, cherry stone and steamers
 
Reech, are you aware of the sort of clam in which your grandfather found his pearl? Was he on the US East Coast as you are currently?

Beyond that, the only thing left to say is: 'Good Luck!'
 
Reech, are you aware of the sort of clam in which your grandfather found his pearl? Was he on the US East Coast as you are currently?

Beyond that, the only thing left to say is: 'Good Luck!'
No idea on the type of clam, he was on the east coast and it was probably a little neck or cherry stone but I’m thinking little neck
 
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Just ate 50 Little Neck clams no luck but here’s another photo shows it’s shape and shine, It’s a lemon shape the more I looked at it
 
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