• Become a Pearl Insider!

    Register as a member today for exclusive access to, member only insider info, incredible contests to exotic locations, and have your questions answered by pearl experts from around the world.

    Join the community today. Just click Register at the top!

Mikimoto early 1900s

BrightPink

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
13
I inherited pearls from my grandmother 17 years ago. Story goes they came over from Ireland with my great grand mother. She arrived in 1910. My grandmother thinks they may have belonged to her grandmother first. I was told they were over 100 years old and that was in 2005, shortly before my grandmother passed away. I'll post photos including the note my grandmother left in the box. The clasp says silver on the back, but no other logo or marking. The box is etch 'Mikimoto Pearls' on the top. Was there a big market to counterfeit Mikimoto during the early 1900's? I've google the crap out these and haven't been able to find a box like this or a clasp. I looked these up once before a decade ago and did see a box and pearls on eBay that looked the same as these. They don't have a Mikimoto stamp, are they real?

Any input would be great.

thanks
Laura
 

Attachments

  • photo72846.jpg
    photo72846.jpg
    760.4 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72847.jpg
    photo72847.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
  • photo72848.jpg
    photo72848.jpg
    909.8 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72849.jpg
    photo72849.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 0
  • photo72850.jpg
    photo72850.jpg
    1,017.4 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72851.jpg
    photo72851.jpg
    524.5 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72852.jpg
    photo72852.jpg
    745.8 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72853.jpg
    photo72853.jpg
    569.1 KB · Views: 0
  • photo72854.jpg
    photo72854.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0
  • photo72855.jpg
    photo72855.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • photo72856.jpg
    photo72856.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,763
Hello there BrightPink. Interesting story as always...heirlooms are something special.
Never before have I seen a Mikimoto box like that one, but it doesn't mean it cannot exist or was never used. I find the box odd, since it's not made for a necklace.Like it was just used for convenience sake.
The pearls -at least the larger ones- look like Akoya pearls to me, some seem to be flaking, but the smaller ones -nearer to the clasp- seem somewhat flattened where the drill hole is, like small barrels...and I find these odd.
It could be a combination of imitation pearls and cultured pearls???
Do you have a UV lamp with you?

If you could provide a few more photos of the pearls near the drill hole it would be helpful. Something like this:
Pearl Necklace Drill Hole and Knot (2).jpg
 

BWeaves

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
6,407
I think the box may have been reused. Mikimoto was not selling round pearls in 1900. At that time they were only able to produce 1/2 round pearls which were set in brooches. They were not able to commercially produce round pearls for necklaces until the 1920's or 30s. The clasp does not have the Mikimoto logo, either.

The pearls have definitely been well worn. Some of them are barrel shaped, where the nacre has been worn down to the shell nucleus. They're definitely real pearls. They're old. I doubt they are from 1900, as they would have been natural pearls back then. But I could be wrong.
 
Last edited:

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,763
Thank you for your great insight BWeaves !
 

BrightPink

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thank you all for the information. I do not have a UV light. I do not have a camera that can take a clear photo up close enough to see the drill hole. Sorry. What did the logo look like in 1899? The same as in the 1920s?

Thanks
Laura
 

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,763
I'm not sure about the logo back then. I believe it was either Mikimoto or just a plain "M" on jewelry pieces. Then it evolved into a logo, but I haven't really kept up with the history of the Mikimoto logo. It would be interesting to find this information and have it here.
According to James Free's website:
Mikimoto pieces can be identified by the trademark outline of an oyster, a distinctive engraving of the Mikimoto name, or the signature “M” logo charm.

But it does not cover the over 100 years of history of the brand nor offers visual examples.

I found what appears to be a very old jewelry marking:
Mikimoto-mark.jpg
The going into the more easily recognized "Oyster" logo:
OIP.EQ9lpkKmhTA4TPkdoc-i7wHaHa?pid=ImgDet&rs=1.jpg

Or even just the whole Mikimoto last name:
fr-2374-size1024_7.jpg
Hope this helps a bit!
 
Top