Mother's Miki's


Sep 18, 2014
Pearl Dreams asked if I would post some pics of my Mothers Mikmioto pearls so here they are. My father gave these to my mother for either their 25th or 30th wedding anniversary. I'm not sure if they married in 1942 or 1952 which would make these Mikimotos either mid 60's or 70's vintage.

My mother was very proud of them and wore them constantly until one day they broke while she was hanging clothes on the line. I remember scrabbling around in the grass trying to help her find the loose pearls. She was afraid to wear them after that and only put them on 'for best'.

They are quite small pearls, about 5mm and there are 79 of them. Is that a normal number or is there still one lurking in the grass somewhere? The back of the clasp clearly shows the Mikimoto mark.

I've included a comparison picture of my mother's pearls with my late mother-in-laws strand, which I also inherited. My MIL believed her pearls were Mikimoto's but the clasp on her strand doesn't have the M in the clamshell mark, only the word 'silver'. Her pearls are quite a bit larger around 7-8mm. Sadly her strand had broken and there are only 50 pearls left.

Some informed opinions of these pearls would be really appreciated because the only thing I know about pearls is that I love them!

Mikis box.jpgMikis mark.jpgMikis clasp.jpgmili & mil comp.jpg
Ooh, nice!! I can understand why your mother was proud of them!

One of the main reasons for knotting between pearls is that if the strand breaks, the pearls don't all scatter-- theoretically only one pearl would be potentially lost, where the knot broke. If the strand was originally knotted throughout, it sounds like you found the missing pearl. However, I see one pearl that is rosier than the other pearls in the middle of the strand-- do you think your mother had an extra pearl added? (Matching exactly can be difficult.)

I suggest having them restrung each year or so, if you wear them with any regularity. Silk grows weaker with the accumulation of skin oils and grime from the environment, and over time the knots stretch, leaving gaps between the pearls. When you notice this, it's time to restring. You can have that done professionally or learn to do it yourself. Many of us do our own restringing; see the stickies on the Lowly Beaders' Club forum. And many of us use synthetic threads that do not stretch or need reknotting often.

Have you considered making a bracelet with your MIL's strand? And with leftover pearls, some dangle earrings?