My Natural Pearl Collection


Edible oysters are not the ones that produce iridescent nacreous pearls. A pearl found in an edible oyster is more of a conversation piece than an item with monetary value. You (or your mom) can put it in a little cage pendant and wear it, if you like. :)
MSC-- Great collection. I am drawn to the multicolored strand you have at the top of your picture. Could you tell us a little more about it and maybe please show a more close up picture? :eek:
MSC-- Great collection. I am drawn to the multicolored strand you have at the top of your picture. Could you tell us a little more about it and maybe please show a more close up picture? :eek:

Thank you, 2th!! That strand is made of pipis - it's not a full length strand, but long enough to double wrap my wrist or attach to a shorter chain to wear as a necklace. :)
I remade these earring dangles recently - I can't seem to find photos of the original (or didn't look hard enough ;) ), but I like these much better!
I don't take the time to chat here cause I am busy "on the road " with customers as I have done for 4 decades. I was contributor to an article in the Wisconsin History magazine in 2013 on the Pearl Rush of the late 1800's and early 1900's on the Upper Mississippi River basin. I have on entrusted to me the correspondence of a noted pearl dealer of that era. For the past six months we have organized the 100's of letters based on topic. Pearls, ginseng, firs, and misc antique articles for example. Just as a guide, and the first comments published, here, about the quantities of natural pearls from the aforementioned region. This dealer sold, from 1922 to 1924 a little over $61,000 in dollars . Some guide as to today's value multiply by 20. Shipments outside the US were in 100's of ounces. (Because of gold ounces were used instead of gram or pearl grain in this area)
As to to the value of the nice pieces you have. The round or half round have the best value especially mounted or loose. Bags of unmounted are very hard to evaluate because they don't, in spite of being natural, don't have the beauty of cultured especially luster. General public and many jewelers don't understand hence this channel. Some dealers have been able to peal pearls hoping to find better luster 1-2 layers down. I have seen written accounts of the improved appearance adding lots of value. I suspect the tiny pearls around the pieces maybe ocean pearls because the occurrence of that many that match in size and color is unusual. Early jewelry, say 1900 to 1920 may be more likely to have so many small matching pearls. Two or 3 millimeter, plus or minus, were highly regarded, especially if round or half round and in high demand.
I have letters from the Parisian buyers indicating such and they inventory in the 100's of ounces.
I would be wary of the Emerald and pearl. That shape is also common in Chinese fresh water especially early production.
I like the pearl and diamond, unique and saleable.
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Fascinating info pearl-man; thanks for posting. One of my dreams is to have a little necklace of US natural pearls ... I let one get away I wish I'd bought ... maybe someday. My dad told tales of he and his older brothers roaming the mountainside in Pennsylvania, fishing for "clams" in streams, and saving the little pearls in a jar, to make a necklace for their mother. He would have been about 3 years old then, somewhere around 1930 - ish.
I have that magazine and it's a fascinating article, Cathy! I'll bring it with me to our Pearls by the Bay gathering! Thanks for sharing today, Pearl-man!

Perfect earrings, MSC; the kind that arouses curiosity so peeps lean in for a closer look!
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That sounds great, Pattye :) Message me what day you are arriving and leaving, if you have a moment.
No MSC. Dad said the jar disappeared somewhere over the years. A widowed dad, 4 little boys ... housekeepers who ran away in terror lol ...
Sorry to bore everyone with that story again, but I hear Dad's voice ... and likely the source for his and my fascination with pearls.
Oh, MSC, yes, I wish my burning curiousity about those "clam" pearls could be satisfied :) I don't think that kind of clam/mussel really even exists in PA waters today, although science says there are some; certainly not common. Maybe I should ask the grandson to search; he might just come up with some LOL. But, I have my memories of Dad, and his stories, to thank for my pearl love :)