My Turn for What Kind of Pearls Are These?

CatMom

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We believe these are my husband's G-Grandmother's pearls. His Grandmother wore them on her wedding day in 1925. They desperately need to be cleaned and restrung. They are not knotted however but do have a 14kt gold clasp with a tiny diamond chip in it. My husband's mother said they always hid them in a hole in the wall to keep them safe. My husband's mother always thought they were very expensive pearls but I'm not even sure they are real. The skins are very smooth. What kind of pearls do you think they are?

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They look like fake pearls to me, especially the way they've yellowed. And the texture and perfect shape of the pearls, plus the look of the drill holes.

Either great grandpa thought he was buying real pearls, or he bought fakes and told great grandma they were real, and then hid them in the wall to keep up the ruse. In 1925, cultured pearls would have just come on the market, but these don't look like natural or cultured.
 
They look like fake pearls to me, especially the way they've yellowed. And the texture and perfect shape of the pearls, plus the look of the drill holes.

Either great grandpa thought he was buying real pearls, or he bought fakes and told great grandma they were real, and then hid them in the wall to keep up the ruse.

In 1925, cultured pearls would have just come on the market, but these don't look like natural or cultured. I've actually seen a few fake pearl necklaces with nice real clasps. I think that some good fakes used good clasps, and ladies wore them proudly. The pearls don't hold up as well to age as the clasps.
 
Agreed that they are fakes. BWeaves, they will make good practice pearls for me to learn to string. It was my MIL that hid them in the wall I think. LOL, she was quite mistaken over the value.
 
Way back then a doting father would want to buy his lovely daughter a string of pearls for her 21st.But most could not afford real pearls, so a string of good fakes stepped in. These were such pearls. They were the best he could afford. Honour them as symbols of love in a different era.
 
What a wonderful treasure, CatMom! Especially since you have a photo of your husband’s grandmother to go with it! It’s such a lovely sentimental piece worth a good cleaning and practicing your stringing! Something that strikes me as a little unusual about these being faux, is the slightly different shapes and sizes across the strand. Maybe it is the camera angle, but I like the irregularity.
 
What a wonderful treasure, CatMom! Especially since you have a photo of your husband’s grandmother to go with it! It’s such a lovely sentimental piece worth a good cleaning and practicing your stringing! Something that strikes me as a little unusual about these being faux, is the slightly different shapes and sizes across the strand. Maybe it is the camera angle, but I like the irregularity.
We do treasure them. When I get back from our trip I will attempt some restringing. I have Pattye's starter kit plus I ordered some fun clasps and loose strands to play with. Once I get it down I will restring these. They are not uniform. That was one of the confusing details to me which made me question real vs fake.
 
I restrung a triple necklace of a friend (in her late 70's) from church, her GRANDMOTHER's pearls that look just like this and were from the 1920's. Her grandmother must have worn them often because the thread was literally "gooey and disintegrating" with the age of the thread/dirt/skin-oils/time. I cleaned them up and put then on fresh thread. My friend was elated as they are such a family treasure to both her and her daughter. She didn't care that they were fake. Apparently they too, were the pearls her grandmother wore (as seen in her wedding picture). The string had broken and I had to finagle the length of the 3 strands to make it work with the missing pearl. There was also a little pearl on the clasp that was missing and I was so happy I had a 1/2 drill tiny pearl in my inventory to replace that for her. What a blessing to be able to do that for a friend.
 
It almost looks like the strand has been restrung once in the distant past, and they didn't quite get the pearls back in the right order for perfect graduation of sizes. That happened to my grandmother's Richelieu faux pearls. I could tell they had been badly restrung after a break in the original thread. I restrung them without knots, but at least got the pearls back in order.
 
It almost looks like the strand has been restrung once in the distant past, and they didn't quite get the pearls back in the right order for perfect graduation of sizes. That happened to my grandmother's Richelieu faux pearls. I could tell they had been badly restrung after a break in the original thread. I restrung them without knots, but at least got the pearls back in order.
I can't stand when people don't put the pearls back in the same order. Before I knew how to string I sent my first set of pearls off to be restrung and they messed that poor strand up so bad. It's been years and I don't wear it much anymore so I haven't restrung it but it bothers me every time I look at it.
 
I can't stand when people don't put the pearls back in the same order. Before I knew how to string I sent my first set of pearls off to be restrung and they messed that poor strand up so bad. It's been years and I don't wear it much anymore so I haven't restrung it but it bothers me every time I look at it.
Unless you have a proper beading matt/holder, and you're VERY careful about taking them off in the same order, it's easy to do. However, when you work with pearls often enough you get to where you can estimate size really well. I've fixed minor differences by eye, and they realize I was right when I test them with a caliper. It's a little like knowing when a picture is level on a wall. Not everyone can see it.
 
When I cut pearls apart to restring them, I thread them one by one onto a length of craft wire-- or if they are dirty around the drill hole, onto a needle with white cotton thread. That way they stay in the right order.
 
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