Natural pearl thursday island

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Jan 14, 2022
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Hi, I have been left a natural pearl given to my father in the 1970’s when he was in Thursday Island, on a school conference. He said the Chief of the Island gave it to him. It’s not cultured. Not perfectly round. Has that little knob on it where it was growing in the pearl shell muscle. I want to get it set in a ring…it’s a fairly good size….but I’m afraid a jeweller will replace it with a fake. I don’t know much about pearls. How do I ensure it doesn’t get swapped?
 
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Hi there blythie61!
I assume you refer to Thursday Island in Australia? That island has a great history with pearls! If you sniff around you will find a wealth of information and the great story of William Saville-Kent.
I would imagine the pearl is indeed a natural one.

The easiest way to avoid the pearl being swapped by a jeweler is by finding a trustworthy one (I would say most are), don't be afraid of asking for references!
The second one is photographing, measuring, and weighing the pearl! Fake pearls can easily pass as perfectly round pearls (especially if not inspected up closely) but it is exceedingly difficult to find an imitation that resembles a non-round natural pearl.

So, just by keeping this information (measurements, weight and photos) you would be quite safe from a possible "pearl swap"

Please share a few photos of your pearl! I am sure many in the group would love to see a Thursday Island pearl! (I would!)
 
Thanks Douglas. I am indeed referring to Thursday Island in Australia. I’ve looked up William Saville-Kent. He’s terribly interesting. My now retired brother was a Marine Scientist on the Great Barrier Reef and his field of research was coral. I bet he’s read his books. These photos are clumsy but at least you can see that it’s 1cm across, so only small and hopefully you can see that flaw. Does that mean it’s natural? The silvery white colour in the sun is beautiful! Thanks for replying to me.
 

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Pearl Paradise has some lovely settings and they're willing to set a pearl that's not theirs. I bought a SoC pearl from Doug and PP set it for me.
 
Pearl Paradise has some lovely settings and they're willing to set a pearl that's not theirs. I bought a SoC pearl from Doug and PP set it for me.

I agree.
You would ones have to find someone to drill the pearl for-you
 
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Blythie61, what a lovely treasure you have from your grandfather! Here's another idea for you: A Pearl Cage. Usually in the form of a pendant, available in a pretty wide variety of styles in sterling silver and even karat golds, the cage opens to insert the pearl and then locks closed. Add a chain and you are ready to wear your precious pearl, no drilling required. Here's an example, if you do an internet search you'll find lots to choose from.
 
Thank you Cathy! That’s a terrific design because I was sad I had to have a hole drilled in my pearl. I will start looking for these.
 
Blythie61, what a lovely treasure you have from your grandfather! Here's another idea for you: A Pearl Cage. Usually in the form of a pendant, available in a pretty wide variety of styles in sterling silver and even karat golds, the cage opens to insert the pearl and then locks closed. Add a chain and you are ready to wear your precious pearl, no drilling required. Here's an example, if you do an internet search you'll find lots to choose from.

An excellent recommendation CathyKeshi
 
My pleasure; I hope you find a pendant cage you love, blythie61! It would be good to measure your pearl, or have someone do so if you don't have a calipers. Most of the sites selling cages will mention how large of a pearl will fit in a particular cage. If you find one, please do come back and show us your pendant!
 
Hi, I couldn’t work out how to add to the thread in my Thursday Island pearl story but luckily I had help. Apparently I have to be logged in. Haha. Thank you Douglas. ☺️ So, because I wanted to have my pearl put in a pendant without drilling a hole in it, Cathy suggested that locked “cage” and I thought it a great idea but what if it’s just a cultured pearl and I spend a lot of money getting that pendant made? So I went to my local jeweller here on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia. He said it wouldn’t be a natural pearl. Seriously doubted it. He gave me a card for a local Gemologist/Valuer though and said if I wanted to know for sure, this guy would have it X-rayed for me. The only way to know. Rang this nice man and had an appointment on Tuesday to go to a local dentist with him for the X-ray. Guess what!! IT’S REAL!!! I know its value now but won’t disclose that because I don’t know if I can on this thread. Apparently it’s rare to find a silvery white, near round, natural pearl… with excellent lustre…that doesn’t have a hole drilled into it…or in a setting. Love to my 92 year old mum who put it in a box for 50 years and didn’t do anything with it until she had to go into care. ❤️ It was a gift from a chief on Thursday Island in the early 70’s. He gave it to my dad and said to give it to mum as a gift. I won’t sell it as it’s worth more in sentimental value than for what I can sell it for. I think I will insure it though.
 
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And not only do you have a fantastic natural pearl...but a UNIQUE STORY alongside it. The pearl is now more alive than it ever was and all the people that "touched" this story are also alive with it: the Thursday Island Chieftain, your Dad and your Mom...and now You too! You are part of the story because you did the Detective work and found and revealed it.@CathyKeshi is now also part of the story as well as the jeweler and the gemologist.
I love this about Life and how a "small thing" (like your pearl) can contain such a large story.
:arms:
 
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What a wonderful story, Blythie61! The best part is the sentimental value of your family pearl, now made even more special .... Congratulations!
 
What a lovely story and a beautiful pearl. The luster was apparent in your photos.
 
WOW what a beautiful pearl and it is natural too and carries such meaningful story for you! Thank you for sharing it here!
 
Hi everyone, I found a wonderful jeweller in Noosa who works from home and he designed a beautiful pendant for me. Today, I finally received it and it’s exactly what I wanted. I love it!! It’s gorgeous! I had initially thought a rose gold pendant would be beautiful but with the price of gold now, I realised it was sadly out of my budget. Paul the jeweller suggested sterling silver because it would compliment the silvery white lustre of my wild caught, natural pearl. A happy solution. He also put tiny soft vinyl “feet” on the inside of the cage to stop the pearl from rolling around and being scratched. Another brilliant solution! Thank you CathyKeshi for the advice about the locked cage. I took everyone’s advice regarding getting it valued, x-rayed, measuring it, photographing it, finding the right jeweller..…EVERYTHING I needed to know to make sure my beautiful rare pearl could finally be displayed proudly. Tell me what you think? Click image for larger version  Name:	D9C22E2B-E491-4D9D-A552-82D0AC4D7D47.jpg Views:	5 Size:	528.0 KB ID:	461240
 
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I like it very much! I LOVE SILVER and I've worn many pendants with silver & pearls.
I am happy to hear that your pearl with a story will be able to go with you everywhere and hear the story being retold :)
Happy Pearl Wearing!
 
Blythe ... ooh, YAY!!! Your new pendant is gorgeous, a lovely memento :) How clever of the designer to put those little silicone bumps to cushion your precious pearl; I do not think the "stock off the shelf" pearl cages have such ... just wonderful. And because the pearl is kept in it's original condition, should rose gold ever become an option, you could always have another cage made, and switch back and forth ;)
 
Too true Cathy. You never know…I might win lotto one day and will have that rose gold option. Haha. Meanwhile the silver one is beautiful. Thanks for helping me with my happy pearl story.
 
Thank you Douglas. I’ve told my pearl story to family and friends and educated them about pearls. No-one so far knew the difference between a wild caught natural pearl or a cultured pearl. Cultured pearls are just as beautiful but not rare. I didn’t know the difference either until I acquired the pearl. I will keep learning and teaching happily.
 
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