Natural pearls?

Except for not wanting to argue with Dave, I would have said freshwater buttons. Those do not look like any kind of saltwater pearls in shape or luster, but they do look like freshwater pearls in shape and luster.

I do not know what the metal is, but it is not platinum. For those pearls to be that matched and natural would call for the highest workmanship and the settings for these pearls looks molded and rather coarse. Platinum prongs would be very much more delicate and just as strong as the above prongs and made that way to conserve on platinum. I say rhodium coated sterling.

When I visited India several years ago, I was able to visit about a dozen pearl establishments plus several pearl booths at the conference itself, and I saw similar freshwater pieces for extraordinary prices- compared to the same from China, but still a fraction of what natural pearls sell for in India.
I dunno- there's only 1 picture to analyze, but to me, from the look of the settings, the provenance of the piece, I lean hard Chinese FWP set in Sterling with CZs.
I continue to to revisit this thread in an attempt to achieve another impression. Though the concensus seems to be freshwater buttons, I'm still on the fence. At first glance, these pearls appear uniform, but if you study the details closely, they're actually worlds apart. To obtain uniformity (to fit the findings) on the X and Y axis, Z is often markedly different. Likewise, some have rings, inclusions, deep dark spots. Given the heavy design of the piece, one might be inclined to think freshwater buttons selected for settings such as these would have closer matches. Unless of course, the jewelcrafter had a limited pool of gems to work from.

These pearls also present with a degree of translucency, which is never seen in cultured pearls and very rarely in FWP's

Few gulf pearls are round. In fact most can be described as buttons, because flat spots are commonplace among naturals. Due to wider availability, spinners are much more reasonably priced than round or off-round pearls. Over the decades, the bulk of them would have found their way through India, to be fashioned into individualized value added pieces.

I continue to suggest the OP have this piece tested because if confirmed as natural, could fetch a moderately high value. If at the end of the day, they are freshwater buttons, there is still value added for it's age and rarity.
I have seen very few button shapes in naturals and none that size. Those pearls are absolutely typical of fw buttons. Show me some naturals that look like that and I will learn something new.
Like fake Rolex made in Singapore freshwater pearls can imitate natural pearls. A few years back I had some 4 mm strands when held next to
a genuine strand I had it was hard to tell the difference especially if the hole sizes were the same.
Personally I would discount if they are 1/2 drilled.

My first thought after seeing the picture was chinese freshwater.
A friend of mine is selling tumbled stones, and sometimes I help him.
He has thousands of these button pearls, some are very nice, some has strong overtone, and-or nice shape.
There is color variation, luster variation, freshwater are like salwater, none are identical.
As a natural pearl collector, I admit natural is somehow elitist, and some expensive natural pearls are not worth the price, compared to cultured, especially unnucleated cultured.
It's easy to understand the natural pearl value is mostly because of rarity, and sometimes because of ancient time pearl.
The prices are strange, some species, even not uncommon, have crazy prices, and some other species, even incredibily rare, are not worth a buck.
For example, I have littorina pearls, I saw 3 of them on google only, I also have other edible shell pearls, some are not even known for pearls.
About any mollusk making pearls, I would like to find a garden snail pearl, this probably exist!
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For example, I have littorina pearls, I saw 3 of them on google only, I also have other edible shell pearls, some are not even known for pearls.
About any mollusk making pearls, I would like to find a garden snail pearl, this probably exist!

They do exist pairfaiteluminiere. I've seen and held some, but are very rare.
The ones I saw were at Pacific Pearls' GJX booth about 10 years ago. These were from Mexico, from the Trochus or Turban Shell snail...and they had the signature nacreous look and torsion.
I haven't seen any Littorina pearls ever! There might be a thread here on the forum about snail pearls...we should share there, and if could start one and we start sharing.
I think I shared them somewhere.
I need much better camera, because size is so small..
I have 3, from one to 3,5mm(probably biggest known), shell opening is less than 10mm and 10mm opening is for VERY large shell, we don't find such large shells here.
I also have a Glycymeris glycymeris pearl.
This is a photo of those Trochus snail shells found off Baja, Mexico.
Turbo Pearls (3).jpg
Turbo Pearls (2).jpg
Not to my knowledge. Could have been...I did not see any obvious markings and I did not ask.
Bad thing when you have a booth at the Gem show...can't just leave it unattended for long and there is so much to see!