Oval south sea pearls necklace


Well-known member
Aug 11, 2020
Hello everyone,

I'm back with another question.
I was offered this pearl set.
​​​​​The seller says it is a south sea necklace. The clasp and earrings are made of 18k gold.
Do you agree it is a south sea necklace? From what I've learned so far from you all it could be freshwater more probably.
The size as the seller says is around 12mm each. The weight of the necklace is 98 grams.
Based in the total size of the necklace, 440mm (44cm) and considering it has 36 pearls I guess that measurement was made at the narrower part of the oval Pearls not the largest.

Thank you,

The shape, off round, looks like freshwater pearls to me. The off round pearls drilled like that was something they did do a lot when they, the chinese freshwater companies, produce mainly full nacred pearls. Today they mostly produce beadnucleated freshwater pearls, like edisons. If those pearls were to be south sea pearls they would probably be drilled the other way around, giving them a smaller diameter but longer pearls, more oval shaped. This is just my thoughts on the matter, the off round freshwater pearls would probably look better drilled during the longer diagonal and the reason that they don't is that they can be sold with a larger measurement.
They have nice luster though
Thank you Charlotta. You are probably right but considering the owner, she had very, very nice jewelry, and that it was probably bought around the 2000s I think there is a chance of being SSP. Also considering how heavy it is almost 100 grams, are freshwater so heavy also?

Thank you Pearl Dreams but the seller isn't professional and he probably calculated the size of the pearls putting the whole necklace over a ruler or something like that.
Any chance the seller can provide you more photos? The clasp and earrings are interesting; is it the metal that's 18K and does that mean the "hammered" texture "pearls" on the clasp and earrings are 18K? It's a bit unusual. We've often seen white south seas strands here and elsewhere, drilled through the middle, especially baroques and/or circle pearls ... leading to button shapes or "flying saucer" (my nickname for them LOL) shapes. Not what you want if you're looking for classic valuable ROUND, but I quite like them if the pearls are good. These have a certain satiny glow about them that together with the size if correct, makes me wonder, and I'd ask for more photos, maybe alongside a ruler?
Thank you Cathy. Yes the clasp and the earrings are 18k yellow gold in a hammered style. The earrings weight 7 grams. I guess the clasp is around the same. I don't think the seller can provide more pictures. I just have these other two very low quality ones, one of the necklace being worn and other a closeup of the middle. Hope it helps in any way.
Charlotta is spot on. These are freshwater pearls, not South Sea pearls. The drilling is a dead giveaway. This is how larger non-round freshwater pearls are drilled, but not the way South Sea pearls are drilled. Oval South Sea pearls do not look like these either.
I agree with my esteemed forum members. These might be another case of "Authentic South China Sea Pearls"...meaning: freshwaters being passed as South Seas.
The drilling and matching does not look like South Sea Pearl material.

​​​​​​​In my experience Elias : pearls basically have the same weight, unless they are gas giants or not nucleated with a shell bead.
Thank you Douglas and Jsheperd for your help. I did some research and found out that there is a lot of chance that this necklace is by H. Stern, and the freshwater they use usually are drilled like that. The price now is around 700 USD and I'm thinking to still buy the set to use the clasp for that large akoya strand I have bought last month as I guess it is of higher quality than that freshwater strand. I cannot decide if it is a good idea haha.
I think that it's rather expensive for a freshwater strand drilled like that
If the seller has been untruthful about the type of pearls, then maybe he has also been untruthful about the clasp being 18K.

I think you are better off buying a clasp separately from a reliable source..
I agree. You can buy excellent clasps for less and be sure about the whole thing. I would not buy from an untrustworthy source.
Thank you Charlotta, Douglas and Pearl Dreams. Actually the seller doesn't understand pearls but have tested the metals with acid, and every metal part is marked. If the earrings weight 7 grams and the clasp maybe the same, 700 USD for 14 grams of 18k yellow gold isn't a bad deal.

​​​If you all can recommend me a reputable place to compare gold clasps prices that would be great.