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Please help with pearl identification

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Hi everyone. Please help me identify some of my wife's jewelry. We have accumulated these pieces through the years from family members passing. I would like to know exactly what kind of pearls they are and an idea of value so we can add it to our jewelry insurance policy. Thank you so much in advance.

1. Necklace. This is probably the most valuable piece. 14 inches long. Graduated pearls the largest of which measures 10mm and the smallest 6mm. Clasp is 14k white gold. Box says Yananaka Inc Edleton Street Boston Mass. Made in Japan. We were told they were given to my mother in law and brought back from Japan during WWII...seems a bit doubtful given the box? Can you all please help me?
 

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Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
8,951
They look like a graduated akoya strand. In WWII era many military personnel stationed in Asia brought back graduated akoya necklaces for their sweethearts; the typical size range was 3-7mm; yours is larger. Given the box stating Boston, MA, it seems likely it was bought in the USA.
 

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks so much. So I looked at several akoya necklaces on the internet and it seems prices vary from anywhere from 25$ to over 300$. Do you what tells you what quality they would be or how much of an insurance value I should put on this necklace?
 

jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,720
If you're looking at akoya necklaces in the $25 range, they are most likely freshwater and not akoya - especially if the strand is graduated. This is an example of a 6-10 mm graduated akoya strand.

As Pearl Dreams mentioned, most vintage akoya strands are a lot smaller, so this piece is intriguing. It's not the standard (3.5 momme) graduated akoya from the period.

If it is an akoya strand, it would cost much more than $300 to replace it. It's very rare to see akoya pearls larger than 9.5 mm.
 

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks J. That's helpful. I thought this one would be worth the most. OK. I'll go with around 300$ for the insurance policy add on and once we pass we can tell the kids what they are getting!
 

KarinK

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
1,843
If you want to know what a strand can sell for, looking at SOLD on eBay for similar items will give you a general idea.
 

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks Karin. I've been trying to look on ebay. There is still such variety of prices and lots of people list their item as akoya and only want 50$ for it which just has to be a scam. I'm in the process of getting some calipers tonight so that I can accurately measure the pearl sizes (I used a ruler originally which is not very accurate). According to J above, if the largest pearl is truly 10mm then the necklace seems to be worth quite a bit more than 300$ and more in the 5,000$ range for replacement?
 

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,860
Thanks Karin. I've been trying to look on ebay. There is still such variety of prices and lots of people list their item as akoya and only want 50$ for it which just has to be a scam. I'm in the process of getting some calipers tonight so that I can accurately measure the pearl sizes (I used a ruler originally which is not very accurate). According to J above, if the largest pearl is truly 10mm then the necklace seems to be worth quite a bit more than 300$ and more in the 5,000$ range for replacement?
I would say that $5K would be a bit too much...for instance a brand new graduated Akoya pearl necklace with just 9.5 to 10 mm pearls will sell for about that price, but this necklace has 6 mm pearls and the largest is 10 mm (just one pearl). I would probably say $500 to $1K, but pearl grades much also be factored in...not as easy without actually working on this.
 

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks Cortez. Helpful. I was going off of J's necklace link he sent to me as a reference. I'll measure the pearls and if the largest is 10mm then I'll list the value as around 750 for replacement purposes. Man, who would have thought just finding the value of something would be so difficult!
 

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,860
It is! And this is a reason why Appraisers exist...but with the help of the Pearl Guide and our community you can save money, learn about pearls and even make new friends :)
Cheers!
 
Last edited:

waug

Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks Cortez. So I picked up some calipers last night and the largest pearl is just over 10mm with several 9mm flanking it. The smallest pearls measure 6.5mm near the clasp so the ruler was fairly accurate. I advised the wife about the new information and she was very pleased. It is nice to know exactly what we have and it's value. She is planning to wear them out this weekend. Thanks again for everyone's help with the info!
 

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,860
May she wear it in Good Health! :)
 

KarinK

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
1,843
Thanks Karin. I've been trying to look on ebay. There is still such variety of prices and lots of people list their item as akoya and only want 50$ for it which just has to be a scam. I'm in the process of getting some calipers tonight so that I can accurately measure the pearl sizes (I used a ruler originally which is not very accurate). According to J above, if the largest pearl is truly 10mm then the necklace seems to be worth quite a bit more than 300$ and more in the 5,000$ range for replacement?
That's why you need to look at the ones that actually sold. But, of course, some of the ones sold could be scams. And I see you got help to settle the amount :)
 
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