Raymond Yard Natural Pearl Necklace

Alison

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
64
Hello all,

I am new to this board, at the suggestion of a current member. Being a natural pearl enthusiast can be a lonely existence, so it is great to find others! I collect, buy and sell antique jewelry, and discovered natural pearls several years ago. This is more than a hobby but less than a living for me; I am a self-employed data analyst in real life.

The learning curve for natural pearls is brutal & never-ending, but I will say that I have gotten pretty good at spotting them. This post is about my best find so far, a natural pearl necklace from the very famous Raymond C. Yard. And YES, it is for sale! It needs to go to a home where it will be suitably appreciated.

This is my first time posting to a forum like this, and I am attaching three jpgs. I assume you can click on them to see the photos. I had to cut them down a lot to fit the forum limitations.

Here are the specs from the certificate (EGL US51259201P; unfortunately they don't put the pearl certs online) and some background.

Graduated natural saltwater pearl necklace; 77 pearls, 3.8 to 6.9mm (the graduation is not steep, a lot around 5mm); length ~17.5"

Pearls are ROUND, and WHITE with PINK OVERTONE!! (I hope someone out there appreciates how rare this is!)

Clasp is platinum, natural half pearl, OEC diamonds, natural unheated Burmese rubies -- no it's not the original Yard clasp. I bought the necklace from the descendant of the original owner, and the Yard clasp was lost or broken decades ago. It matched the Yard ring also bought in the 1920s, a half-pearl surrounded by diamonds (that was not for sale). The clasp shown here is from my collection. Necklace comes with original Yard blue leather/chamois folder.

Since these photos were taken, the necklace was restrung. So if the thread looks dirty, don't let it bother you.

The extraordinary thing about these pearls, that it takes a pearl nut to appreciate, is that they are HEAVY. The concept of grain weight has been virtually lost with the takeover by cultured pearls.

These 77 pearls weigh roughly 240 grains. You can feel the density in your hand. Another beautiful necklace I had was 102 pearls, 3.5 to 7.5mm, with a rough grain weight of 200. The pearls in this Yard necklace would have cost a fortune at the time. They are gorgeous creatures!

I know that some of you will be going to Dubai next week and I'm jealous. That could even be a great place to resell. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and around this weekend. I would be more than happy to correspond with or talk to anyone seriously interested.

I do have a couple of small necklaces about to be certed, but the chances of running into another necklace of this quality (let alone by Raymond Yard) are probably pretty small.

Alison
 

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Welcome Alison. ;) That's a fabulous necklace, and it's very valuable in its own right. It would definitely bring more money at auction if it had the original clasp, but your clasp is terrific. I'm sure you'll have a lot of us wishing we could buy it! <sigh>
 
Very impressive necklace!
How much are we talking here? We just need a rough estimate.
 
Is it just me or does anyone else find the lustre on the pearls to be very akoya-like. The shapes look like they may be naturals but I can't get over the lustre and colour matching! I'd love to see the certificate, though. Would put my doubts to rest.

If it is the real thing, it is very lovely.

Slraep
 
Very impressive necklace!
How much are we talking here? We just need a rough estimate.
Thanks! It is truly beautiful and the price is $7,500 (priced for a dealer to turn around again)
 
Is it just me or does anyone else find the lustre on the pearls to be very akoya-like. The shapes look like they may be naturals but I can't get over the lustre and colour matching! I'd love to see the certificate, though. Would put my doubts to rest.

If it is the real thing, it is very lovely.

Slraep

These are absolutely 100% natural, and the color and luster are amazing! Of course I was anxious until I had the cert in hand (and talked to the examiner), because there is always the nagging thought, what if l am wrong? But I think this shows the quality of Raymond Yard's goods -- he loved natural pearls and was an expert on them.
 
Hello and welcome to the forum. That's an incredible necklace. Where did you find it?
 
I had the same thoughts as Slraep.

In the first picture, the pearls do seem to have the same pink overtone and matching luster.

Could you please post the lab certificate so we could see it.

By the way, your location is the same as another P-G member...... Dr. Stern; maybe you should speak to him. ;)

Gail
 
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Hi Miriam, this was from an estate sale.
 
Hi Alison,

Interesting necklace, but I am still not clear on the certification? You have a number, but no certificate? And do not actually have access to it?

I was anxious until I had the cert in hand (and talked to the examiner)
,

I feel like I am missing something here-??

Perhaps you don't actually own this yourself, but are selling it for someone else, or you have it on memo----------???
 
I had the same thoughts as Slraep.

In the first picture, the pearls do seem to have the same pink overtone and matching luster.

Could you please post the lab certificate so we could see it.

By the way, your location is the same as another P-G member...... Dr. Stern; maybe you should speak to him. ;)

Gail

Yes, they are incredibly pinkish and matched! That is what makes this necklace so astonishing, besides the weight. I've had white natural pearls in the past, but never pinkish, and never over 4mm. These pearls and their cert are out this afternoon being shown -- if they come back, I will try to get a readable photo of the cert. Normally I just keep the number and details.
Also, I have not met Dr. Stern but I did find this site by stumbling onto something that he wrote.
 
Hi Alison,

Interesting necklace, but I am still not clear on the certification? You have a number, but no certificate? And do not actually have access to it?

,

I feel like I am missing something here-??

Perhaps you don't actually own this yourself, but are selling it for someone else, or you have it on memo----------???

No, I am the owner of the necklace and certificate. Right this moment both are with a friend who is showing the pearls to a private client this weekend. I had taken photos of the pearls before sending them for certification, and that's what I have posted. (As I mentioned, they were restrung since the pictures were taken.) I did not take a photo of the certificate when I got it back, and since I only just came up with the idea to post here and my registration was cleared yesterday, I created this thread last night.
 
Certificate Scan

Certificate Scan

Yes, they are incredibly pinkish and matched! That is what makes this necklace so astonishing, besides the weight. I've had white natural pearls in the past, but never pinkish, and never over 4mm. These pearls and their cert are out this afternoon being shown -- if they come back, I will try to get a readable photo of the cert. Normally I just keep the number and details.
Also, I have not met Dr. Stern but I did find this site by stumbling onto something that he wrote.


I got hold of my dealer friend before he left the house. He scanned the certificate and e-mailed me the file. The copy isn't sharp, but the attachment size limitation means I can't use a large file. I hope you will at least be able to to see the major features. I am posting one that shows the whole page, as close to the 620 x 400 limit as I could get. Then in Microsoft Photo Editor I cropped the scan down to the description area, and again resized it up to around 620 x 400. I am not at all expert with image files, and this is as good as I can get it for the moment.

You will see that natural pearls can indeed be this lustrous, and so pink! One note about the total weight of 15.5 grams: I had previously weighed the clasp alone, which is 3.2 grams. Rounding down for silk thread, 12 grams/240 grains is the rough weight of the pearls themselves.

Also, regarding the rubies in the clasp: I added "Burmese" to my description, because the rubies, which have been determined to be natural with no signs of heating, are highly fluorescent under longwave UV. I did not pay for expensive country-of-origin testing for such small stones.
 

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Hello Alison. First you imply you were referred to this board by a current member. That isn't actually true now. You read an article from Dr. Stern and stumbled onto the site in that fashion. You wish to sell a necklace which is not yours and does not have the original clasp. There is a certification which you don't have.

Just post the facts rather than trying to skirt the issues of whatever it is you don't want us to know.

If you go to http://naturalpearlbusiness.blogspot.com/, which belongs to Dr. Stern, you will see I posted a comment there in November. On January 7th, a member of this board, effisk, replied to my comment and referred me here. I then applied for registration, which was completed on January 9th, and then posted this thread. So that is the exact sequence of events.

Also, the necklace belongs to me alone. I have a friend who is a dealer, who sells for me. As I may have mentioned, I am a self-employed data analyst. I do not personally sell at shows, etc., he does this for me on a commission basis and also has his own inventory.

As I explained, the clasp is not original because the original is long gone. The necklace was in the same family since the 1920s and was inherited by the great-granddaughter of the original owner. At some point decades ago, her mother or grandmother had the pearls restrung with a truly ugly clasp, totally unworthy of the necklace. I already had the clasp shown, which IS indeed worthy of the necklace, and the pearls have been restrung with that.

If you check the board again, I just posted scans of the certificate. So, I hope the preceding explanation lays your questions to rest.
 
Your necklace is beautiful.

Dr. Stern will be attending the Pearl Forum in Dubai next month.

Good luck.


Gail
 
Hi Alison
Dr Tom may attend the Tucson gem show in Feb 7-9th range, then off to Dubai around the 18th of Feb. I urge you to meet him and look at each other's pearls.

I am so curious what kind of sea pearls they are
 
Alison,

They are lovely...

Do you also have the bill of sale from purveyor Raymond Yard describing the necklace? You always get top dollar for an item for which provenance can be proved. Would the original clasp have had some hallmark from Raymond Yard? Did Raymond Yard pearl clasps have any unique distinguishing features?

It's unfortunate that someone previously separated the pearls from their clasp. That begs the question as to how one can be sure that the Raymond Yard box/folder is original to the necklace too.

Sorry I am asking so many questions but in old and antique jewellery it is not unusual to see items housed in alien boxes and parts either added or subtracted. It is, on the other hand, unusual to see an old or antique piece in it's original box and unfiddled with! For all you know, only the box/folder comes from Raymond Yard, even though the pearls are naturals.

Slraep
 
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Eyeballing the Strand

Eyeballing the Strand

Hi Alison
Dr Tom may attend the Tucson gem show in Feb 7-9th range, then off to Dubai around the 18th of Feb. I urge you to meet him and look at each other's pearls.

I am so curious what kind of sea pearls they are

Hi, Alison,

Yes, let me take a look at them. I'm in San Francisco for the next few days, and it would be a pleasure to eyeball that strand.

Best,
Tom
 
Alison,

They are lovely...

Do you also have the bill of sale from purveyor Raymond Yard describing the necklace? You always get top dollar for an item for which provenance can be proved. Would the original clasp have had some hallmark from Raymond Yard? Did Raymond Yard pearl clasps have any unique distinguishing features?

It's unfortunate that someone previously separated the pearls from their clasp. That begs the question as to how one can be sure that the Raymond Yard box/folder is original to the necklace too.

Sorry I am asking so many questions but in old and antique jewellery it is not unusual to see items housed in alien boxes and parts either added or subtracted. It is, on the other hand, unusual to see an old or antique piece in it's original box and unfiddled with! For all you know, only the box/folder comes from Raymond Yard, even though the pearls are naturals.

Slraep


No, I don't have the bill of sale. But I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the word of this family. It's common for information to become muddled or lost down through the generations. I don't know how the original clasp came to be replaced, but I can tell you the one that was put on was nasty! Lightweight 14K job with two disgusting cultured pearls stuck on it -- the worst of 1960s era taste.

Usually with pearls passed down in families, the problem is that descendants THINK they have valuable natural pearls (e.g., "Grandma's wedding pearls from the 1920s"), when all they have are one of the zillions of imitation pearl necklaces made during that time, and sold using shockingly deceptive advertising. I have run into this scenario more times than I care to count.

With this necklace, it is important to realize you are looking at the absolute top end of natural pearls. The shape, color, and luster are of the highest grade. The color itself is RARE in the extreme, particularly for 77 matched pearls. You (and I) are unlikely to run into another like this.

If you read some background material about Raymond C. Yard, you will realize that this is the sort of quality he dealt in, whether it was pearls, diamonds, or colored gemstones. Moreover, he loved natural pearls and was an expert on the subject. That is why the pearls themselves are totally consonant with the folder they came in, and there is no reason to suspect that they are mismatched.
 
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