Treasure or Trash ( South Sea Baroque pearls)

Pearly Girl

Nov 7, 2013
Hi everyone! I discovered this website a few days ago - I can't believe there are so many pearl lovers. I always thought I was among the very very few...

I acquired this pearl necklace recently but was unsure about its real quality since I have never bought any SS baroques. I was told that the pearl was originally sold for $11K 20 years ago. The receipt that came with it only says "Pearl necklace" with no specifics. The pearls rang from 11-14mm.

Do these look like "high profile" SS pearls to you guys? $11K 20yrs ago should be qualified for that title, I hope.

I am including two pics, one under my soft dinning room lighting, one with flash.

Your opinion(s) are highly appreciated!!

I don't know how to add images???
Hi Pearly Girl,

Use Go Advanced and then click Manage Attachments to upload photos from your computer.
If at all possible, take photos (including close-ups) under natural light on a white background. Don't use flash.

New posters need to wait for an administrator to approve attachments, but be patient, your photos will appear in due course.
It appears that my laptop for some reason does not support the download system from this website. My desktop uploaded the pictures just fine(we will see soon), while my laptop just froze with that "add image" window. Does anyone know why?

How long does it take for "newcomers'" posts to appear?
All the pictures were taken in the shade, without flash.

I don't think these have "mirror" effect or look metallic like my nail polish. The pearls do have scratches on the surface under a loupe. There's a lot of space between knots(indicating age?)

I assume these are so called "ringed" baroques? Are they the cheapest kind for baroques?

The clasp is very cheap looking.

My question, boils down to - does the necklace look like a $11k piece from 20yrs ago? Or the receipt that came with it is a mismatch?

Thank sooooooooooo much!

I will post more pictures of my lovely pearl collection. I have a pair of Mikimoto Tahitian studs, a pair of Lago pearl earrings in 18K gold(now he does mostly sterling), etc. I love pearls. I saved up and bought my first pair of pearl earrings when I was only 10, with my humble monthly allowance.
They look like nice, satiny, South Sea baroque pearls. I am not sure what the current price would be for such a strand, but 20 yrs ago prices for such pearls were most likely higher than today and the priece tag probably reflects retail store price not internet provider (in its infant shoes at the time). They look like they need restringing and it would be a perfect occasion to exchange the clasp. The clasp may be 14k solid gold (it should say so on the clasp).
I have never seen ringed south sea, I love ringed pearls. these are beautiful, wonderful luster. It definitely needs restringing.

Did you buy retail from a store? If so, 11K would be OK.
Thank you ladies, for your valued opinions!!!! I bought it from someone who claimed that she paid $11k, 20+yrs ago. I was provided an old store receipt indicating so, but receipts can be forged early these days.

My husband had a hard time believing these could have cost that much so long ago. I am not so sure either since the luster is not super high(I compared these to my other designer pearl jewelry) and the 14k clasp is so basic and small. Even my 8-10mm Tahitian necklace has a sturdy, heavy-duty diamond ball clasp.

And you guys think the luster is not too bad?

How can you tell if the nacre is thick or thin? I am rough on my pearls, so I tend to avoid junk.

How about surface scratches under a loupe? I guess if it is really 20+yrs old, scratches are not avoidable.

I don't want to spend $ on restringing if I have doubts about it.
Oh, restring it by all means, it's lovely! If you want to save money, learn to do your own restringing as many of us do.

Don't worry about a few scratches, people will not be looking at it with a loupe. If it looks good with the naked eye, that is enough.

I posted a tutorial which is stickied on the Lowly Beaders Club board.
So ladies, do these pearls look a-few-hundred-dollar strand or a-few-thousand-dollar strand?
I don't know SSP well enough to say but to be honest, $11,000 seems like a stretch for today's prices, particularly given the clasp.

But perhaps the SSP market has devalued a great deal in the intervening years? I think I've read that the Tahitian market did.
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Pearl Girl,

Oh what interesting and lovely large pearls with character! Perhaps they were originally purchased on a cruise or at a resort. They definitely are South Sea. I hope you got them for a good price and will have them restrung and enjoy wearing them. We look forward to seeing more of your pearl collection!
We indeed have some experts here!! The seller told me that when she tried to sell the necklace through the original store, "I was told that pearl prices over the last 20 years had dropped dramatically due to excessive Asian production, but that this custom necklace is of an unusually high quality." Just like Pearl Dreams said!!

Yes, the clasp is awful and of poor taste.

I paid $800 for it...Is it worth it? Honestly...
You did fine! See current pricing on baroque SSP at

But I'd definitely get a different clasp for it.

Pearl Paradise has a stringing service; $40 won't break the bank, if you don't want to string them yourself:

PP has an assortment of clasps to choose from, or you can sent your own clasp to be used. Bella Findings and Rio Grande sell clasps. Or see the pretty clasps at The Pearl Outlet (which is owned by the brother of PP's owner):
I am way too lazy to do it myself(neither do I have the skills) and way too cheap to spend hundreds on restringing and the clasp. Besides, investing over a hundred on a $800 piece sounds too extravagant. I once had a necklace restrung and double knotted for just over a dollar - well, in China. I might go there again...
$800 is a good price for today. I was talking about the original price, if it was retail, Congratulations! I love the rings!
I didn't mind the rings that much, but my husband thought they made the pearls look cheap. That's why I am seeking opinions from you guys.