Type of pearls, possibly Mikomoto??

momsjewel

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Hello group, Have had this old necklace for quite some time and thought they were not real, but the other day decided to check them out again and now believe they are real because I can see imperfections with a loupe. Another discovery was that the gold clasp tested as 14K with acid. So, am wondering what type of pearls they are and if there is any possibility they are Mikimoto because of the clasp? Btw, I am learning alot from this very helpful and informed group and want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!
 

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They definitely need a restringing, looks like they were well loved by the first owner(s). Does the clasp have an "M" on the back...I can't tell from any of the photos. Mikimoto clasps will have an "M" inside a shield on the back and typically there is a full pearl on the top of the clasp, not a 1/2 or Mabe pearl like yours. It is definitely a vintage graduated strand, probably from the 1940-50's would be my guess. Also, the drill holes look pretty large, which is also an indication of older pearls. Not sure if they are real as I can't see any nacre pilings on these pictures.
 
Thank you for your response. I have taken some closer photos to show the nacre better. I did find while researching that some Mikomoto clasps have no marks, so that is why I decided to post it to the group. I know nothing about the pearl on the clasp and hadn't thought of that. I have ann old camera and hope these photos are better.
 

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I have never seen a Mikimoto clasp that looks like that. Absent any known Mikimoto mark (the most recognizable one being the letter "M" inside the outline of a shell) or Mikimoto documentation/receipt, I would assume they are akoyas of some other brand.

They really do need to be cleaned and restrung. Silk becomes weak when it is old and grimy. The thread could break, potentially leading ot the loss of the necklace, or of one or more of the pearls.
 
Oh yes, it is a "shell" not a "shield" with a "M" inside. That is Mikimoto's logo which is stamped on the clasps.
Mikimoto is VERY exclusive about verifying their pearls. If you wanted to have them verified by Mikimoto, they require that you send them in, and there is a $400 charge for verification. At least that's what they quoted me when reached out to the company, asking about my 1893 Diamond Clasp strand. I had inquired about the "history" of the 1893 stamped on my diamond clasp (it looks like a commemorative anniversary clasp as the pearls are definitely NOT 100+ years old!) That price didn't even include restringing.
 
Mikimoto pearls rarely if ever have surface imperfections. The clasp does not look like any known Mikimoto clasp, either. And it doesn't have their logo (M inside the outline of a shell).

However, that doesn't mean you don't have a nice strand of pearls. They need a good cleaning and restringing. You'll be amazed how much better the strand looks after that.
 
Mikimoto pearls rarely if ever have surface imperfections. The clasp does not look like any known Mikimoto clasp, either. And it doesn't have their logo (M inside the outline of a shell).

However, that doesn't mean you don't have a nice strand of pearls. They need a good cleaning and restringing. You'll be amazed how much better the strand looks after that.
I have multiple mikimoto pieces and all have minor imperfections though. Even those with diamond in the clasps.
 
I have never seen a Mikimoto clasp that looks like that. Absent any known Mikimoto mark (the most recognizable one being the letter "M" inside the outline of a shell) or Mikimoto documentation/receipt, I would assume they are akoyas of some other brand.

They really do need to be cleaned and restrung. Silk becomes weak when it is old and grimy. The thread could break, potentially leading ot the loss of the necklace, or of one or more of the pearls.
I actually did clean them by soaking in dishwashing liquid for a bit, but, the string is definitely still grimy. I appreciate your suggestion and help. T
 
Mikimoto pearls rarely if ever have surface imperfections. The clasp does not look like any known Mikimoto clasp, either. And it doesn't have their logo (M inside the outline of a shell).

However, that doesn't mean you don't have a nice strand of pearls. They need a good cleaning and restringing. You'll be amazed how much better the strand looks after
Thank you for sharing that information. It is greatly appreciated.
 
I have multiple mikimoto pieces and all have minor imperfections though. Even those with diamond in the clasps.
I know nothing about Mikomotor but did some googling about pearls and did think that most have some kind of blemishes or imperfections. It can be confusing at times. Thank you for your input.
 
Mikimoto pearls rarely if ever have surface imperfections. The clasp does not look like any known Mikimoto clasp, either. And it doesn't have their logo (M inside the outline of a shell).

However, that doesn't mean you don't have a nice strand of pearls. They need a good cleaning and restringing. You'll be amazed how much better the strand looks after that.
Thank you for your help. Guess I have to go to a jewelry store and I do agree that they will look much better properly cleaned and restrung.
 
Oh yes, it is a "shell" not a "shield" with a "M" inside. That is Mikimoto's logo which is stamped on the clasps.
Mikimoto is VERY exclusive about verifying their pearls. If you wanted to have them verified by Mikimoto, they require that you send them in, and there is a $400 charge for verification. At least that's what they quoted me when reached out to the company, asking about my 1893 Diamond Clasp strand. I had inquired about the "history" of the 1893 stamped on my diamond clasp (it looks like a commemorative anniversary clasp as the pearls are definitely NOT 100+ years old!) That price didn't even include restringing.
Wow, that price is way out of my range. Never would have known. Thank you for sharing the info.
 
I actually did clean them by soaking in dishwashing liquid for a bit, but, the string is definitely still grimy.
When cleaning my older pearls, I did a lot of research first. Pearls, especially older pearls, are fragile. I typically take them off the original string; this allows me to keep them in the same order and direction, but removes the knots which hold dirt against the pearl surface next to the hole. Then I re-thread them onto a "throw away" piece of nylon or silk thread and then gently place them in a bowl of tepid water with only 2-3 drops of "dove" dishwashing liquid (most gentle available)-(ABSOLUELY NOT Dishwasher liquid, which has bleach and will harm the pearls). Never scrub with a brush, just gently use a cloth or your fingers to clean away oils and debris. After the surfaces are clean, I rinse thoroughly with tepid water, dry them with a clean cotton flour-sack (non-lint) towel. Once they are dry, I remove the unknotted wet thread and allow the pearls to dry in their same order on my stringing matt for a couple of days. Then I restring them with fresh silk thread. The best thread to use is Griffin Silk Bead Cord #2, which is available at many craft stores and online-and has a pre-strung thin needle on the thread. Typically #2 is the best size as most pearls are drilled with this size hole. However, older pearls can have larger size holes for some reason. If you don't feel comfortable trying to restring them yourself, then you'll pay about $75-150 at your jewelry store to do it for you. Stringing pearls is not too difficult if you are a craft-minded person, and there are plenty of videos with techniques out there for you to learn. I learned that way and practiced on several cheaper freshwater pearl strands from a local craft store before attempting my better pearls. Now I love re-stringing pearls and have developed a few techniques of my own along the way. You might find a new and very enjoyable hobby. If you need help, reach out...there are plenty of folks on this forum that make jewelry and string pearls!
 
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