Vintage freshwater

nanoplant

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Jun 25, 2022
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Hi! First of all, thanks for all the advice on this forum, have learnt so much (e.g. how to clean pearls with salt sludge - it works brilliantly!!). First time to ask advice, which is what sort of pearls might these be? They are vintage (possibly antique) and from the uk.


Mixed freshwater.jpg

Thanks!!
 
This looks like it could be strand of natural pearls.
Wow! Thank you for this. They are really very baroque - is there anyway of knowing if they are freshwater natural (e.g. Scottish Tay pearls) or saltwater, other than experience and just knowing your pearls?
 
If the pearls are natural -and as stated by @jshepherd they do look like naturals- they seem very different from each other, possibly being collected at different locations and over a period of time.
Most seem saltwater to me, just based on their shapes and colors...but your best bet would be taking it to a pearl Connosseur first, then maybe to a Gem lab.
 
They also look like a strand made up of really bad cultured freshwater pearls. Years ago I asked one of my suppliers to get for me a sample kilo of pearls straight from a farm.

sample.JPG



They showed me this - mostly pretty bad, a couple were grade A at best and these were the worst of the very poor
baed freshwater.jpg
 
Thanks - I can really see the similarities between the pearls in your picture and the strand I have! Are there any features I can look for to tell some seriously baroque natural from some really bad freshwater? I assume the bad freshwater would have been tissuecultured, so maybe not easy to tell from natural?? There is one of the pearls that has split in two (they have not been kept well) - would looking at that close up help with the question?

Thanks for your help!
 
It might give a clue.Or might not!
In any case the law on wild UK pearls is incredibly strict and strong. There's only one shop in scotland licenced to sell them, it is forbidden in any way to interfere with margaritifera in the wild in any river,or even where there might be some: or even possess them if harvested after 1998. (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981)
 
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They also look like a strand made up of really bad cultured freshwater pearls. Years ago I asked one of my suppliers to get for me a sample kilo of pearls straight from a farm.

View attachment 470310


They showed me this - mostly pretty bad, a couple were grade A at best and these were the worst of the very poor View attachment 470309

It might give a clue.Or might not!
In any case the law on wild UK pearls is incredibly strict and strong. There's only one shop in scotland licenced to sell them, it is forbidden in any way to interfere with margaritifera in the wild in any river,or even where there might be some: or even possess them if harvested after 1998. (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981)
Yes - this is one of the reasons I rather freaked out when I started researching what these might be. The circumstantial evidence I have is that they are from well before 1998 (from my grandmother's old jewellery box and she died in 1979), but I dont have any documentary evidence of that.
 
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