Vintage Mikimoto? Help


Oct 29, 2013
pearls (1).jpgpearls (6).jpgpearls (2).jpgpearls (8).jpgpearls (3).jpgpearls (9).jpgpearls (4).jpgpearls (9).jpgpearls (4).jpgpearls (1).jpgpearls (6).jpgpearls (2).jpgpearls (8).jpgpearls (3).jpgHi all I am trying to establish with more clarity some history, grade, or any other info as I am unable to find any! The only provinance I have is some conversation with my mother who is 93 and Japanese. My father was in the navy and was stationed in Japan, he met my mother in 1954 I think? give or take a couple of years either way! My mother swears by it, that my dad and her went to "the Factory" as my mom says, of Mikimoto and purchased this string of pearls, she goes on to say that the longer strands were too expensive for them at the time, so my dad opted for this shorter choker type strand. I wore them at my wedding in the 90's and I remember as a child seeing the box? cant find the box now. I can just barely see a little mark at the end of the clasp but cant make it out, and the center is marked silver, it looks like a miki clasp. I also read an article that older miki that are from Japan do not have knots, and this has no knots. There is also one pearl that has a partial hole drilled next to the used hole? I would just like to know any more information if anyone can offer it. There are 60 pearls and they kinda glow, if that makes sense, :) they are not all exact in size but are roughly 7mm. Any ideas greatly appreciated, I tried to candle them? there are only a few that I can see lines in, are they natural or cultured? Sorry, I'm by far not a pearl expert hence all the questions! :)
Thank you so much for any information that anyone can give me!
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Welcome to Pearl-Guide!

The pearls are cultured akoyas but I am not familiar enough with Mikimoto clasps to comment further. Someone who knows more about the brand will be along, no doubt.

It's lovely that you have your mother's pearls to wear!
Based on your family history and their appearance these will certainly be Japanese Akoya cultured pearls.
If the clasp does not have the Mikimoto "M is a clamshell" logo in the middle on the back it will be difficult to confirm they are Mikimoto.

There are lots of ways the original clasp could have been lost or replaced in the last 60 years, they have probably been restrung a couple of times in that period and the original clasp could have gone missing or been swapped at that time.

If you have them restrung with knots they would pick up an extra couple of inches in length. That might make them more suitable for regular wearing and you wouldn't have to worry about them breaking and all falling off the thread.

They are a lovely memento of what must have been an amazing time in your parents lives.
Thank you so much for your replies! Well, I don't think they have ever been restrung. The clasp recently fell off on one side, my mom wanted me to fix it...well, needless to say I don't know if I should send it to Mikimoto, or just take to jeweler. Are these fairly good quality pearls, should I invest into them? I'd like to fix them proper to perhaps hang on to for my own daughter. I did read an article somewhere also that some of the miki had their logo rubbed off or covered on clasps due to war sentiment...have any of you heard of that? They are really pretty, and sort of pinkish chameleon in sunlight ! Well, as far mom and dad, I'm sure that they had a grand time in the grand scheme lol, I've lots of pictures! And well, now I am the import, or would it be export!
Thank you for responding.
While they are quite pretty in your photos, I think the sentimental value alone is reason enough to restring them and hand them down to your daughter. Pearls never go out of style.

Your local jeweler will probably send them out for stringing-- or you can send them to PearlParadise (see their stringing service here:
Locally you may expect to pay in the ballpark of $60-70 for the service. I was quoted that, which is why I learned to do my own stringing. (See the tutorial on stringing stickied on the Lowly Beaders Club, if you are interested in learning how.)