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Pearls created naturally are called Oriental. They are the result of an irriating substance like a grain of sand that causes the natural formation of a secretion called nacre within the oyster. Cultured pearls are made by nature with the help of man. This man-induced process originated and was patented by Kokichi Mikimoto in 1896. His technique involved introducing a small bead into the oyster shell, where it would be coated in nacre as in nature. Nacre, which is an iridescent shell like substance, coats the natural or man-induced irritant which forms a pearl. Around 1910, Pearls were immensely fashionable and remained extremely costly until Mikimoto's technique. Long pearl necklace had become more affordable and the great rarity of large natural pearls was undermined.
Cultured and Oriental pearls both come from the oyster; however, there are fake pearls made with fish scales as well as glass beads covered by an iridescent wax-like coating called wax-bead pearls which originally came from Italy and Bohemia. The latter type will eventually turn into a dullish beige color whereas the Cultured or natural Oriental pearl will retain its high luster.
There are some pearls that are formed in perfect rounds, others acquire a 'blister" or baroque shape. 1915-1916 was the year that the odd-shaped iridescent pearl was in demand and most of the came from Italy's Murano Island where artificial pearls were nothing more than GLASS covered by a paste made of fish scales.
Note: The earliest reference I could find on Pearls: The Hellenistic period, spanning from 330 to 27 BC, which was rich in gold and jewelry. One of the most distinctive features of Hellenistic jewelry is it polychromy, using specially cut panels of colored stone or glass, and enamel. Garnets were frequently used, and even emeralds, amethysts and pearls toward the end of the period.
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1950's Faux Pearl Sweater Collar from Japan. These were popular during the late 1940's and 50's. Pearl collars, hand sewn adorned many a sweater / cardigan in those days. Often referred to as a Faux Pearl Beaded Peter Pan Collar. Peter Pan collar necklaces are rounded close-fitting detachable necklaces worn with the closure to the front that mimic a sweater or shirt collar. Teens of the 1950's wore the Peter Pan collar to be creative while showing off their Sweater Girl styles.
This Collar consists of tan pearls in various sizes with a seed pearl lace design on the bottom. Grey bugle beads are sewn in between the pearl rows. The pearls are not perfect but you really don't notice it while wearing. I found that if you see a bit of pearl finish loss, spin the bead around to have the better side showing! Most of the wear might have come from rubbing the top of this box - which is how I received it. I put a soft paper towel in the box to prevent further damage. A double pearl tassle on each side. measures 1-1/2" wide. Sewn in JAPAN label. Very good condition. comes in a Kaufmann's Pittsburgh box.
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M791 Price: $37.00
Vintage DuBarry Simulated Pearl Necklace and Pierced Post Earrings. The original DuBarry tag is still attached to the necklace. The one for the earrings has fallen off but is included. The tag says, "An Original DuBarry Japan The World's Pearl Center and Simulated Pearls. The necklace has two silver metal stampings in the design. These stampings are 1-1/2" in length. The pearls measure 43" long. The pearl earrings are 1/4" in diameter. Never worn.
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S505 Price: $20.00
Vintage 12kt Goldfilled Cultured Pearl Pin and Screwback Earrings in Original Box. Original tags in box and on bottom. The pin has two leaves on each side of the cultured pearl. Each earring is one leaf with one pearl. There is a matte finish to the leaves with edges being shiny. The pin measures 2" x 1/2". The earrings are 1" x 1/2". Excellent condition. Not sure if they were ever worn.
This ring dates to the early 1900's, but has a much newer ring shank, which was replaced in the last 20 years. The twelve prong head is hand made and does a solid job of holding this pearl, which is natural, not cultured and baroque. The shank looks to be a modern stamped ring to which is soldered to the pearl top. Size 6, unmarked, it tests and is guaranteed to be 14K. See SIDE VIEW.
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1960's 12ktgf Cultured Pearl Filigree Link Bracelet. The perfect gift for the woman in your life! The pearls are awesome and have a nice color to them; beige? Seven pierced filigree links and six real cultured pearls. The bracelet measures 7". Excellent condition.
BU211 Price: $37.00
Newer Faux Pearl Chain Link gold tone Bracelet with safety chain and fold over clasp. There is slight damage to one pearl, otherwise this bracelet is in excellent condition. Double gold tone Chan links and ever third one has a prong set faux pearl. Measures 7-3/4" x 5/8".
BU116 Price: $14.00
Vintage Faux Pearl & Turquoise Pin. This is very much like a Coro pin I've sold in the past. The three dangles on the bottom of the pin do not look like they belong. I believe someone added them. Easily removed. There are 8 scalloped faux half pearls surrounding 4 tiny faux turquoise beads. The pin itself measures 1-1/4" in diameter (without the faux pearl dangles). The pin is in very good condition. This was part of an estate from the late 50's to early 1970's. Very good condition.
PU678 Price: $16.00
Vintage Cultured Pearl Matte Gold Pin. This is not marked. The three 4mm pearls are Cultured and prong set. The setting is matte gold, but not around the edges of the flowers; this is a shiny gold color. The pin measures 2-1/4" x 1-1/4". Excellent condition.
PU669 Price: $24.00
12kt gf Cultured Pearl Floral Pin. The back is marked Mono 12kt GF Crown. No idea what that means. There is a prong set cultured pearl in the center. The pin has a brushed finish to it. Measures 1-7/8" x 3/4". Excellent condition.
PS836 Price: $14.00
Vintage Goldfilled Pearl Filigree Circle Pin in Original Box. A 6mm Cultured Pearl sits off to the side of the filigree leaf. The outer circle is solid goldfilled wire; the inner circle is filigree. Measures 1-1/16" in diameter. Never worn. Great gift idea!
PU599 Price: $15.00
Pearls! Woven multi-strands of freshwater Pearls strung and knotted on clear fishing line, this is often called "Wedding Illusion Beads". Sterling Silver findings. Measures adjustable to 18". Never worn.
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NU726 Price: $64.00
Contemporary 10mm Handknotted Faux Pearl Necklace measuring 48". This is not a lightweight strand! These pearls are white in color. New, never worn.
1950's Cultured 6mm Pearl Choker 14kt White Gold Filigree Clasp in original box. Discovered at a local Philadelphia Estate sale. The box says "HEIRLOOMS from THE SEA Cultured Pearls. There is a little fraying of the silk bead cord near the clasp on each side of it. I would recommend having these restrung...with Handknotted in between for safety. The choker measures 15". Very good condition.
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Faux Pearl and Lucite Bead Copper Necklace. This is a more contemporary necklace judging from the copper lobster clasp. There are large pearls caged in copper wire, small white faux pearls, pink faux pearls, and various Lucite beads. The necklace is very pretty an measures adjustable to 34". Excellent condition.
NU692 Price: $16.00
Beautiful Triple Strand of Pink Faux Pearls, Faux Coral (Glass) and Faux Pearls Choker. Beautiful color combination. the Faux Pink/Coral Pearls are 8 mm; the faux pearls are 6mm and the coral glass beads are 4mm. All strands are gathered into a tubular type silvertone clasp with a hammered hook and eye. The strand measures 18". Excellent condition.
NU669 Price: $24.00
Contemporary 6mm Rice-Shaped Freshwater Cultured Pearl Choker. These have an irridescent sheen and minor blemishes. Goldtone Lobster Clasp. Measures 18". Excellent condition.
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NU618 Price: $16.00
Vintage 12kt GF Horseshoe Necklace with Cultured Pearl in original box with tag. This a beautifully made Horseshoe with a dangling Cultured Pearl in the center. The tag has jewelers stuff on it and it says Gen Pearl. The chain is a nice weight and measures 18". The horseshoe measures 7/8" x 5/8". Excellent condition. Never worn.
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NS416 Price: $34.00
Vintage Genuine Cultured Pearl Pendant in Original Box. This came from an estate of a woman who collected jewelry from the 40's and 50's and never wore it. This has never been worn. Unlike most of the lot, this doesn't seem to fit the 'fine jewelry' genre. It's a shiny goldtone on the edges of the flower and has cross haired texture on the inside. The cultured pearl is glued in. Not marked, other than the box stating Genuine Cultured Pearl. c 1950's.
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NU589 Price: $19.00
Joan Rivers Tear Drop Faux Pearl and RS Necklace. This is such a classy piece! There is a faux pearl tear drop with a gold tone and pave rhinestone setting. Dangles from a gorgeous box type chain that measures 35" long. Everything but the Pearl is in mint condition. With a loupe you can see a few tiny flea bites in the pearl - still in very good condition.
These were given to me years ago; Majorca Pearls. They are strung on sterling link chain...one white, one Grey. Measures 18". Pearls are in excellent condition. Sterling chain is dull, not polished . As Majorca advertised, "Before you buy Majorca, look at them beside a real strand of pearls." You can't tell the difference. These are gorgeous. Clasp is marked sterling. No other marks.
NU068 Price: $64.00
Vintage Sterling Cultured Pearl Leaf Screw Back Earrings. The sterling leaf setting has a diamond cut finish with a cultured pearl in the center. These measure 3/4" in diameter and are in excellent condition.
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EU360 Price: $46.00
Satin Finished Cranberry Faux Pearl & AB RS Clipback Earrings. These are BIG! They have the look of the 1940's, with brass leaves and faux pearls. However, the AB rhinestones were most popular in the 1960's and because these are BIG (1-3/4" in diameter), I have to assume these are late 50's early 60's. Lovely little faux pearl flowers with AB RS centers are set in amongst the brass leaves. Larger satin finished cranberry colored pearls are in the center with a larger faceted Aurora Borealis Rhinestone in the center. Marked Pat. Pend. on the goldtone setting. These are in excellent condition showing no wear. The picture doesn't show the true color of these Faux Pearls. Less yellow - an intense shade of red.
EU284 Price: $24.00
Contemporary Faux Pearl & gold tone clip back Earrings. These are so sweet... a faux pearl cab set into a gold tone fan like setting. 1-1/8" long x 1/2" wide. Excellent condition.
EU248 Price: $10.00
1980s Clip Back Blue Enamel and Faux Pearl Earrings. Very attractive earrings with blue enameling and faux pearls set in a wonderful gold tone setting. Each clip back has a pad for comfortable wear. The earrings measure 1-1/4" x 3/4". Excellent condition.
EU230 Price: $11.00
Contemporary Faux Pearl Drop Pierced Post Earrings. One large drop measures 1-3/8" x 1/2" and dangles from a twisted gold 3/4 circle that finishes off with a pierced post. Excellent condition.