Vintage Sterling Pearls

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Tricia Harr, Feb 13, 2019 at 10:01 PM.

  1. Tricia Harr

    Tricia Harr Active Member

    Any ideas on age, not even sure if they are real pearls definitely not plastic kinda heavy. there's a tiny mark after sterling.. anyone recognize it? tia 2019-02-13-22-00-18.jpg 2019-02-13-22-00-35.jpg 2019-02-13-22-00-46.jpg
     
    i need help and Christmasjoy like this.
  2. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    No matter how smooth they feel to your fingertips, pearls that were made by a mollusc will feel slightly gritty when rubbed against your teeth. (I sort of nibble at them gently.) Fakes will feel glassy. Good quality artificial pearls are not without value.
     
  3. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Some vintage glass pearls were coated on the outside with a substance derived from fish scales. I've had some of those beads, but never tried rubbing them against my tooth, so don't know how they would feel?
     
  4. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    But they would taste fishy?
     
    KSW, i need help, Lucille.b and 5 others like this.
  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I don't know. Suspect they would also feel glassy. Although we think of fish scales as rough, by the time they have been reduced to a paste, imagine they make a smooth coating. When I was beading, once bought a strand of vintage beads that were supposed to be opalescent glass. They were. But on further examination, realized that spots here & there that seemed like foreign matter were really the remains of a coating that would have made them look like pearls. Test an inconspicuous spot & let us know! (Carefully.) :)
     
    i need help and Christmasjoy like this.
  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I was wondering that too. :)
     
  7. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Don't think so since they scales are mixed with other stuff to make it durable. But I'm not sure I want to test it to find out! :)
     
  8. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    I've also had these beads with the coating partially deteriorated, and think mine were more like a white semi-translucent milky glass... don't remember mine being opalescent. Which is a shame 'cause I love opalescent beads. :)
     
    i need help and Bronwen like this.
  9. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Maybe they just smell fishy?
     
  10. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    These look like Japanese glass to be. With any luck they smell like money.

    In this case, the clues are a) no knots between beads and b) those corroded brass findings. If knots are present, the beads can still be artificial, but older real pearls are knotted. Those corroded knot covers are pretty well diagnostic for costume; in that era real ones would have precious metal findings.
     
  11. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

  12. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    With the knots that small, I'd think the cords may be silk.
     
  13. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    The good fish scale pearls aren't thin coated, they're layered and lacquered and don't wear. Perlas Majorica invented the process. They're smooth, heavy and very very high quality, often with silver or gold fitments. That clasp isn't Majorica.
     
    Pat P, Bronwen, i need help and 3 others like this.
  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I'm with obb, 'fish scale' pearls are smooth, and these are not Majorica. Real Majorica pearls are collectible btw.
    But there are other fish scale pearls, those are smooth when gently rubbed against the teeth as well. Some fish scale pearl necklaces are knotted.
    The thickness of the knots depends on the thickness of the thread and the knotting technique used, not on the material of the thread.
     
    Pat P, Bronwen, i need help and 2 others like this.
  15. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    OP, check all the pearls --do you see any evidence of finish loss on any of them? If yes, you know there is some kind of coating. (Often the coating is on glass which would explain the weight.)

    I've had many artificial strands that were hand knotted.

    I think the mark after the word sterling is not a maker's mark but some kind of ding or manufacturing defect.

    Take the suggestions above as well. (Tooth test, etc.)
     
    Pat P, Bronwen, Any Jewelry and 2 others like this.
  16. Tricia Harr

    Tricia Harr Active Member

    they feel slightly gritty, no loss at all but the one bead close to brass connector is discolored maybe from patina obsorbed?
     
  17. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Real cultured pearls generally weigh less than costume ones made of glass. It's impossible to say from here, but given those corroded brass cord ends I'm still guessing they're not real. Makers in the 50s and 60s put sterling clasps on costume pearls, at least on the nicer ones. A big heavy double strand like that would have gold findings in all likelihood if they were real.
     
    Any Jewelry likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page