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Pearl Education - Please enter your jewelry question or comment. > General Pearl Questions

Junior Member
Natural Pearl Necklace
02-16-2013, 08:00 PM

I have a small natural pearl necklace purchased at Shreveport crump and Lowe in early 60's. 5 years ago someone there told me (without seeing it ) that naturalearls are not worth anymore than cultured. Your website seems to disagree. Could you clarify?
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How much are natural pearls worth?
02-16-2013, 08:09 PM

Without seeing a picture of the pearls as a quality indicator and knowing their size it is hard to determine the value.

If the pearls are indeed natural pearls, we can direct you to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America, which is actually right next door to in New York on Fifth Avenue) where you can get a Pearl Identification Report or Cultured Pearl Classification Report that will identify the pearls. They will do an x-ray of them among other tests. American Pearl can also give you a complimentary appraisal for insurance purposes.

If you find your pearls to come back from the GIA with either of the reports with a natural pearl grade you will now have (1) an appraisal form American Pearl and (2) an official report from a reputable lab. You can then visit any of the auction houses: Sotheby's, Christies and Phillips and speak with a Pearl Specialist. Once at the auction house, you can offer your pearls for sale. A natural pearl necklace is very rare, deserves to be sold at auction and is worth what the highest bidder is willing to pay. Alternatively, offers you the ability to post your pearls here on our forum to our community for sale with the free appraisal we give you and the GIA Report for sale to the community.

Without seeing the pearls (btw you can submit a photo of the pearls by filling out the form above), it's difficult to state what they are worth. But from what we are reading in your pearl question, a small size natural pearl necklace of good quality is much more valuable than an equivalent sized cultured pearl necklace.

Here is an excerpt on of the Pearl Identification Report from the GIA:

"This report details the quantity, weight, size, shape, color, origin (natural or cultured and type of nucleation), mollusk (if determinable), environment (saltwater or freshwater), and any detectable treatments. A digital image of the item submitted is also included on the report. This report may be issued on loose, mounted or strung natural or cultured pearls of any size, shape or color."

Here is an excerpt about the Pearl Classification Report:

"The classification report includes all of the Identification Report information as well as classifications for luster, surface, nacre thickness and matching (if applicable). This report may be issued on loose, mounted or strung natural or cultured pearls of any size, shape or color."

Here is a link to the Pearl Reports

If you make an appointment to visit American Pearl, we would be more than happy to meet with you, appraise your pearls for you and process a GIA Pearl Report for you.

Last edited by pearleducation; 02-16-2013 at 08:24 PM.
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Junior Member
Natural Pearls
02-18-2013, 12:28 PM

Thank you for your honesty in regards to natural and cultured pearls. I, too, have been told by a so-called "reputable" jeweler that natural pearls were not more valuable than cultured pearls. The information that you just gave in this forum post is highly valuable information that most jewelers would not have been so ready to give. In fact, many jewelers would charge for appraisals, and not tell the customer anything about the GIA, or how to go about getting top dollar for vintage natural pearls through auctions. The more time I spend on this forum, the more I realize how lucky I am to have found such a valuable free resource on the pearls and diamonds.
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