Graduated Natural Oriental Pearl Necklace, ca. 1875
That's my great-grandmother. She's wearing this pearl necklace here that's been passed down through the family. It's meant a lot. All of us have worn it in our weddings.
Here we have a graduated pearl necklace. The largest one down at the bottom is six and a half millimeters, about a quarter-inch. And they graduate to the back to about three and a half millimeters. Now, there are different kinds of pearls. There's imitation pearls, there's cultured pearls. You do have Chinese freshwater pearls today. But this is the real deal. These are what we call natural, oriental pearls. They come out of the ocean. Man had nothing to do with the formation of them. The skin, the nacre, grows like skin on an onion. They're very rare. The environment's changing. These pearls don't come out of the water like they used to, and the price of them has really escalated. And then an added bonus on the back. You have an old mine diamond clasp. It's hard to tell exactly when it was made, but looking at the clasp, I would say around 1875. It weighs about three-quarters of a carat, and it's set for the period in sterling silver, with a red gold underneath it. This market is so hot. Today, at auction, $5,000 to $7,000.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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