Comments for Are these genuine Mikimotos and approximate value?

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Not-Knotted vs. Knotted Pearls
by: kat-kis

The answer provided indicating that all Mikimoto pearl necklaces are knotted is not completely accurate. I’ve done a lot of reading-up on Mikimoto pearls from various reputable Antique Jewelry Investors/Dealers, including general information, historical information, and I have combed through online photos looking at clasp. I believe the answer was geared more toward the opera length strand. However, it’s still a bit incomplete. I don't mean that offensively, toward this website, AT ALL. I am amazed at the patience it must take to answer the same questions, over and over. Please bear with me and you will see where I'm going with this and then I’ll move on :)

The internet makes it so easy for people to get quick answers....now! And free is even better lol. People don’t spend much time doing their own fact-finding or research. I don’t know whats up with that. How many times, on this site, has someone politely answer the question "can you tell me approx what you think blah, blah, blah is worth?" Sometimes with no photo and a rather vague description. That question has been asked so many times. Follow the links people!! What about the question regarding the clasp and the M in the clamshell? You know, the Mikimoto Stamp - the one that this very website has so kindly provided a photo of. Quick question though...a clamshell?? Why don’t they call it an oyster shell? Or say "the shape of a shield" I just went and looked at the picture AGAIN and I now FINALLY see a clamshell. How funny is that?

If people would just stop for a second and read the replies or the information that is already on this nicely done website and then follow the links (or keep looking at the pictures lol), they’d be well on their way to getting an answer within 48 hours. What’s worse is they quickly find an answer. If they like it, that’s it, now it’s fact. Then they go on to become the expert. As i sit here rolling my eyes and chuckling, at myself mostly, for not seeing the clamshell. Do you know how many times I’ve looked at that stamp today? Im not telling. Haha At least I kept looking, hehe.

Next month, someone will inherit some opals or antique gold but won’t even know that there was good information here to get them started in the right direction. Speaking of "getting started", i’ll refrain from going any further on my mini rant - don’t get me started. Lol. Instead, I’ll share what I’ve learned. And we all know, I’m no expert on pearls or clamshells. :)

So just as a very very loose rule, if you have an older strand of Mikimoto’s and it is a single strand, 17" to 19" (princess strand), pearls smaller than 10mm, purchased in Japan or Korea, or just in the family for sometime, they could very well have been not-knotted (except the first couple, closest to the clasp). However, if you have an older not-knotted strand, the silk thread is also old which means if you wear them before getting them restrung, you’re going to lose a whole bunch of beautiful pearls as they all slide off the thread and go bouncing everywhere when the silk thread breaks.

There is a lot more about knotting vs not-knotting, like weight, flow and light reflection, blah, blah, blah. Keep looking around and reading. If your intent is to sell them or to get a certificate of valuation for your insurance, then pay the 29.99 and get it over with.

My mother died two years ago from undetected stage four breast cancer that metastasized into her lungs. She was hospitalized for what they thought was pneumonia. Within a few days they changed the diagnosis and she passed away within about two weeks. I miss her so much and my Dad does too.

My Dad was a US Navy career man who retired as Master Chief after 30 years. He did 7 West Pac tours for 39 months and 2 rounds in Vietnam for 19 months total. Besides moving a lot (too much), I remember my Dad always sending us gifts and letters and bringing my Mom jewelry from his travels. In the mid 60’s one of the gifts he brought back for her was a lovely strand of pearls. My mom and I both loved pearls. It’s my birthstone (or real alexandrite - which is much harder to come by) I've been looking for years to find a piece that wont break the bank. Maybe a ring, who knows. ??

My Dad came to visit me a few months ago and brought her strand of pearls and some other jewelry items. There is even a ring but I haven’t given it a lot of attention, yet :) It was only yesterday that I thought that the strand of pearls might be Mikimoto’s. Without asking my Dad and just by spending a few hours online (reading and looking at pictures of clasps - lol) I found out that they are Mikimoto’s. This afternoon, after looking online at many many clasp images, I found the identical clasp (silver). The strand is approx 18" and there are between 96 to 98 pearls, graduated from approx 7.1mm down to 3.1mm. The luster is absolutely beautiful. Very glossy and not dull at all. The color is sort of beige with a light gold color. They don’t appear to be yellow, to my untrained eye. They seem to change color throughout the day, depending on the lighting. My Mom didn’t wear them often - they were for very special occasions. I have a few pictures of her wearing them on those occasions.

I will have them restrung (i saw a very very tiny thread shadow after taking a photo and increasing the size if the image). I’m not sure if I will get them knotted. One of my big concerns, with getting them restrung, is something that I read about online today - people claiming that when they picked up their pearls, some of the pearls had clearly been swapped out. :o That terrifies me.

Excuse all my typos.

Selling Mikimoto Pearls
by: Anonymous

The signature logo for Mikimoto pearls is the letter M in a clam shell. The zig zag you describe is most likely the letter M.
You will not have a problem de-investing if these pearls are indeed vintage Mikimoto Pearls, if you choose, especially in light of the currency crisis.

Mikimito Pearl Necklace Info & Pearl Island
by: Anonymous

Hi Steve

thanks for sending in the following pearl question:

"These were left to me by my grandmother. An old flame got them for her as gift during the Korean War. They are in a Red Box. The satin-lined lid says K. Mikimoto, Inc. Pearl Island TOBA. They are 24" long with the largest pearl (7mm) at the center and getting smaller towards each end - each end in the 3-4mm range. The clasp hook says 14K with what looks like a shell in front of it. The larger part of the clasp is white gold. I can't distinguish any initials, etc on it. It has almost a zig-zag pattern on it that overlaps in the center. Any clues? Thank you!"

they sound like Mikimoto pearls. There may be knots between each pearl, most authentic Mikimoto Pearl necklaces will be strung with knots in between each pearl. Actually, most quality pearl necklaces of any type of pearl are strung with knots in between each pearl to keep them from rubbing against one another and wearing away at the nacre, and so that if the strand breaks, all the pearls won't come tumbling down.

You mention 14k gold clasp? 18kt gold clasp is in keeping with Mikimoto pearls. There was a time, however, that Mikimoto pearls had sterling silver clasps, circa 1968 although the sterling clasps always had the signature logo. Some had the little pearl on them, some did not. Usually the original box from this time period - the silver clasp has "Ginza Tokyo" embossed in gold alongside other Japanese letters.

You might like to take the pearls to an authorized Mikimoto dealer ie. Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, for example, to have them checked. The quality and condition of the pearls would have to be determined. You cannot do this on-line.

There is a souvenir building for Mikimoto Pearl on Pearl Island - Toba. On the first floor, Mikimoto's pearl jewelry, as well as other specialty items from the Ise-Shima region, can be purchased. The restaurant on the second floor, called 'Awake', offers a great view of Toba Bay.

The island is located in the Bay of Toba, accessible via a bridge.




The opera length necklace is approximately 24 - 36 inches long. It can be worn as a single strand with high necklaces or doubled to create a fashionable two-strand choker. Opera length pearl necklaces traditionally are worn with eveningwear, although using them to accessorize more casual wear has become a cutting-edge fashion statement today.

best wishes


Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre
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