With the start of June right around the corner, one of the more popular precious stones, and gems to gift a loved one on their special day is the pearl! The pearl has been a much-admired gem, officially the world’s oldest gem, pearls have been revered since long before written history. For this reason, their discovery cannot be attributed to one person in particular, but it is believed that they were first discovered by people searching for food along the seashore. We know that they have been worn as a form of adornment for millennia thanks to a fragment of pearl jewelry found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess that dates back to 420 BC, which is now on display at the Louvre in Paris. Pearls were presented as gifts to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC, while in ancient Rome, pearl jewelry was considered the ultimate status symbol. So precious were the spherical gems that in the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar passed a law limiting the wearing of pearls only to the ruling classes. The abundance of natural oyster beds in the Persian Gulf meant that pearls also carried great importance in Arab cultures, where legend stated that pearls were formed from dewdrops that were swallowed by oysters when they fell into the sea. Before the advent of cultured pearls, the Persian Gulf was at the center of the pearl trade and it was a source of wealth in the region long before the discovery of oil. Unlike gemstones that are mined from the earth, a living organism produces a pearl, and, in fact, their very existence is a freak of nature. A pearl is formed when an irritant, such as a parasite or piece of shell, becomes accidentally lodged in an oyster's soft inner body, causing it to secrete a crystalline substance called nacre, which builds up around the irritant in layers until a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are formed through the same process, the only difference being that the irritant is implanted in the oyster rather than entering it by chance. Until the start of the 20th century, the only way of collecting pearls was through divers risking their lives at depths of up to 100ft to retrieve the pearl oysters. It was a dangerous pursuit and one that carried limited chance of success as a ton of oysters would throw up only three or four quality pearls. Freshwater mollusks living in shallow rivers and streams were easier to gather, but these pearl beds were often reserved for harvesting by royalty. Today, natural pearls are among the rarest of gems and their almost entirely depleted supply means that they are found very infrequently only in the seas off Bahrain and Australia. The scarcity of natural pearls is reflected in the prices they fetch at auction, with antique pearl necklaces and earrings selling for record-breaking sums.
This elegant Pearl Necklace was made with the flare Mikimoto's classic collection. The traditional design features approximately 60 White South Sea Cultured pearls. Each pearl measures approximately 4mm in diameter. It is enclosed by a Mikimoto signed 18K Yellow Gold clasp. This Mikimoto Pearl necklace is approximately 16 inches long. Overall, it weighs approximately 18 grams.
"Over a century ago, Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in creating the world's first cultured pearl. His quest for perfection and his love for these pure, lustrous gems of the sea were the guiding forces that built the house of Mikimoto.Today, Mikimoto is the foremost producer of the finest quality cultured pearls and a world leader in the design of exceptional jewelry. The Mikimoto name is synonymous with superior quality at every stage, from the selection of finest materials to expert workmanship to our customer service commitment. Each beautiful piece reflects supreme dedication, passion and care. For today's connoisseur of fine jewelry, Mikimoto combines timeless elegance with sophisticated, modern design."
Appraisal Value: $4,000.00
Our Price: $2,495.00