Never have I ever seen such a piece. This is an Estate piece that was obviously custom made. When I saw this piece about 20 years ago it both intrigued and captivated me.
Clasp closed measures 21.5 inches, necklace only, not drop.
The coral is genuine and natural and red, no treatments or dye. The last photo in my hand was taken outside in natural lighting and is close to perfect as to the actual color. It is red with a slight rusty red and a very high shine. All of which fall in line and which lead me to believe this is Oxblood coral.
I have of course seen the standard antique seed bead rope like necklace with both oval and tube shape corals. Though those examples are somewhat are rare in red, you do sometimes come across them. This necklace is different and unlike any I have ever seen. The corals are what I would say are like a teardrop shape and the hole does not go lengthwise through the coral, it is at the one end. Just to cut, shaped, and polished these would have been an undertaking.
I always wondered who had the task of putting the hole in the thousands of these corals or if more so what it took to string this. There must be thousands of corals in this necklace, It had to have taken hundreds of hours to string these corals into this large necklace of perfection.
Certainly a custom piece and based on style and clasp, I would say is mid 20th Century. It is possible that a Victorian necklace was used in creating this as I have never seen any examples along this style that were not.
The stringing is very sound and in amazing condition, I see no issues what so ever. This necklace is thick and heavy measuring 13mm wide at front and 11mm wide in back. Weighing a hefty 74.5 grams.
The clasp is 14k yellow gold both marked and tested. Clasp is very heavy thick gold measuring 15mm long and 9.2mm wide at widest point. In examining with a loupe you can see inside clasp there are many tiny 14k rings inside that the multiple strands have been attached to. Push button locking mechanism and very secure, this is a very high end clasp.
I will note that upon close examination there is some clear epoxy applied around the outside of clasp where it meets the coral. My Jeweler said this was likely done by the Jeweler at time this piece was made to insure the knotting on the multiple strands did not break loose. I was actually ok with this as you do not see it except upon close examination and is in the back. Given the age of this piece, it probably would not have stood the the of time had this not been done.
The diamond pendant in the front appears to be floating on the coral necklace. When I went snooping as to how it was attached, I see that on the back of necklace where it appears to have been post set through the necklace. I can see on the back the post and little Gold knob. ( I have tried to capture in photo) There are six genuine diamond which range in size from 2 mm to 2.5mm with an estimated total carat weight of .25 carats. The diamonds are very bright and white, inclusions not visible to naked eye but I can see some with my 30x loupe.
From the diamond pendant hangs a little red coral bead and a South Sea pearl, assuming cultured as it has not been
Xrayed. It is quite large at 10.5mm and my Jeweler said the pearl is of very high quality with very thick and heavy nacre which you can actually feel the weight of this beard when you hold it.
The only thing I was not over joyed with is the way this was attached to the diamond pendant, as it is a bit simple, post set and not soldered though it is secure. My Jeweler was surprised as well but said it was likely because the owner wanted it to be like an enhancer and that they possibly had other drops that they changed out when wearing this necklace or there was a larger diamond dropping from it and they removed and kept it. It could easily be changed out with your own diamond or enhancer added though this one is very pretty and suits the piece well.
I did wear this piece many times over the years, it remains in lovely condition without any damages.
This necklace is truly stunning, so very unique which is right up my alley and the reason I purchased it. Who wants cookie cutter. Just a fascinating piece with very rare red coral genuine natural coral.