Twinned pearls for your girl!
Circa 1940's, this 14-1/2" choker necklace features "almost" perfectly round freshwater pearls that were purposely twinned during the catalyst process. Producing enough of these twin pearls for an entire necklace would have been a rare feat in the 1940's to 1950's, most likely achieved in Japan. At that time, Lake Biwa was the major producer of a very limited freshwater pearl production. It would not be until the 1980's that technology was achieved by the Chinese to begin mass production in the 1990's if freshwater pearls in any shape close to round. Time was that freshwater pearls were identifiable at first glance. Of course, not any more, with China the world's number one cultured pearl producer.
This beautiful pearl necklace features 65 conjoined (twin) pearls, with the larger pearls measuring 6.5-7.5mm, and together 12.5mm. (5/16"). The pearls graduate down in size to 4.5-5mm at the clasp, 10mm conjoined. The pearls have a soft ivory hue with nice lustre. These twins have an overall barbell shape with varying blemishes commonly associated with baroque pearls but much smoother than most baroque pearls. They also offer a nice iridescence.
The necklace closes with a Sterling Silver pearl clasp with a 3.7mm saltwater pearl accent. The clasp is crafted of 925 Sterling silver and features a pierced and engraved design. It is hallmarked "SILVER". The accent pearl at center is a perfect round with a silvery undertone and more iridescence than the twinned pearls. The necklace measures 14.5" long and weighs 40.9 grams.
This is a choker necklace, a length very popular in the 1940's to 1950's, on into the 60's and beyond. This length is considered to be the most flattering on a woman's neckline as it gives lift to the neck and glow to the complexion without competing with wardrobe necklines. However, this length can be a snug fit on many women today, extendable only with added beads or a different style clasp. This necklace is in excellent condition, just freshly restrung "neat" without knots.
The history of the cultured pearl market is quite interesting with today's notions of size, quality and perfection much different since the Chinese took over the pearl market in the 1990's. While once a freshwater pearl looked like a "rice krispy", lumpy round or stick, today's modern freshwater pearls are perfectly round, just like the shape that the master Mikimoto worked so hard to perfect, one pearl at a time, in the saltwater Akoya pearl. Whereas, Mikimoto invented the method of using a mother of pearl bead as the irritant to produce a single pearl, soft pieces of mantle are used in mollusks that can produce 30-40 pearls each.
Twinned pearls occurring in an Akoya oyster would be extremely rare and valuable. Enough pearls to create a necklace such as this could only be achieved in freshwater cultured pearls where many identical twins could be cultivated at once in a single mussel. The similar qualities of these pearls is amazing, from a time when Lake Biwa was the number one producer of the famous Biwa freshwater pearls. Pearl production from that Japanese lake began in the 1920's but ceased due to water pollution many years later, sometime after the 1970's. As freshwater pearl production was very limited in the 1950's, the term "Biwa" pearl was loosely used to described a "near perfect" looking fresh water pearl produced from mollusks, not oysters.
Modern standards dictate that no pearls can be sold legally in the United States unless there are documented to have been formed in Lake Biwa. We do not know the exact origin of these pearls, but pearl history tells us that it would have been Japan. These pearls would have been formed by placing the mantle irritants closer together than standard to ensure fusion within the shell prior to harvest. Twin pearls are indeed most intriguing, and certainly make for great conversation. These pearls were way ahead of their time.
The gift of pearls is a classic and timeless gift choice. It is ready to charm all over again. We love this look for a wedding, be it bride, mother of the bride or guest.
This necklace will be delivered in a lovely presentation case, pictured, so that it is ready for gifting upon arrival. Double boxed, with gift wrap available, we also will include a copy of our easy pearl care instructions.
Shipment to the USA is Fast & Free via USPS Priority Insured Mail with FedEx delivery available at discounted rates. International shipment via USPS & 3 Day FedEx at discounted rates.