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Pearl Necklaces

Since antiquity, pearls have been a coveted commodity both for their beauty and their fantastical beginnings. Early cultures developed fanciful origin stories for the luminous spheres. Ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, thought pearls formed after oysters swallowed dewdrops.

Later, Renaissance and Baroque cultures assumed the pearl was the oyster’s egg. By the 18th century, the actual origin a pearl’s formation had been deduced, but its celebrity was already established.

One of the early challenges of incorporating pearls into necklace strands was the fact that, since they are a product of nature, they are rarely uniformly round. This uniformity is important, as it will determine the lay of the strand along the neckline. Some elaborate pearl necklaces over history waited months, if not years, for the necessary pearls to be discovered.

In the late 19th century, however, the cultured pearl was developed. These pearls, which involve manual rather than natural seeding, are grown in farm beds and typically result in more uniform shapes and sizes.


Quick Facts

  • During the Byzantine era, many thought that pearls provided resistance against disease. This is why the famous 7th-century mosaic of Empress Theodora at Italy’s Basilica of Ravenna depicts her wearing a headdress bedecked with dangling pearl strands
  • According to jewelry lore, Jacques Cartier, descendent of the family lineage of the Cartier jewelry brand, purchased his store location on New York’s Fifth Avenue in the early 20th century in exchange for two spectacular pearl necklaces
  • The largest cultured pearl recorded is the Paspaley Pearl. Measuring roughly 20.4 millimeters, the pearl is almost 50 percent larger than the average cultured pearl and is one of the most perfectly round cultured pearls ever produced

Recommended Items at Auction

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BOXED PEARLS WITH 925 CLASP IN MIKIMOTO PEARLS BOX
Oct 28, 9:30 AM AEST
BOXED PEARLS WITH 925 CLASP IN MIKIMOTO PEARLS BOX
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD26012 Bids
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STRAND OF PEARLS 9CT GOLD CLASP
Oct 28, 9:30 AM AEST
STRAND OF PEARLS 9CT GOLD CLASP
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD407 Bids
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BOXED PEARL NECKLACE WITH STERLING CLASP
Oct 28, 9:30 AM AEST
BOXED PEARL NECKLACE WITH STERLING CLASP
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD306 Bids
NECA Black Pearl Replica Ship
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
NECA Black Pearl Replica Ship
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $200- $300
$303 Bids
Rare Austrian Vienna Silver Enamel Pearl Figure
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Rare Austrian Vienna Silver Enamel Pearl Figure
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $500- $15,000
$6002 Bids
Italy Sterling Silver Mother Of Pearl Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italy Sterling Silver Mother Of Pearl Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$22 Bids
9 INCH AKC ITALIAN SWITCHBLADE MOTHER PEARL KINFE
Nov 10, 9:00 AM EST
9 INCH AKC ITALIAN SWITCHBLADE MOTHER PEARL KINFE
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $150- $300
$502 Bids
A FINE STRING OF SOUTH SEA PEARL NECKLACE
Oct 30, 3:00 PM EDT
A FINE STRING OF SOUTH SEA PEARL NECKLACE
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$6502 Bids
14K Rose Gold, Cultured Pearl and Diamond, Strand Necklace
Oct 31, 7:00 PM AEST
14K Rose Gold, Cultured Pearl and Diamond, Strand Necklace
by Jewellery Auctions Unlimited
Est: AUD825- AUD1,100
AUD1502 Bids
14K White Gold, Cultured South Sea Pearl and Diamond, Strand Necklace
Oct 31, 7:00 PM AEST
14K White Gold, Cultured South Sea Pearl and Diamond, Strand Necklace
by Jewellery Auctions Unlimited
Est: AUD900- AUD1,200
AUD1502 Bids
Lange Zuchtperlenkette mit Zierschließe.
Oct 29, 9:00 AM CEST
Lange Zuchtperlenkette mit Zierschließe.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1802 Bids
14K Gold Diamond Clasp Double Stand Pearl Necklace
Nov 21, 12:00 PM EST
14K Gold Diamond Clasp Double Stand Pearl Necklace
by Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$3001 Bid
A Carved Stone Figure of a Bird with Fish, Mother of Pearl Eyes
Nov 01, 6:00 PM AEDT
A Carved Stone Figure of a Bird with Fish, Mother of Pearl Eyes
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD201 Bid
Double Strand Pearl Necklace with Platinum, Emerald, and Diamond Clasp
Nov 07, 11:00 AM EDT
Double Strand Pearl Necklace with Platinum, Emerald, and Diamond Clasp
by Grogan & Company
Est: $8,000- $10,000
$4,0001 Bid
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JEWELRY. 14kt Gold, Carved Jade, and Pearl Brooch.
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
JEWELRY. 14kt Gold, Carved Jade, and Pearl Brooch.
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Sterling Silver And Pearl Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver And Pearl Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
12.5-15mm Natural South Sea Pearl Necklace
Oct 27, 5:00 AM PDT
12.5-15mm Natural South Sea Pearl Necklace
by Riverside Galleries, Inc
Est: $12,070- $17,750
$501 Bid
MIKIMOTO PEARL STRAND 18K YELLOW GOLD CLASP
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
MIKIMOTO PEARL STRAND 18K YELLOW GOLD CLASP
by Confiscated Assets Auctioneers
Est: $5,000- $6,000
$101 Bid
14k Gold and Beaded Pearl Necklace
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
14k Gold and Beaded Pearl Necklace
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$201 Bid
18K White Gold Filled Pearl Necklace
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
18K White Gold Filled Pearl Necklace
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Sterling Silver Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings
Oct 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Sterling Silver Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings
by Dalshire International Inc
Est: $100- $180
$51 Bid
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Perlen Halskette mit WG Verschluss 0.585
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
Perlen Halskette mit WG Verschluss 0.585
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid
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Perlen Halskette mit GG Verschluss 0.375
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
Perlen Halskette mit GG Verschluss 0.375
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Pearl Necklaces


Estate Jewelry Auctioneers

Estate Jewelry Auctioneers

Auction Partners

Auction Partners

Auktionshaus Eppli

Auktionshaus Eppli

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl