Gump's Pearl and Opal Necklace Features Rare & Authentic Biwa Pearls For Sale
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Gump's Pearl and Opal Necklace Features Rare & Authentic Biwa Pearls

About

It was at the turn of the century that Japanese pearl farmers began culturing pearls with the Biwa Pearl Mussel in Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa. The resulting pearls were spectacular and spectacularly popular. The height of Lake Biwa pearl production was in 1971. Over-farming and pollution lead to the near extinction of the Biwa Pearl Mussel. Production of cultured pearls from Lake Biwa continues in a much more limited fashion and with a hybrid mollusk and not the original Biwa Pearl Mussel. This 16" necklace is an extraordinarily rare and precious jewel composed of four strands of authentic, original 4-ish mm Lake Biwa pearls totaling 328 pearls. They remain on their original silk strings with knots hand-tied between each pearl. This necklace, along with coordinating earrings, bracelet, and ring, is featured in the 1970-1971 Gump's San Francisco catalog. There were at least two different clasp options that I know of and this particular necklace features, in my opinion, the superior clasp: an Australian white opal —almost certainly from the Coober Pedy mines— that is ablaze in color: green, blue, pink, red, yellow. Milky and washed-out, this opal is not. Gump's always used the finest gems in their jewelry. The Australian opal is prong-set atop a classic Gump's 14K yellow gold clasp in perfect working order, complete with safety catch. This opal is fine enough to be a ring all on its own. The opal is bright and displays the full spectrum of colors, which is rare and makes the opal all by itself a high-value gemstone. "Lake Biwa Pearls" are more popular now than ever before and the phrase has come to be synonymous with any high-quality Japanese freshwater pearls. But make no mistake: *only* pearls from Japan's Lake Biwa may be called "Lake Biwa Pearls," and while pearls are once more being produced now that clean-up efforts have reduced pollution, there are no pearls being produced by the original Biwa pearl mussel. This necklace is a magnificent artifact of a lost-era. It is the product of a cleaner world. It is four strands of the most perfect and perfectly luminous pearls you will ever in your life see. A single strand of original, 1970-1971 Lake Biwa pearls is indeed a remarkable treasure to possess. Four stands of such pearls is an extravagance beyond measure. There is no damage to any single pearl. All the pearls look as beautiful today as they did the day they were displayed within the Gump's display case. And the opal is without cracks, chips or crazing. This is an heirloom-quality necklace. The pearls are dense and have the most incredible surface luster. This versatile necklace is designed for the strands to be twisted but it looks fantastic without the twist, as pictured. Wear it with the opal in the back at the nape or in the front as a focal point. There is nothing like genuine Lake Biwa Pearls. This iconic Gump's masterpiece will be something you treasure for the rest of your life.

Details

  • Dimensions
    D 16 in.D 406.4 mm
  • Length
    16 in. (406.4 mm)
  • Weight
    37.53 g
  • Seller Location
    Southbury, CT
  • Reference Number
    LU158918787791
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum
1stdibs seller since 2019
Typical response time: 1 hour
Located in Southbury, CT
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