These lovely natural fresh water pearls are from the Mississippi. These are from an old collection from the 1960's. They are NOT CULTURED! They are white with fine luster and are an "angel wing" shape. All five are drilled twice on one side of the pearl (third picture). They were probably previously set in jewelry.
Set of Five
Measures: 17x4.8x2.7mm to 30.5x5.3x3.8mm
Total Weight: 9.41 carats
Origin: Mississippi River
Many North American pearl mussels produce high-quality pearls. The Mississippi River
is known to have gifted the world with some of the rarest of gems. Use of
these pearls for jewelry and decorative objects dates back at least 2,000
years, to the ancient Hopewell culture in Ohio. But subsequently, American
freshwater pearls went almost unnoticed until the mid-1800s, when several
people reported finding spectacular pearls in rivers and streams around
the United States. Those discoveries triggered the beginning of
large-scale harvesting--first for pearls, later for mother-of-pearl to be
used in buttons, and today for shells to produce nuclei for cultured
Different locations in the shell form the variety of shapes. Those along the lip are round and the largest ones are the rarest. Wing shaped pearls form along the back of the shell, and irregular or "baroque" pearls form in the heel of the shell. The brighter the luster, the more valuable it makes the pearl.
The harvest of these beautiful natural pearls has been largely shut down on most American rivers due to the invasion of zebra mussels from Europe. Consequently, these natural pearls will become more and more rare and valuable as time goes on.
If you have any questions about this piece or if we can help you with any of our other items please feel free to contact us through Etsy or our email: sales [!at] stowegems.com
Please contact us for international shipping.
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