These 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 a "spike" shape.
Set of Four Measures: 13.3x4.3x3.8mm/ 11.6x4.5x2.2mm/ 10.9x4.4x3mm/ 10.1x4.4x2.4mm Total Weight: 3.03 carats
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 pearls.
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