Rare American Natural Pearl Necklace
Many North American mussel species are capable of producing pearls. The use of these pearls in jewelry 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 harvestingfirst for pearls, later for mother-of-pearl to be used in buttons, and today for shells to produce nuclei for cultured pearls.
The present impressive necklace consists of 27 very large baroque natural pearls, weighing approximately 475 carats, from the Mississippi River, graduating in size from 22.0 x 17.0mm at the center to 15 x 12.0mm at the ends. Completed by a 14K yellow gold shepherd's hook clasp. This is a rare necklace for the knowledgeable natural pearl collector. Length 18in