Famous Conch Pearl Necklace

This famous conch pearl necklace was created by Tiffany & Co in early 1900's.

Hanging on the bubblegum pink wall of Conch World’s tiny gift shop is a photograph of beautiful pink conch pendant, one of the largest conch pearls ever found, and this rare piece of nature is housed in none other than the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

According to the Walters, the necklace was made by Tiffany Co. in New York and is made up of conch pearl, platinum and diamonds. Its measurements are 1.56 x 1.46 x 1.25 cm and it weighs 56 grams. The pearl originated in the West Indies and was harvested in the early 1900s.

According to Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, the assistant curator of 18th & 19th Century Art at the Walters, Henry Walters purchased the piece directly from George Kunz at Tiffany in 1905, and gave it to his niece, Laura F. Delano, a high society philanthropist and art collector. Delano gifted the necklace, which is currently not on view at the museum, to the Walters in 1977.

The cage of the “sautoir” – a long, often Edwardian-era necklace with an ornament or pendant at the end – “opens up so that you can examine the exquisite pearl inside,” explained Dylan Kinnett, the manager of web and social media at the Walters Art Museum who first described the pearl to me via Twitter.

“It’s a very beautiful and elegant thing in person…which has a lot to do with the gemological quality of the pearl,” said Weisberg-Roberts.

According to the gemologist’s report, the pearl has extraordinary “chatoyancy,” or “luster,” which refers to the cat’s eye iridescence of the pearl.

Read more and see photo of famous conch pearl necklace.

Buy natural conch pearls here.

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