Salisbury Natural Pearl Earrings Sell for £1.4m

Exceptional Salisbury Natural Pearl Earrings

Exceptional Salisbury Natural Pearl Earrings

Salisbury Natural Pearl Earrings Sell for £1.4m


In addition to confirming that both were natural saltwater pearls weighing 34.508cts (138.03 grains) and 33.235cts (132.94 grains), it also marked them as the eighth biggest pair of pearls in the world and particularly beautiful for both their form and their colour, graded white with rose and blue overtones.

The general consensus was that they were from the Arabian Gulf, the source of so many of the most desirable natural pearls, with North West Australia another possibility.

Added to this was a European royal provenance.

IF pearls reached the peak of their popularity in antiquity, when the Roman general Vitellius is said to have financed an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings, then the market in 2012 does not rest too far behind.

Natural (as distinct from cultured) pearls are extremely hot right now with some sources estimating they have doubled price in 12 months.

But what made the earrings sold by Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury for £1.4m on April 26 worthy of a sum the like of which is typically reserved for gemstones? Primarily it's all about size, shape and colour.
While in the diamond world, 10 carats is the benchmark for a major stone, the equivalent with pearls is 25cts or 100 grains (4 grains = 1ct).

Specialist Jonathan Edwards – who described the discovery of the earrings as the highlight of his 35-year career in the jewellery trade – sent them to the Swiss Gemmological Institute or SSEF (Schweizerische Stiftung für Edelstein-Forschung) for testing. The report came back glowing.

Why the Salisbury Natural Pearl Earrings Sold for £1.4m

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