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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

South Sea Pearl Ring

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Catalog Number NMNH G10639-00

Gift of Mr. Randy Coffin in 2009 in memory of David M. Trout.This object was designed by David M. Trout.

Some of the most densely populated pearl oyster beds in the world lie off the coast of northern and western Australia. This remote location with often rough seas is the source of some of the largest and finest pearls in the world, known as South Sea pearls. Pinctada maxima, the mollusk that produces these white to golden-yellow pearls, is noted for its thick white shell and sometimes reaches more than 12” in diameter. South Sea cultured pearls can range in size from 8mm to over 22mm and are found to be white, silver, cream, or golden in color. This one-of-a-kind piece showcases a rare and beautiful 11.4mm golden South Sea cultured pearl. The ring, designed by David M. Trout, won First Place in the Men’s Wear Division of the 2004 Spectrum Awards, an international design competition sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). The 18k yellow gold and platinum ring has a strong Asian influence that is seen in the pagoda-like styling and intricate bead setting that accent the multiple layers. The ring has 1.50 carats of D-F color, VS clarity, well-cut diamonds. It is an important addition to the collection of South Sea pearls in the National Gem Collection.



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