pearl necklace in the green case image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

If you have found an antique pearl necklace at a shop or have inherited one, it may be difficult to determine the maker. If you look at the necklace for small details, however, these may give you a clue as to the necklace's designer. Keep in mind that the value of a pearl necklace is tied to the quality of the pearls, and rarely to the maker.

Look for Maker's Marks

Examine the necklace thoroughly under a bright light with a magnifying glass. Jewelers often place small trademark symbols known as maker's marks somewhere on their pieces. In most jewelry, this design, word or symbol is stamped on a piece of the metal. Look on the clasp or any other metal portion for the maker's mark first, because that will be the easiest place for the jeweler to place it. Also examine the clasp to see if it is unusual or has any type of charm or tag affixed to it, which is another common sign of a designer.

Look for Signature Designs

Consider the necklace design itself. If it is anything other than a single strand of cream-colored pearls, the unique design could help to identify the maker. If the pearls are an unusual color, are combined with other stones or metals or make a special design, these designs may be similar to others that are made. You can look through antique jewelry catalogues or websites for any common themes in jewelry, which can help you pinpoint the designer.

Look at Packaging

If the necklace came in its original box, this can help narrow down the list of designers. If the box is from one store, call and ask the store which designers they carry and what other designers they have historically carried.