See Marilyn’s Mikimoto Pearls in Houston, Texas

The pearl necklace gifted to Marilyn by the Emperor of Japan when she visited Tokyo with husband Joe DiMaggio in February 1954 are on display at Zadok’s Jewellers for the next two days, the Houston Chronicle reports.

“In celebration of the new Mikimoto boutique at Zadok, the Japanese jewellery house is scheduling private viewings on Nov. 8-9. Time slots are subject to availability.

Today, the 16-inch, choker-length strand with graduated Akoya cultured pearls and an 18-karat white gold and diamond Mikimoto signature clasp is considered rare. Due to Akoya cultured pearls’ 9.5-milimeter size, they are among the most expensive because of the careful cultivation and harvesting process required.

The necklace is said to be one of the few fine jewellery pieces Monroe owned. The late actress reportedly favored costume jewellery.

A few years after divorcing DiMaggio in October 1954, just 274 days after their wedding, Monroe gave the necklace to a friend, Paula Strasberg. The original jewellery box was part of the exchange.

Paula later passed the necklace and box on to her daughter Susan Strasberg, who sold the bundle in 1998, along with a letter chronicling the choker’s history. Mikimoto purchased the pearls at auction for an undisclosed amount that year.

In 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto became the first person on record to successfully culture a pearl. Today his company is worth approximately $1 billion. Mikimoto pearl necklaces currently retail between $1,800 to $840,000.

The ‘Marilyn Monroe Necklace’ is not for sale and is typically stored by Mikimoto America in New York. The piece is only shown on special occasions, a representative for Zadok said.

For more information or to schedule a viewing, call 713-960-8950.”