Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

A Moline multicolour masterpiece

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
5,313
Stunning! :kiss2: :kiss2: :kiss2:
 

Polabowla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
1,726
Wow! I have never seen anything like this before! It is a glowing lustrous rainbow of perfection!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,064
And the story...


In 2019 I bought a Tahitian bracelet from Pearl Paradise. It was a custom job - Hisano preselected a set of loose pearls in the 10-12mm size range and shipped them out to me, and I chose my favourite fifteen.

All fifteen were beautiful, but there was always one particular pearl that stood out. Its body color was superbly saturated, its overtone was vividly bright, and its surface always looked wet - like it’d just been washed and not yet dried off. That pearl is the green and pink peacock fourth from the right end in this photo from my old PS thread -

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/multicolour-tahitian-bracelet-from-hisano.250950/

FINAL_OriginalHisanoLineup.png

I’d briefly toyed with the idea of wanting a bracelet full of those wet, liquid specimens… But it seemed like an impossible ask, so I mentally squelched the #Want.


- - - - - - - - - -


In August 2020 @molinePDG texted me this photo:

FINAL_HGPendantPearl_Vendor.JPG

He said it was a very special Tahitian from a farm in Japan that he’d just recently started working with. And that it was already spoken for.

I told him I couldn’t believe he’d sold my holy grail pearl to someone else. The fact that he apparently hadn’t been aware that it was my holy grail pearl - possibly because I’d never actually asked after Tahitians - well, that seemed to miss the point entirely. He mentioned there was some possibility that the person who’d purchased it would decide not to keep it, but I kept my hopes leashed - who in the world would willingly give this up?

But... Even if this pearl wasn't mine... It existed!! So surely there must be more? More Tahitians like my Pearl Paradise marvel. Maybe the Pearl Paradise pearl wasn't actually "the gating" pearl, maybe it was "a gateway" pearl. I sat on my fingers for a full week before asking Andrew about sourcing this thing's supermodel siblings. I'm actually pretty sure I texted him as soon as I woke up, on day eight, after the self-inflicted week of virtue.

And then I learnt that his original purchaser had in fact - against all expectations! - decided against keeping my holy grail pearl. A clearer sign there never was... :halo: :bigsmile:



- - - - - - - - - -


I knew that I wanted a multicolored bracelet, and I knew that I wanted “warm” pearls - greens, yellows, pinks. Andrew contacted the farm with my request. The first few lineups they suggested were… Uninspired.

FINAL_UNINSPIRED.png

Apparently it took Andrew a fair bit of “my client wants the best”, “my client wants only the best”, “my client wants the best of the best”, “my client really will see the difference” before they brought their #ReallyGoodStuff out. And then they brought their #ReallyGoodStuff out. We finalized on this lineup of greens and purples:

FINAL_FIRSTTRY.png

FINAL_GREENSANDPURPLES.png


And I was ecstatic. The pearls were drilled and shipped out to Andrew. And in the meantime Andrew sent my holy grail pearl out to me, and oh my goodness, it was more spectacular than I ever imagined!!! A molten-surfaced tri-coloured extravaganza :love:

I’ve shared these pics in another thread - I took the first two with my iPhone in a room with light walls and white ceiling, and I took the second in the lightbox with a camera. Same exact pearl, very different personalities!! But honestly, absolutely gorgeous no matter how unflattering her photographer or environs :love:

FINAL_HGPendantPearl_Phone.png

FINAL_HGPendantPearl_Camera.png

And when I compared this pearl to my Pearl Paradise bracelet - well, now I had two pearls that were in a league of their own. I couldn’t wait to see the rest of the strand - I was completely, totally, wholly confident that I’d be over the moon with it... Astonishingly easy and speedy fulfillment of an ask that until very recently had seemed so unattainable that I never even bothered to inquire!!

FINAL_HolyGrailPearl_LooseComp.jpg


- - - - - - - - - -


Y’all can probably see where this is going. Andrew warned me that the holy grail pearl was truly one of a kind, a god amongst men. I nodded and smiled.

Then I received the full bracelet lineup. And the pearls - weren’t what I had hoped for. They were lovely. Don’t get me wrong. They were definitely royalty. But they weren’t deities. And warnings and all, I’d been expecting an otherworldly lineup.

I know that my first reaction to new jewellery is really sterile. I’m never, ever going to be the sort of person who takes unboxing videos! The first thing I want to is inspect the piece and catalogue its flaws, and after I’ve tallied up everything that’s wrong - then I’ll let myself enjoy it, and decide if the enjoyment is “worth” the imperfections. I thought maybe I just needed a little more time to grow into these pearls… So I spent a couple of days toting them around the house and taking photos of them… But all I could focus on was that they weren’t as wonderful as my gateway pearl and my holy grail pearl ;(

And at some point over those couple of days I also realized that, well, the differences had actually been visible the whole time! Andrew had sent me a couple of photos of the holy grail pearl next to the bracelet strand, and those photos did show what he’d warned me about and I was now seeing in-person. Slightly less sharp reflections. Slightly less contrast - the blacks not as black, the whites not as white. It was just that neither of us had anticipated precisely how persnickety I would be. We both know better now :lol:


FINAL_AndrewStrandsComp.png

I’ll admit that I was terribly disappointed. I was also worried that I was stuck. By this point it was several weeks after original purchase. The drilling had rendered them non-returnable to the farm in Japan, and most US-based vendors have blanket “no returns on custom pieces” policies.

I contacted Andrew to find out what my options might be. He asked how many pearls I wasn’t happy with. “Eight”. He immediately offered to have one of his suppliers search for true gem Tahitians and simply swap out however many he could find - hopefully all eight. My bracelet would no longer be single-source, but he assured me that my pearls would be as perfect for me as he could possibly manage.

Here on PS we always say that the true measure of a vendor is how they handle problems. Andrew is a one-man operation who unhesitatingly offered to swallow a five-digit partial return on a custom project, with no possibility of renumeration on his own end, in the middle of the Covid crisis. It would have been so easy for him to just make this my problem. But given how quickly he offered to replace those pearls, doing that - however easily justified - obviously wasn't a decision he entertained at all. He’s a model of professionalism and empathy, and I feel privileged to have these opportunities to work with him, and I really can’t recommend him highly enough!! :love: :appl: :bigsmile: :cool2:

We agreed that I’d cover the up-front costs of replacement pearls and take a credit toward a future purchase. Andrew told me that he’d have one of his most trusted suppliers start searching for alternate options the following week.
 
Last edited:

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,064
Continued - ran out of image bandwidth...


About a week later, Andrew let me know that his supplier had a couple of promising leads. He sent me this preview photo:

1611206073154.png

I saw... Some incredible colour, but I kept my optimism about lustre in check.

His supplier sent a few additional photos of the complete pearl cards. When I saw those - my guarded optimism turned to outright skepticism :lol: But Andrew assured me that he trusted this supplier’s eyes above any others’, and this photo certainly didn’t accurately portray whatever his supplier was actually looking at, and if they weren’t up to snuff then we could and would send them back.

1611206108015.png

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? His supplier marked the pearls that he rated gem quality and I bought all but one.


- - - - - - - - - -


They landed in the US in record time, and Andrew’s photos were a comforting, soothing balm :love: Some of them showed up on his insta -
https://www.instagram.com/p/CH8lIJyFlB1/
https://www.instagram.com/p/CH-xBvRFuhb/

1611206157954.png

1611206173440.png

I took my holy grail pearl, my gateway pearl, and one of the nicer light greens from our first bracelet attempt with me to FedEx. I was super, suuuuuper nervous… But as soon as I opened the package, even through several layers of ziplock plastic, I honestly could tell right away that this was the unicorn lot of pearls I’d been hoping for!! :appl: And I could prove it to myself, right then and there, just mix them all up and “so, do the residents stand out as the cream of the crop like before or do they blend in with the newbies”?

This is the first pic I took (with the phone in the car in the FedEx parking lot) :bigsmile: The Xs are the three pearls that I took with me. They all look quite unappealing in this photo. But they look - allllmost - equally unappealing. Fruition. :love:

Final_CarMagicMan.png


- - - - - - - - - -


My holy grail pearl and the replacement pearls had to be drilled. I agonized over absolutely everything about the drilling. Three of the pearls had surface blemishes, so orienting them was easy, but the others were fully clean. Which axis does the colour show up best on? Okay, I got it. No, wait, now I got it. Wait - was it better before?

“Are you sure magic marker is safe for the pearl?”
“Yes. Use a tiny dot to show where you want the hole and they’ll drill straight through”
“I’m buying Magic Marker branded markers. Just to be safe. You’re sure this stuff will rub off? Am I overthinking this?”
“Oh, completely”

[…]

“I’m angsting”
“Your pearls will be just fine, don’t worry too much!”
“If you say so”

[…]

“Would they let you know right away if there’s an issue? Like if the drill dot has rubbed off or something?”
“Yes, yes they will.”

[…]

“Don’t suppose you’ve heard anything yet about my babies' surgeries?”
“Should be this week!”
“Awesome!! But ugh, now I’m worried!”
“You mean you *weren’t* worrying before?”
“Fair.”

[…]

“So… What can go wrong when drilling round pearls?”
“It's extremely unusual for rounds of this quality to have any issues.”
“Extremely unlikely? Can you quantify extremely unlikely? Should we find a way to get some x-rays before drilling?
“Okay, I need you to be a normal customer for just a few more days, then you can go back to being you :lol-2:
“You’re a very demanding vendor you know”

[…]

“I’m angsting”
“I know”

[…]

When I got the pearls back they’d each been stuck onto the same card I’d sent them in on, with drill hole positioned where the positioning dot used to be. Someone somewhere - other than me - must have been laughing :lol:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CJJuIyQFdKr/

1611206396851.png


- - - - - - - - - -


Since I was reworking the Pearl Paradise bracelet anyway, I decided I’d like that one to be cooler-toned - blues and silvers and purples to contrast with my new earthy warms. I bought a specialty-colour lot of a couple dozen from Pearl Paradise to finish the cooler bracelet. I think at this point I was sitting on 104 round Tahitian 10-12mm pearls? :lol:

And I arranged. And rearranged, and rearranged, and rearranged. @Crystal_Dreams, @elizat, @lissyflo, @LLJsmom, @luckyhonu, @MakingTheGrade, and @737lizakg have seen probably hundreds of photos of these pearls already :halo:

My final layout, by size and colour:

FINAL_Order.png

I bought this clasp, and Andrew sent me a label to mail to his stringer Pattye (she’s active on the other forum but I don’t believe she participates on PS). She sent thread colour options, Andrew and my pearls girls liked Plum best, so Plum it was.
https://www.gempacked.com/findings-.../Ball-Clasp-with-Diamonds?gp_product_id=76865

FINAL_PATTYE.jpeg


The return shipment wound up going to my local Walgreens instead of an authorized FedEx ship center for hold for pickup. I asked Andrew if he knew if Walgreens offered a champagne pickup experience. He thought I might be able to wrangle a celebratory shot of cough syrup.

So here I am. Six months, a whole lot of pearls, and a whole of learning later - I am most definitely at the corner of happy and healthy :bigsmile: :love:
 
Last edited:

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,064
Some progress pics and #LearningMoments...


I’m a lustre fiend. Lustre first. Lustre over everything else. Wanna see my favouritest pic? Those silvers are ball bearings. Actual, real, brand new steel ball bearings. These pearls hold their own against actual, real ball bearings. You can't beat this!!!! :geek2:

FINAL_BALLBEARING.png


- - - - - - - - - -


A comparison of three strands. The pearls in the innermost strand are almost all fully solid-bodied (the center pearl is the exception). This piece has since been rehomed, but I recall that it held its body colour amazingly well through various lighting types - much, much better than any of the pearls with stronger overtone regardless of other quality factors! I’ve learnt that I personally value a strong and contrasty overtone, and I'm willing to sacrifice colour stickiness and just save my Tahitians for dreary grey days. Certainly no dearth of those in New England ::)

FINAL_TRIOCOMPARISON.png


- - - - - - - - - -


Most multicoloured pearl strands balance both body colour and body tone - they repeat patterns of colour and light vs. dark body. Neither of my strands do either, really. The new strand from Andrew is largely the same body tone. The reworked Pearl Paradise strand has more tone variance, but the ends skew lighter than the middle. I turned both final lineups into B&W to show it better here - the Moline strand is on the top, Pearl Paradise below. Ideally I’d like a more organized pattern in the Pearl Paradise strand. I’ll find some pearls to adjust it one day… Far in the future - I’m seriously so done with Tahitians for such a long time :shock:

FINAL_B&W.png

I had originally wanted to send the strand to PSL (yeah, I’ve got the American predilection for paperwork :mrgreen:) but I was advised not to. The reason is kind of interesting: Apparently PSL has four colour designations for strands - green, purple, multicolour, and grey. A strand that has even one pearl that isn’t green or purple is disqualified from earning those names. A strand that doesn’t have at least four distinct colours isn’t eligible for the multicolour specification. And any strand that isn’t green, purple, or multicolour is called grey. And oy, my strand is most certainly not grey!! :eek-2::???:


- - - - - - - - - -


These were my final candidates for both strands. Moline behind and Pearl Paradise in front.

FINAL_ColourOptionsProgress.png

I think these strands are actually an excellent real-world manifestation of that tried and tired 80/20 rule - that it takes 20% of the effort/time/money/valuable-whatever to get 80% of the way to perfect, and it’ll take 80% of the effort/time/money/etc. to get through that last 20%, all the way to 100% perfect. My Pearl Paradise strand took about a month, the Moline strand took six. The Moline strand will end up costing about 7x the Pearl Paradise strand. So is it worth it? That last photo I posted is true to what my eyes see - we really are talking 80% vs. 100% perfect here.

Me, I treasure the knowledge that I’m looking at some of the most magical pearls ever created. I personally put huge value on knowing that there’s nothing better to be had (other than bigger!), and that any comparisons I might make in the future will be against the best that an oyster can offer. This bracelet is such a special piece, I can’t envision ever not admiring it every time I see it :love:
 
Last edited:

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
799
Beautiful - fabulous lustre ! These pearls are all out there .. just takes time, patience and $$$
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
8,555
An excellent example of knowing what one wants and how to get it, with patience and determination to find the best without compromise.

Truly remarkable bracelet and thanks for sharing!

DK :kiss2: :kiss2: :kiss2:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,064
@CircularBrilliant, @stracci2000, @Daisys and Diamonds Thank you ::)


@Polabowla Thank you!! I’ve definitely learnt the hard way that lustre is the one thing I can’t compromise on!

Andrew explained that with Tahitians - since fantastic colour is just as important as fantastic lustre, Tahitians with exceptional colour can slide into “gem” even without exceptional lustre. That explains what happened with the first set of pearls, I think: They all had bright overtones. Even then, though, they weren’t as vivid as his second supplier’s set. Apparently there's also a thing called “top gem”, which designates - well, actual gem, I guess? :lol:


@MakingTheGrade Thou shalt not ingest the nacre coated beads. Thou shalt not ingest the nacre coated beads. Thou shalt not...

Thank you. ❤ ::)


@LLJsmom They look so much better through the camera right?! :bigsmile:

I half-lied about that last pic, actually, looking at it again. It’s actually not the full set of options for the Moline strand - but it is for the Pearl Paradise. That’s one of my favourite pics too. It makes for such an easy, honest “how much is this worth to me” judgment call. I look at it and I can quantify “yes, I would chase that, esoteric though it may be”, but I think most people would say “of course not”. And they most certainly wouldn’t be wrong - that "80%" is no slouch!! :ugeek:


@Lisa Loves Shiny Thank you!! ::)

I hadn’t planned to write a short novel, but then, I never do... :halo: :lol:


@katbran They really are! I feel very lucky to have found a few vendors with whom I enjoy working. The diamond world (the respectable portion of it, anyway) has converged on a single, standard grading scheme that’s enforced by small subset of independent authorities who have earned global regard. The grading situation in the world of pearls is, by contrast, a categorical embarrassment to the industry.

Unfortunately for us end-consumers - that means that we have nearly nothing to compare on :???: So many threads here on PS ask some sort of “x vs. y”, and the best answer - find a way to see for yourself - was unreasonable even before Covid. I can’t wait for the year the pearls industry realizes that transparency really does encourage participation and contribution!


Thank you @dk168!! That's very kind of you ::)

I think most vendors wouldn’t have been interested in this project, honestly, even if I’d walked in with no budget restriction at all - which was definitely not my situation! It really was a search for esoterica. Even accounting for extra time or effort… I’m so glad that I met Andrew last year!!


@Sparkles88 Thank you!! Sensuous feminine elegance. I love that description!! :love:


@icy_jade Well, you are kind of the PS queen of pearls, if anyone’s seen/got/knows all about gemmies it’d be you :bigsmile:

Thank you!! They will. They’d better. :lol:
 
Last edited:

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,364
but this strand of perfection is sensuous, feminine and elegant.
Sensuous is such a good word to describe this: the warm rich colours, the dewy surfaces and all the love, care and time poured into it.

Your bracelet is the embodiment of knowing what you want, working bloody hard towards it and making it happen with sheer determination. (Well, and some cash..!) I can’t remember who said it, but there’s the quote “The harder I work, the luckier I get”, and you struck ‘lucky’ with this through sheer determination, effort and search; you actively turned your holy grail pearl into a whole holy grail bracelet.

You know my thoughts on this stunner - it’s perfect. No other adjectives needed.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
5,153
. . . . . .
@yssie . . . .
Im a speed reader but it took me ages to read your post.
I kept going back to the photos.
Are they truly of this world?
I never thought I’d say this, but another gem has moved onto my top tier alongside Opals.
Opals and Pearls.
And fitting, both are found in all their beauty and glory as is, without needing the hand of humankind to hone them.
They are utterly perfect and magnificent as found.
One from the Earth.
One from the Sea.
Wear and enjoy those special treasures often.
:kiss2:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,064
@lissyflo Thank you love ::)

You give me so much credit. I don’t think I’ve earned most of it! I think - objectively, because isn’t that always the gift of hindsight - I could have expended a lot less worry and wound up in exactly the same happy place! I’m at least confident that Andrew spent more cycles productively worrying than I did :halo:

This was definitely an... Impassioned is a good word... Project for me. Much more than I expected it to be. But I know you know that since you saw all six months of it! Reading your post - I had the startling realization that my younger self would have been every bit as invested, but probably wouldn’t have said anything about not being happy with the first strand, and that younger self wouldn’t have this piece now. This project fell into my lap at exactly the right time in a lot of ways.

It’s a heart piece ::) ❤️



:shifty: @CMN - :bigsmile:!!



@Bron357 Oh. I know exactly what you mean.

I think the first time I felt truly awed by pearls was the moment I fell in love with them. I liked pearls well enough before that, but until then they were just another gemstone with their own unique look and feel... But then I got my first Sea of Cortez pearls.

And I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that living, breathing creatures - creatures on *our* planet - were responsible for this... Magic. I remember seeing them for the first time and feeling so proud of what my world had made - and then feeling patently ridiculous because, yknow, being “from earth” is literally the one thing that absolutely everything shares! :rodent:

You’re so right. I completely agree. Sometimes the greatest visionaries are the simplest. Sometimes they aren’t even animate. I know the oysters that made these Tahitian pearls had no idea how special their gifts were, but if I’m supposed to be the recipient of those gifts - I will treasure them! ❤️
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
4,174
@icy_jade Well, you are kind of the PS queen of pearls, if anyone’s seen/got/knows all about gemmies it’d be you :bigsmile:

Hey, what I meant is that as beautiful as they look in your pics, I think they must be much more stunning irl. Really beautiful pearls!

To quote a vendor “what you want is the top 1% of the top 1%”. Top top gem grade.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's Wedding
    F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's Wedding
    Diamond Prices - April 2021
    Diamond Prices - April 2021
    The Unconventional Jewelry Hunt
    The Unconventional Jewelry Hunt

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top