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A visit to Mikimoto NYC... And musings...

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,061
@yssie Thanks for the informative posts! Who'd a thunk that reading about nacre deposition would be a page-turner?! LOL!

Your style of exhaustive research (and reporting) reminds me of my DH with his love (obsession?) of guitars, bikes and cars. I'm used to this level of research and greatly appreciate it. I, left to my own devices, might do the research but am far too lazy to share in such depth! So, many thanks. :razz:
❤️❤️❤️:bigsmile:

I’ve been frustrated by how difficult it is to find information at an intermediate depth. Articles explaining that the outside of a pearl is called nacre are a dime a dozen. And there are papers aplenty that could probably regale and enrapture... As long as the audience is already familiar with Fourier optics and sea water oxygenation phenomena. I’ve gone barking up any number of trees the past few months - but I’ll spare PS those ruminations until I’ve got something more substantive than well, I’m thinking that... :lol:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
57,234
This was just outstanding @yssie !!! I don't know where to begin! Mikimoto is more of a museum to me, since a pair of studs might be the only thing I could actually buy! I have a great appreciation for quality in all jewels, so it is really good to know that Mikimoto actually deserves the accolades for top quality. I have to say, I was impressed with all their grades. The boutique looked dreamy, and I'd love to see it one of these days!

You are an outstanding researcher and writer. Your pictures really illustrated all your points so well! And of course, the pictures of their high jewels were a real treat! Thank you for sharing your immense amount of knowledge and your enthusiasm for the topic with us! I may just get you to choose my studs for me the next time you go! :lol:
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,771
Wow, this thread was so informative and the pictures fantastic (as usual) and I'm not usually on the pearl forum here! :read::kiss2: I felt like we were right there with you at the boutique!

Thanks so much for taking the time to do all of this for uninformed PS'ers like myself! =)2
 

bling_dream19

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
2,619
You have all the elements of captivating writing. The facts are facts and they are covered! Humor, you made us giggle at times which I love. Education, you are the pearl queen and I am so grateful learn from you. Pictures wow we are there! You documented like at a Springsteen concert which @Daisys and Diamonds so keenly pointed out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your vocabulary wealth, and a vision of what a shopping trip might be like with you! Congratulations on your Mikimoto studs and we cannot wait to see them!!!
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,507
Thanks for all of this, @yssie. I’ve been reading about pearls for years and years, trying to make sense of it all. I usually got the feeling (mostly from the other, pearl related forum) that there was a bit of hype about Mikimoto. It’s good to hear a review in such depth with such clarity, and to know that this is not true.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,020
This was just outstanding @yssie !!! I don't know where to begin! Mikimoto is more of a museum to me, since a pair of studs might be the only thing I could actually buy! I have a great appreciation for quality in all jewels, so it is really good to know that Mikimoto actually deserves the accolades for top quality. I have to say, I was impressed with all their grades. The boutique looked dreamy, and I'd love to see it one of these days!

You are an outstanding researcher and writer. Your pictures really illustrated all your points so well! And of course, the pictures of their high jewels were a real treat! Thank you for sharing your immense amount of knowledge and your enthusiasm for the topic with us! I may just get you to choose my studs for me the next time you go! :lol:

YEAH. Everything @diamondseeker2006 said...
 

MMtwo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,955
@yssie if you are not a writer in your day-to-day, you should consider it. This was a special trip "with" you. What beautiful pearls. The new showroom is also quite stunning.

My personal favorite is the conch pearl.
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,507
This thread took me, of course, over to the Mikimoto website! They have some gorgeous Pearl jewellery, like this necklace, which looks eminently wearable.


No mention of the Pearl quality though. I wonder if they use their basic level in such designs??
 

munchee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
542
Wowww... what a thorough posts... its like reading a thesis about pearl... If there’s a degree for it, this must be for Phd in pearl!!
Thank you for taking time to write them up so wonderfully @yssie

I have a question, have you been to Mikimoto stores in Asia? Long time ago in other forums, there are some members who loves pearls. And I remember they said, the color of Mikimoto pearls they have in the States are on different undertones than what they have in Asia. Its been so many years I forgot what color, which continent got which color, etc.
I wonder if anyone here also agree with this?

PS. Out of curiosity I digged up, they said in Singapore they usually got more silverish undertone and US got more rose-ish undertone.
 
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molinePDG

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
129
Wowww... what a thorough posts... its like reading a thesis about pearl... If there’s a degree for it, this must be for Phd in pearl!!
Thank you for taking time to write them up so wonderfully @yssie

I have a question, have you been to Mikimoto stores in Asia? Long time ago in other forums, there are some members who loves pearls. And I remember they said, the color of Mikimoto pearls they have in the States are on different undertones than what they have in Asia. Its been so many years I forgot what color, which continent got which color, etc.
I wonder if anyone here also agree with this?

PS. Out of curiosity I digged up, they said in Singapore they usually got more silverish undertone and US got more rose-ish undertone.

I'm no insider to the big brand so take this with a grain of salt. It is often said the eastern markets prefer pearls with a blue-slightly cool overtone, but that are still slight pink.

The US market tends to prefer a warmer overtone, with a stronger pink hue and more starkly white or silver.

The commonality is pink, though, which is desirable mostly universally but especially in south sea pearls, where pink tones that aren't clearly harshly treated have become exceptionally rarer recently, from my own personal experience of 1. Most of my fellow pearl trades peeps would tell you the WSS oysters aren't producing like they used to, even to a few years ago, especially in pink. The same for the top overtones and qualities of large, 9mm+ Akoya.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,020
@yssie if you are not a writer in your day-to-day, you should consider it. This was a special trip "with" you. What beautiful pearls. The new showroom is also quite stunning.

My personal favorite is the conch pearl.

I totally agree with you. She is a gifted writer. She can make any subject fascinating. It's such an indulgence to get to read and re-read this pearl guide, not to mention ogle the unbelievable pictures. I am loving it.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,061
OMG. Y'all are SO sweet!! And I'm feeling so flattered catching up here right now ::) :love: :bigsmile: :halo:

Gotta say it's been a great couple of days here!! Human family health crisis is under control. Feline family health crisis isn't just under control - cat is making a headliner miracle sort of recovery. And my studs come in this evening :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:


@diamondseeker2006 Thank you!! ❤️

A museum is a fantastic description actually. And I think the NYC location is effectively the "American flagship" - pearls aren't big anywhere in the US, but within what popularity they do have - they're certainly more of an east coast thing. One day, when we can all travel and gather again!

You know I would delightedly choose pearls for you!! Ain't nothing better than, um, #EnjoyingTheBuy with someone else's money? :lol:


@m-2-b Welcome!! Here you'll find innovative and inspiring ways to divest your purse of its contents with bouying assurance that pearls are *much* more cost-effective than diamonds :twisted2::appl::oops:

I actually took my camera but I forgot to replace the battery ;( So my poor phone got a workout!! It's all charged up and I've got my flowers ready for tomorrow ::)


@bling_dream19 You're such a sweetheart. ❤️I adore PS for giving me a way to "meet" people like you.

"The facts are facts". You say that so easily! And I know you mean it easily, because that's how you are. I do think there are a lot of people who really don't care for facts though. I guess I'm thinking of the same thing that @Snowdrop13 brings up, which @diamondseeker2006 mentioned as well.

@Snowdrop13 I understand exactly what you mean.

I'll try not to rant too much. But. I can't count number of times I've seen consumer commentary to the effect of "you can do just as well as Mikimoto for less at ${personally preferred vendor}". And I always wonder whether the person who's making that statement has actually done her own in-person comparisons? It's tempting to believe. But it's just not true. Dominance of the east Asian pearl market prevents it from being true.

I get what they're getting at. Other vendors can get close enough for most people. Close enough for most people at considerable savings. But "close enough for most people" isn't going to be good enough for everyone. There are always going to be folks who want zero-compromise pearls. And folks who don't want zero-compromise pearls, but maybe want more than "good enough for most people" and are willing to pay for marginal improvements. Removing those disclaimers disguises a subjective calculation of value for money as an equivalence of best quality, and that turns what should be a venue for discussion into an echo chamber.

People always say that everyone's priorities are different. They are!! And it's even more than that - even the same person might have different priorities for different projects. Me, I might want zero-compromise earrings but I'm perfectly happy with some-compromise strands. But... I need to be able to decide that for myself. And I'll notice minutiae, and I won't appreciate being oversold on quality, so I want a prosumer to tell me what my options are without any predetermination of value for money, and I want a vendor to give me an unvarnished, unapologetic, non-defensive appraisal of what they've got and what they want for it.

If I could somehow reach all vendors and consumers that my PS friends have interacted with - these are some things that I'd love to say...

To consumers who've been informed that larger pearls are always going to be less lustrous than smaller pearls...
Larger pearls can be every bit as visually lustrous, smooth, and contrasty as the best of any smaller pearls. They're just very rare. And maybe they're out of budget. Or maybe the vendor(s) you're talking to don't sell them. Maybe both. None of those translates into "they don't exist", and there are some vendors who can get you no-compromise pearls, if that's what you want. The pearl buying experience is already fraught with unknowns - let's help each other by squelching this sort of blanket-statement misinformation.

To consumers who've been told that they won't see the difference, or that they won't see the difference without a loupe...
Well, first things first - we all know that noone ever looks at or compares pearls with a loupe so vendors and advisors, lose the hyperbole would ya? Those differences - some consumers will see them and will care. Some will see them and won't care. Some won't see them. Just like diamond colour. Each consumer should feel enabled to make their own determinations about what he is and isn't sensitive to, and what he should and shouldn't prioritize.

To consumers who've been told that a perfect match is impossible because pearls are organic...
We totally get that the exact colour, shape, and quality of a pearl can't be dictated. But if one of something exists then it's certainly within the realm of reality for two of that something to exist. Vendors, we'll understand if sourcing mates that are matched to an unusual degree is out of budget, or out of scope of what you feel is reasonable to search for. If you tell us that you'd prefer not to take the project on, we'll either take those requests elsewhere or we'll bin them - and either way we'll respect you more for your forthrightness.

To vendors who've told customers that what they're asking for is extremely unlikely to be attainable...
Thank you. "Impossible" vs. "Extremely unlikely". To many of your consumers - that's a really important distinction. "Impossible" carries connotations of "the oyster can't do this", and some of us will want to know why!! "Extremely unlikely" makes clear that expectations may need to be calibrated. On the occasions where I've personally chosen to try anyway, it's been with the understanding that failure is the most likely outcome - and being able to set my own expectations ahead of time was greatly appreciated.

Okay, well. All that said. Reputable pearl vendors have it SO much harder than diamond vendors. Just the existence of globally-respected diamond grading authorities makes everything easier. Diamond vendors aren't really at liberty to upsell however they want... But at the same time diamond vendors aren't wholly responsible for figuring out how to advertise their goods "fairly" since the reports speak for themselves... I do wonder when the pearl industry will catch up to its peers?

https://www.mikimoto.co.uk/uk_en/pearls-in-motion-pendant-white-gold-1

No mention of the Pearl quality though. I wonder if they use their basic level in such designs??
My SA said all the designs that feature akoya are made with A+ quality pearls. From what I saw - some A+ are def nicer than others!! I'd call into a boutique, if there's one that can ship to you, and ask if they can hand-select for you, maybe snap some pics of what they've got in house - a trusted SA would be happy to make sure you're getting the best stuff ::)


@MMtwo Thank you!! Actually a lot of writing day to day but nothing in any traditional sense - I'm a software engineer :)) "Sold out" and moved to sales a few years ago though. Love my team, my work, my company - I'm very lucky :love: I actually had two beloved diamond vendor friends (yet more people I've had the privilege to meet thanks only to PS!!) serve as references for me when I switched. "I vouch for this person's ability to intelligibly and empathetically convey a point to a heterogenous audience". Because goodness knows those aren't exactly skills that software engineers are renown for :lol:

And - you're the third conch fan!! I'm just too much of a nacre boor. But I knew there must be people here on PS who appreciate them!! :bigsmile:


Mikimoto needs to comp her...
:lol: OMG. I'd happily barter for store credit, too, no need to actually part with any of that pesky cash stuff :shifty:


@MakingTheGrade Yes!! VCA across the corner, Tiffany right opposite, Harry Winston a couple doors off, Bulgari and Prada a knight's three hops out, Cartier just far enough down to burn off... At least a quarter of one of the half dozen chocolate pralines you've definitely had by now...


@SparklyBandit We know!! :ugeek: If you fancy dropping another detail or three - y'know, ditto @SparklieBug, feel free :halo:


@munchee I haven't!! One day I *will* go to Ginza, and to the Hong Kong fair. One day. It does seem like - just from reading a couple of forums for a few years - at least with Tahitians, Western buyers often look for cool blues and Asian pearlites often like brighter greens? Mayyybe? I should stop generalizing because I don't actually know anything. I defer to @molinePDG and other tradepeople :bigsmile:
 
Last edited:

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,061
Sooooo.

Anyone care to guess what was left at the side entrance between the screen and the door?

Thank goodness the other half thought to look :errrr: And before I checked the tracking again - lucky save from guaranteed panic!!

I have to be up at six tomorrow so no time to play tonight ;( Tomorrow will be pearlapalooza out here :bigsmile:

3D7741B4-B6BE-43E6-ACB1-C9DDE79F1925.jpeg
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,362
I’m really glad they got to you safely after their unaccompanied wait at the door! Did you open the parcel, just not have time for photos? You have willpower of steel if the box stayed sealed shut!

(I honestly think delivery companies are taking the **** as a result of the pandemic. They shouldn’t be requiring signatures (no way I want to touch a pen or screen that hundreds have touched before me) but some kind of faceless photo to confirm receipt shouldn’t be beyond the bounds of feasibility. Companies started doing that here in the U.K. initially - the driver would snap a pic of parcel and open front door (nothing identifiable) to confirm delivery - but have now taken to just dumping stuff at the door without even ringing the bell. Fine for an Amazon parcel, less fine for the only pair of AAA Mikis in their size in the US!)
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
22,039
I have to say that the colours really appeal to me too, and the subtle flame pattern. I really covet these earrings, as well the miki ring you posted Yssie.
995E1A39-28DF-4908-8690-F10391DB127B.jpeg

Total yumyumyum.............
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
22,039
OMG. Y'all are SO sweet!! And I'm feeling so flattered catching up here right now ::) :love: :bigsmile: :halo:

Gotta say it's been a great couple of days here!! Human family health crisis is under control. Feline family health crisis isn't just under control - cat is making a headliner miracle sort of recovery. And my studs come in this evening :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:


@diamondseeker2006 Thank you!! ❤️

A museum is a fantastic description actually. And I think the NYC location is effectively the "American flagship" - pearls aren't big anywhere in the US, but within what popularity they do have - they're certainly more of an east coast thing. One day, when we can all travel and gather again!

You know I would delightedly choose pearls for you!! Ain't nothing better than, um, #EnjoyingTheBuy with someone else's money? :lol:


@m-2-b Welcome!! Here you'll find innovative and inspiring ways to divest your purse of its contents with bouying assurance that pearls are *much* more cost-effective than diamonds :twisted2::appl::oops:

I actually took my camera but I forgot to replace the battery ;( So my poor phone got a workout!! It's all charged up and I've got my flowers ready for tomorrow ::)


@bling_dream19 You're such a sweetheart. ❤️I adore PS for giving me a way to "meet" people like you.

"The facts are facts". You say that so easily! And I know you mean it easily, because that's how you are. I do think there are a lot of people who really don't care for facts though. I guess I'm thinking of the same thing that @Snowdrop13 brings up, which @diamondseeker2006 mentioned as well.

@Snowdrop13 I understand exactly what you mean.

I'll try not to rant too much. But. I can't count number of times I've seen consumer commentary to the effect of "you can do just as well as Mikimoto for less at ${personally preferred vendor}". And I always wonder whether the person who's making that statement has actually done her own in-person comparisons? It's tempting to believe. But it's just not true. Dominance of the east Asian pearl market prevents it from being true.

I get what they're getting at. Other vendors can get close enough for most people. Close enough for most people at considerable savings. But "close enough for most people" isn't going to be good enough for everyone. There are always going to be folks who want zero-compromise pearls. And folks who don't want zero-compromise pearls, but maybe want more than "good enough for most people" and are willing to pay for marginal improvements. Removing those disclaimers disguises a subjective calculation of value for money as an equivalence of best quality, and that turns what should be a venue for discussion into an echo chamber.

People always say that everyone's priorities are different. They are!! And it's even more than that - even the same person might have different priorities for different projects. Me, I might want zero-compromise earrings but I'm perfectly happy with some-compromise strands. But... I need to be able to decide that for myself. And I'll notice minutiae, and I won't appreciate being oversold on quality, so I want a prosumer to tell me what my options are without any predetermination of value for money, and I want a vendor to give me an unvarnished, unapologetic, non-defensive appraisal of what they've got and what they want for it.

If I could somehow reach all vendors and consumers that my PS friends have interacted with - these are some things that I'd love to say...

To consumers who've been informed that larger pearls are always going to be less lustrous than smaller pearls...
Larger pearls can be every bit as visually lustrous, smooth, and contrasty as the best of any smaller pearls. They're just very rare. And maybe they're out of budget. Or maybe the vendor(s) you're talking to don't sell them. Maybe both. None of those translates into "they don't exist", and there are some vendors who can get you no-compromise pearls, if that's what you want. The pearl buying experience is already fraught with unknowns - let's help each other by squelching this sort of blanket-statement misinformation.

To consumers who've been told that they won't see the difference, or that they won't see the difference without a loupe...
Well, first things first - we all know that noone ever looks at or compares pearls with a loupe so vendors and advisors, lose the hyperbole would ya? Those differences - some consumers will see them and will care. Some will see them and won't care. Some won't see them. Just like diamond colour. Each consumer should feel enabled to make their own determinations about what he is and isn't sensitive to, and what he should and shouldn't prioritize.

To consumers who've been told that a perfect match is impossible because pearls are organic...
We totally get that the exact colour, shape, and quality of a pearl can't be dictated. But if one of something exists then it's certainly within the realm of reality for two of that something to exist. Vendors, we'll understand if sourcing mates that are matched to an unusual degree is out of budget, or out of scope of what you feel is reasonable to search for. If you tell us that you'd prefer not to take the project on, we'll either take those requests elsewhere or we'll bin them - and either way we'll respect you more for your forthrightness.

To vendors who've told customers that what they're asking for is extremely unlikely to be attainable...
Thank you. "Impossible" vs. "Extremely unlikely". To many of your consumers - that's a really important distinction. "Impossible" carries connotations of "the oyster can't do this", and some of us will want to know why!! "Extremely unlikely" makes clear that expectations may need to be calibrated. On the occasions where I've personally chosen to try anyway, it's been with the understanding that failure is the most likely outcome - and being able to set my own expectations ahead of time was greatly appreciated.

Okay, well. All that said. Reputable pearl vendors have it SO much harder than diamond vendors. Just the existence of globally-respected diamond grading authorities makes everything easier. Diamond vendors aren't really at liberty to upsell however they want... But at the same time diamond vendors aren't wholly responsible for figuring out how to advertise their goods "fairly" since the reports speak for themselves... I do wonder when the pearl industry will catch up to its peers?


My SA said all the designs that feature akoya are made with A+ quality pearls. From what I saw - some A+ are def nicer than others!! I'd call into a boutique, if there's one that can ship to you, and ask if they can hand-select for you, maybe snap some pics of what they've got in house - a trusted SA would be happy to make sure you're getting the best stuff ::)


@MMtwo Thank you!! Actually a lot of writing day to day but nothing in any traditional sense - I'm a software engineer :)) "Sold out" and moved to sales a few years ago though. Love my team, my work, my company - I'm very lucky :love: I actually had two beloved diamond vendor friends (yet more people I've had the privilege to meet thanks only to PS!!) serve as references for me when I switched. "I vouch for this person's ability to intelligibly and empathetically convey a point to a heterogenous audience". Because goodness knows those aren't exactly skills that software engineers are renown for :lol:

And - you're the third conch fan!! I'm just too much of a nacre boor. But I knew there must be people here on PS who appreciate them!! :bigsmile:



:lol: OMG. I'd happily barter for store credit, too, no need to actually part with any of that pesky cash stuff :shifty:


@MakingTheGrade Yes!! VCA across the corner, Tiffany right opposite, Harry Winston a couple doors off, Bulgari and Prada a knight's three hops out, Cartier just far enough down to burn off... At least a quarter of one of the half dozen chocolate pralines you've definitely had by now...


@SparklyBandit We know!! :ugeek: If you fancy dropping another detail or three - y'know, ditto @SparklieBug, feel free :halo:


@munchee I haven't!! One day I *will* go to Ginza, and to the Hong Kong fair. One day. It does seem like - just from reading a couple of forums for a few years - at least with Tahitians, Western buyers often look for cool blues and Asian pearlites often like brighter greens? Mayyybe? I should stop generalizing because I don't actually know anything. I defer to @molinePDG and other tradepeople :bigsmile:

+ a billion.
 
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