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AA+ or AAA? Pearl overtones? at Pearl Paradise

Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
33
I have a strand of pearls with matching studs I received years ago as a 21st birthday gift. They are about 7mm, and more than likely freshwater pearls. I had the strand restrung in the fall, and they are 19" long. I have been thinking of getting bigger pearls...also a shorter strand. So, I went into several jewelry stores yesterday trying on their pearls. Lots of fun! I had originally thought I would like a pair of studs close to 10mm, but found that I really like the 8 - 8 1/2"mm strand and 8 1/2 - 9mm studs. At two of the stores I tried on akoya pearls, and thought they were just gorgeous. One strand was Mikimoto, and the other was Tiffany & Co. I did not ask about the overtones of the Mikimoto pearls, but liked them best. The Tiffany ones were clearly rose. The salesperson confirmed it.

I have my eye on placing an order with Pearl Paradise. Now my questions are this - were the Mikimoto pearls white with a silver overtone? They certainly weren't rose, or cream so that leaves silver, right? At the top of this page is a model wearing pearls. Do they have the silver overtone? They just look white to me! :confused: http://www.pearlparadise.com/c-256-white-pearls.aspx

Also, what grade would you suggest? It will cost almost $600 to upgrade from AA+ to AAA on a 16" strand. http://www.pearlparadise.com/p-36-80-85-mm-white-akoya-pearl-necklace.aspx The upgrade on the earrings is $84. http://www.pearlparadise.com/p-80-85-90-mm-white-akoya-pearl-stud-earrings.aspx . I want to be happy with these for a LONG time! The Mikimoto website also has different grades, but I do not see that with Tiffany. In my eyes they were equally beautiful (I just did not care for the rose color of the Tiffany pearls).

Thanks for any insight!!
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
900
First, Mikimoto and Tiffany are brands, each has all types of pearls. So whatever overtone you happened to see is not just how that whole brand is. Also, many pearls have both rose and silver overtones so it doesn't have to be just one.

On the PP page you've indicated, it looks like silver overtones to me, (appearing bright white) with the earrings looking more like rose overtones to me. In general, you probably want overtones that contrast with your skin so the pearls "pop." If you're very fair, rose looks good and if you tend to be more ruddy, silver looks good, for example. If you show pics of your earlobe and neckline, we might be able to help you with choosing, if you want. And of course overtones are just that and not anything nearly as drastic as the pearl body color (like white, golden, black, peach, lavender...)

Especially after hanging out on the pearly boards for a few years, I would not get Mikimoto or Tiffany because you pay a high premium just for the brand which is not the same as higher quality pearls. Unless of course you just lurve that authentic Miki (or Tiffany) clasp and nothing else will do.

If you'd rather have the price break or higher quality pearls (which can include shape, luster, and/or flaws) is up to you. You might ask to see pics of the two strands you're considering, one in AA+ and one in AAA. Or go ahead and order both then send back the one you prefer less.

Also, as far as price goes, you may want to consider a top grade freshwater strand instead (for example, "Freshadama" if you go with PP. That's a step above their AAA grade). That should compare favorably to the akoya pearl price but akoyas have a "harder" (more mirror-like) luster. On the other hand, freshwaters are usually pure nacre and won't wear down to the shell bead over time like akoyas. Then there are the white metallic freshwaters, which rival akoya luster but tend to be a little off-round. The freshwaters also come in different overtone shades. And there too, you can order a few strands unknotted then decide after seeing them in person if you want to.

Another possibility would be to order the strand in AA+ and AAA on the earrings, (whether akoya or freshwaters) since they are more noticeable standing alone as they do, and also not as expensive of an upgrade. Good luck!
 

ennui

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
995
seaurchin|1460940182|4020608 said:
Another possibility would be to order the strand in AA+ and AAA on the earrings, (whether akoya or freshwaters) since they are more noticeable standing alone as they do, and also not as expensive of an upgrade. Good luck!
Good advice.

If it were me, I might order a freshwater necklace and Akoya earrings.

Whatever you decide, I suggest ordering the earrings and necklace at the same time, so that the vendor can match them.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
33
Thank you for the comments. I thought I would post a little update. I looked into the Freshadama necklace, but they did not have the size I wanted in stock. So, I sent an email asking about that size which in turn opened up a wonderful dialogue with Jeremy. After getting side by side pictures of the Hanadama and Freshadama strands I decided to go with the 16" 8.5 - 9mm Freshadama strand. I thought it was interesting that the strand has the smaller pearls near the clasp (8.5mm in my case) and goes up to the high end of the range in the middle (9mm). When you look at the strand you really can't see that difference at all.

After yet more pictures I decided to go with the 9.5 - 10mm Freshadama earrings. Again, the one size up earrings (9 - 9.5mm) would not have provided a visual difference. So, we shall see! I am quite excited, but a little anxious too.

The last message Jeremy sent said "I chose a strand that had a good mix of silver and rose, which really makes it look like a strand of fine akoya. I found a pair of freshadama studs that had silver and rose orient within the individual pearls as well, so I think it goes great with the strand. I hope you love the set!"
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
33
Well, they did arrive! My first thought was they are SO pretty!! The size is just right, and the length is too. They have tremendous luster.

Pictures...

img_11777.jpg

img_11778.jpg

good_length.jpg

perfect_size.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
33
So... I have had them for a little while now, and have inspected them pretty thoroughly. I noticed a couple of "spots", and contacted Jeremy with my questions. He said, "I would be happy to replace any pearls in the strand that you're not happy with if you would like to send it back to my attention via the pre-paid label." In a way, I hate to part with them! What would you do? A couple of dimples and surface marks... is that worth the hassle? I am going to attach pictures. Hopefully you can see what I see.

dimples1.jpg

surface_marks.jpg
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,497
I would send them to be fixed. The memory of the hassle will fade. If you don't, you'll be looking at the blemishes forever. (Or at least know they are there...which is equally if not more important). You paid a premium price for freshadama quality for that strand (which is gorgeous btw). You deserve the full quality (i.e. Practically blemish free) that you've paid for. Besides, PP wants you to be happy with your purchases, and it's worth it to them to replace a couple of pearls to make it so.
 

Siameseroo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
1,475
Wow your pearls are gorgeous, look at that luster!! :love:

I'd also have the inferior pearls replaced. Personally, it would continue to bug me otherwise!
 
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