shape
carat
color
clarity

Another “Help Me Pick” from Takahashi please!

syndrome

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
39
No.

I cannot speak to pricing. No idea.

I strongly caution against trying to create any cross-vendor grade equivalence, it will fail. Most vendors grade their own product on a sliding scale that adjusts for size and overall quality of a given batch - Mikimoto does not.

My recommendation is in post #27.

I beg your pardon for misunderstanding you. I am merely trying to synthesize all this information and come to a conclusion on what to purchase. Thanks very much for your time and feedback.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
24,660
I beg your pardon for misunderstanding you. I am merely trying to synthesize all this information and come to a conclusion on what to purchase. Thanks very much for your time and feedback.

Oh you’re fine! I just reread what I wrote and in trying to convey “really really REALLY don’t do this…” my internet tone turned a bit brusque, sorry about that. Wasn’t intentional.

People do have very differing opinions on branded goods. If you go to the other forum (I can’t say which, but the one that specializes in purses) you’ll see a lot of people who buy pearls recommending Mikimoto, but suggesting buying A or A+. Total opposite of MY recommendation. I think there are a couple of reasons for that… First is that that forum tends to attract people who appreciate branded goods above non-branded, details of quality aside. Many of the people who are making that recommendation will freely state that they don’t see a difference, or don’t see enough of a difference to merit the pricepoint for a higher grade. We PSers are on the whole both much more analytical, we’re more likely to note nuances in quality. And second is that we’re also generally more inclined to take the time and effort to search for The Best, or look for Best Value/Deal. We don’t tend to value the convenience factor of just buying from a big name and being done with the project as highly as that other demographic.

So the general consensus on that forum is buy Miki to guarantee a minimum quality, but buy the lowest quality within that brand unless you know you’ll appreciate the difference. If you were asking this question there, that’s the response you would get. But you asked here, not there, so you’re getting PS opinions! Amongst them mine - and my opinion is that you can easily beat the lowest Miki qualities with a little searching so don’t bother paying the brand premium unless you’re getting a commensurately valuable product.

For what you and @ittypea want - My no-hesitation recommendation is Takahashi and pocket the difference.
 
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ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
Keeping in mind that pearls chosen for earrings are usually the nicest within a given grade - here is Takahashi’s best (strand best) compared to Mikimoto’s A+ (default quality used in their signature designs). These are smaller pearls - under 8mm.

1FA30DED-833A-4511-9C72-CB055D50FAD7.jpeg

F1C2C90E-133C-4CB4-9D7A-0B6430DB2ACE.jpeg

6E7F5F47-24BC-48F4-B16A-37B93A49B442.jpeg

i Love the dainty design and the flowers!! FYI mikimoto offered to use the extra AA pearls to make a station bracelet bc I wanted a shorter necklace, however only with the basic station bracelet design.

@syndrome Disclaimer that I don’t have much experience with pearls, I’m a newb but I did a lot of reading bc I’m nerdy :) like that. Just want to go over my thought process…

I chose Takahashi after doing a little research bc they fit my budget the best! My husband wanted to pick the best quality necklace and he clearly had a higher budget in mind, so we went with Mikimoto AA. To us between A+ and AA there was huge jump in quality that was worth the extra $$.

Now I want to get my mom a strand with larger diameter whilst still of great quality, but I don’t have the budget to buy similar size and from Miki or Moline (though if $$ wasn’t an issue I would obviously consider both!). I think at some point I simply can’t find bargain when it comes to the tippy top 1%… However, personally, at this stage of my life, I’m ok with getting “better than most” while getting a good value!

I also liked the idea that I get to select the strand with Takahashi SA’s help, which to me felt a lot more personal than ordering a strand from a website that has generic photos of the pearls simply labeled “AAA” or Hanadama.
 
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ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
@syndrome One more thing, whilst I don't have much basis for brand comparison, I did walk from the Tiffany's store to Mikimoto the same day. I can say that day for those two particular stores, that without a doubt, that even Mikimoto's A+ was better than the Tiffany essential akoya strands ( they did not have the Tiffany signature strands available). I said to myself that I'll stick with Tiffany's for diamonds and the design factor.

Another brand that I'd love to consider is Tasaki, if and when I get to travel to Asia. I've really liked some of their designs! Very modern.
 

syndrome

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
39
Oh you’re fine! I just reread what I wrote and in trying to convey “really really REALLY don’t do this…” my internet tone turned a bit brusque, sorry about that. Wasn’t intentional.

People do have very differing opinions on branded goods. If you go to the other forum (I can’t say which, but the one that specializes in purses) you’ll see a lot of people who buy pearls recommending Mikimoto, but suggesting buying A or A+. Total opposite of MY recommendation. I think there are a couple of reasons for that… First is that that forum tends to attract people who appreciate branded goods above non-branded, details of quality aside. Many of the people who are making that recommendation will freely state that they don’t see a difference, or don’t see enough of a difference to merit the pricepoint for a higher grade. We PSers are on the whole both much more analytical, we’re more likely to note nuances in quality. And second is that we’re also generally more inclined to take the time and effort to search for The Best, or look for Best Value/Deal. We don’t tend to value the convenience factor of just buying from a big name and being done with the project as highly as that other demographic.

So the general consensus on that forum is buy Miki to guarantee a minimum quality, but buy the lowest quality within that brand unless you know you’ll appreciate the difference. If you were asking this question there, that’s the response you would get. But you asked here, not there, so you’re getting PS opinions! Amongst them mine - and my opinion is that you can easily beat the lowest Miki qualities with a little searching so don’t bother paying the brand premium unless you’re getting a commensurately valuable product.

For what you and @ittypea want - My no-hesitation recommendation is Takahashi and pocket the difference.
Thank you again for sharing your pearls of wisdom on this topic! I have thoroughly appreciated and consumed all the pearl posts I could find from you on the subject.

Budget is fluid and I wasn’t able to convey my thoughts very clearly in my earlier post. I’m now at the point where I’m deciding between Takahashi at xxx price point or Mikimoto AA-AAA at $XXXX price point. I’ve taken Mikimoto A out of contention. A fun first world problem to be sure!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
24,660
I’m replying in your thread to not hijack @ittypea’s ::)
 
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Crystal_Dreams

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
796
@Crystal_Dreams thanks! I just asked as you’ve suggested. She says both the necklaces would be considered hanadama! Neither of them is officially certified yet. One is just so much prettier! She says if you don’t put them side by side then the cheaper necklace would be just as stunning. But I couldn’t unsee what I saw!

if anyone has purchase a necklace from Takahashi, could you comment on the silver clasp? I’m a little worried about a silver clasp tarnishing and if I need to polish it, would I ruin the pearls?

You can get a gold clasp for extra. They are able to source many different types of clasps for you, just ask!
 

ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
My stuff arrived all the way from Japan! I took a few quick snaps and know nothing about how to photograph pearls, sorry for the poor quality.

I asked for everything to be unstrung so I can have some fun DIY and make my mom’s necklace myself… wowzers, is it a hard feat!!! I’ve cut all the knots out twice so far… but im getting the hang of the French wire loop so I can quickly start a strand now.

Any ways, I enjoy having the loose pearls sitting around because it’s pretty to look at! Im also not thrilled about the earring posts I purchased from ebay, so if anyone has good source for 14k stud posts please do share where you get it from!!

I was a little disappointed with the earrings but it is my fault for not asking for “top grade” and only asking for “top luster” so there are a couple of blemishes. I got a great deal though. I think next step is to see how much I enjoy these earrings and there will be an occasion to upgrade if I ever want to pursue the best quality.

D1D619B9-06CD-49D4-A323-F999FB01625D.jpeg 27EE3D39-213F-42E6-8DC4-2867FFF75F5C.jpeg 0BA0A4EF-19A9-4E40-BD87-1D22C744F155.jpeg

Edit to add a bonus hand shot bc I like the multicolor baby strand as a potential bracelet alongside my mixed color e-ring/band stack.
Can’t decide to keep the baby strand as a necklace or bracelet! Thoughts anyone??
 

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Sprinkles&Stones

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
1,709
My stuff arrived all the way from Japan! I took a few quick snaps and know nothing about how to photograph pearls, sorry for the poor quality.

I asked for everything to be unstrung so I can have some fun DIY and make my mom’s necklace myself… wowzers, is it a hard feat!!! I’ve cut all the knots out twice so far… but im getting the hang of the French wire loop so I can quickly start a strand now.

Any ways, I enjoy having the loose pearls sitting around because it’s pretty to look at! Im also not thrilled about the earring posts I purchased from ebay, so if anyone has good source for 14k stud posts please do share where you get it from!!

I was a little disappointed with the earrings but it is my fault for not asking for “top grade” and only asking for “top luster” so there are a couple of blemishes. I got a great deal though. I think next step is to see how much I enjoy these earrings and there will be an occasion to upgrade if I ever want to pursue the best quality.

D1D619B9-06CD-49D4-A323-F999FB01625D.jpeg 27EE3D39-213F-42E6-8DC4-2867FFF75F5C.jpeg 0BA0A4EF-19A9-4E40-BD87-1D22C744F155.jpeg

Edit to add a bonus hand shot bc I like the multicolor baby strand as a potential bracelet alongside my mixed color e-ring/band stack.
Can’t decide to keep the baby strand as a necklace or bracelet! Thoughts anyone??

holy moly those are gorgeous! congrats and good luck!
 

ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
holy moly those are gorgeous! congrats and good luck!

Thanks!! I’m so pleased with the necklace Takahashi and you guys help me pick. 88918306-31DE-489A-8E0E-FB20A12F6877.jpeg BC1B0A59-4E7E-4E71-978D-7CE7C5499FAA.jpeg

and updates again:

I fought with stringing and I had a small victory after the 4th time redoing it! Excuse the free ends which I’m waiting to glue them down then trim. I’m so glad it all got done before Christmas! Can’t wait to spoil my mom!
 

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Crystal_Dreams

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
796
They’re beautiful! Good job on stringing too- it looks nice and neat!

if you’re in the US, I would check out Bella findings. Otherwise, takahashi actually sells some decent quality findings for a reasonable price!
 

ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
They’re beautiful! Good job on stringing too- it looks nice and neat!

if you’re in the US, I would check out Bella findings. Otherwise, takahashi actually sells some decent quality findings for a reasonable price!

Thanks!

I'm in the US, just checked out Bella findings and see quite a few options. Do you happen to know the difference between 14K gold vs gold filled? I saw some and the price range vary a lot ($1 - $30) and all found under "14K gold"; I want to make sure it is not just gold plated and is good quality/sturdy.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
15,643
I’ve not compared Mikimoto’s A against any other pearls. However, I personally don’t think the Mikimoto brand name is worth the premium unless you’re getting their best product as well.

When you buy Mikimoto AAA you know you’re getting the best that’s out there, from anyone. Even AA, in the larger sizes. A, though, those pearls are nice but not special or unique or rare - at this grade a plain strand commands no cachet outside of its brand association.

I will pay a brand premium for a premium product or specialty design, but I don’t recommend paying for a premium name on an unremarkable product.

good to keep in mind
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
15,643
My stuff arrived all the way from Japan! I took a few quick snaps and know nothing about how to photograph pearls, sorry for the poor quality.

I asked for everything to be unstrung so I can have some fun DIY and make my mom’s necklace myself… wowzers, is it a hard feat!!! I’ve cut all the knots out twice so far… but im getting the hang of the French wire loop so I can quickly start a strand now.

Any ways, I enjoy having the loose pearls sitting around because it’s pretty to look at! Im also not thrilled about the earring posts I purchased from ebay, so if anyone has good source for 14k stud posts please do share where you get it from!!

I was a little disappointed with the earrings but it is my fault for not asking for “top grade” and only asking for “top luster” so there are a couple of blemishes. I got a great deal though. I think next step is to see how much I enjoy these earrings and there will be an occasion to upgrade if I ever want to pursue the best quality.

D1D619B9-06CD-49D4-A323-F999FB01625D.jpeg 27EE3D39-213F-42E6-8DC4-2867FFF75F5C.jpeg 0BA0A4EF-19A9-4E40-BD87-1D22C744F155.jpeg

Edit to add a bonus hand shot bc I like the multicolor baby strand as a potential bracelet alongside my mixed color e-ring/band stack.
Can’t decide to keep the baby strand as a necklace or bracelet! Thoughts anyone??

im sorry i somehow missed this thead
i am very impressed you are having a go at knotting
your Christmas gift baclets will be awsome practice
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,620
Do you happen to know the difference between 14K gold vs gold filled? I saw some and the price range vary a lot ($1 - $30) and all found under "14K gold"; I want to make sure it is not just gold plated and is good quality/sturdy.

Gold filled is a layer of gold bonded over a base metal. It’s the same principle as gold plated but a thicker layer of the precious metal, so it’s much more durable than plated.
 

ittypea

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
49
Gold filled is a layer of gold bonded over a base metal. It’s the same principle as gold plated but a thicker layer of the precious metal, so it’s much more durable than plated.
That is so good to know because I’m a newb and it didn’t make sense why everything said 14k but prices varied widely. Thanks!!
 
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