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Choosing Pearl Earrings

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
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I’ve been wanting a pair of pearl drop earrings. My husband asked what they cost, and I told him that the ones I’m looking at seem to range from $500 to over $3000. He suggested that I look into getting “a pair of the very nicest” as my Christmas present. I have looked at tons of old threads and have decided to go with Pearl Paradise. I really love their Eternal Collection leverback earring hooks. I’m deciding between the largest natural white Hanadama option (9.5-10mm), which they’re out of at the moment but will restock soon, and larger white South Sea ones. I have a picture from them of the comparison of luster, and I think I’d be fine with either. So I guess it comes down to the weight my poor ears can handle. I’m actually kind of a wimp in that department. So here are possibilities. Any advice for me?

6D7C2108-272F-4584-A42B-A0A0BA566E77.jpeg
 

yssie

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Tourmaline

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If you’re willing to use BlingDots (you’ve got the put them on, so it’s a bit more work) that opens up a world of weight possibilities ::)


I don’t have large ear holes. In fact, they’re tiny. I just feel pain within a half hour of wearing even slightly heavy earrings. Would it help with that?
 

elizat

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I would weigh whatever earrings feel comfortable to you and figure out what weight you can tolerate. The bling dots help, but my guess is WSS are going to be too large and too heavy.

PP should be able to give a weight range of what you are looking at, but my guess would be you end up finding akoya a more comfortable weight.

The luster and appearance is different. Akoya are sharper and shinier and WSS are a softer metallic sheen. I like both, but akoya are a bit "louder" when you consider the luster factor of a high grade.

I would get photos of the actual pearls and not just let them pick as well, when it comes time to buy.
 

Tourmaline

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How big are your ear lobes?
I have large ear lobes and I find that pearl sizes that would work just fine for studs just look too small on me when worn as dangles. These are 8-9mm Freshadamas and they just seem too small:
727788

I think I have average to large earlobes, and I’m not thin in general, so I guess my head isn’t small, haha. I feel like I need bigger presence. I’m thinking somewhere between 11 and 13mm. I’ve ordered faux (not plastic, so comparably weighted) ones from Amazon to try and see how they look and feel.
 

Tourmaline

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Here are a couple of mine. They're both metallic freshwater drop pearls, 10-11mm/11-12mm. The white gold settings are Pearl Paradise Eternal and the yellow gold are Pearl Paradise Blossom settings, which I don't think they stock anymore. I bought the pearls separately because I wanted larger ones.



Pearl Earrings1.jpg Pearl Earrings2.jpg Pearl Earrings3.jpg

Thank you! This is very helpful.

I’ve been speaking to Makenna at Pearl Paradise, and she gave me the weights of three pairs. I was able to try on earrings I have (I also have a scale that measures in grams) and figure that I could handle up to 12-13, but not bigger than that. I think the particular ones are closer to 12. I may or may not get them right away, but I do think it’s worth a little pain to go bigger than Akoyas.
 

seaurchin

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The drop pearls look larger since they're measured "around." These sizes are my sweet spot as far as being large enough to seem a little showy but not too showy for everyday as well as special occasions. Or I could go larger with danglies. For studs, 11mm rounds are perfect for me. Smaller (on me and to me) lacks wow factor and larger starts to look like I have on/off knobs on my head lol.

That's a good idea to try out some inexpensive faux pearl earrings to see what size looks best on you. Or you could chew up some gum and roll it into balls that size, then stick them on your earlobes. Oh, if you do, please post pics haha!
 

yssie

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(1) 9.6mm akoya, round, loose, half-drilled = 1.3g
(1) 11.9mm WSS, round, loose, half-drilled = 2.4g
(1) 12.6mm WSS, round, loose, undrilled = 2.9g
(1) 13.4mm WSS, round, loose, undrilled = 3.5g
 

yssie

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I personally prefer a slightly thicker wire (18 gauge) for long or heavy dangles. Thin wires behave like knives in the piercing - they cut downward. Thicker wires are a bit less knife-like. But your piercing (the hole itself) needs to be large enough to handle the thicker wire.
 

Tourmaline

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I personally prefer a slightly thicker wire (18 gauge) for long or heavy dangles. Thin wires behave like knives in the piercing - they cut downward. Thicker wires are a bit less knife-like. But your piercing (the hole itself) needs to be large enough to handle the thicker wire.

Hmm. How thin is the Eternal hook? Do you know? As into jewelry as I am, I find myself so clueless about this.
 

pearlsngems

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My WSS dangles have 20 gauge ear wire. For me that is perfect. 18 gauge would be too thick for my piercing.

The GSS dangles came with the lightweight gold leverback finding shown, and so far I find it comfortable. A heavier weight finding would be sturdier, but this is okay. I don't feel like it cuts downward into my lobe. But if this finding ever breaks I'll look for a heavier one..
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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Well, even if there is (I have no idea), some stretch and some shrink.

i feel that kind of pain so i shell be watching your thread with great interest
im going to so love what ever you get !

I've only come to realize my top piercings must be a different size
everything gets so complicated
 

Tourmaline

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If you’re willing to use BlingDots (you’ve got the put them on, so it’s a bit more work) that opens up a world of weight possibilities ::)


I got some Blingdots and, my goodness, you are right! They are a game changer! Thank you!
 

Tourmaline

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I am in NYC today because my daughter is going to be playing violin at Carnegie Hall tonight, and I had some time, so I went to Mikimoto, and it was really fun! I was able to educate my eyes, and it turns out I love South Sea pearls! Here are some that I compared. The little ones are Akoyas.

0DFD7F15-F141-47FF-92BD-ACC3C80820D5.jpeg

I love this pair of 11.9mm WSS!

6E23B1B0-94E6-4E27-8122-F55E86E62A90.jpeg

Here it is again, compared with a 10mm pair.

570EF6DE-9F14-4F83-A50B-744066B9584A.jpeg

What fun!
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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I am in NYC today because my daughter is going to be playing violin at Carnegie Hall tonight, and I had some time, so I went to Mikimoto, and it was really fun! I was able to educate my eyes, and it turns out I love South Sea pearls! Here are some that I compared. The little ones are Akoyas.

0DFD7F15-F141-47FF-92BD-ACC3C80820D5.jpeg

I love this pair of 11.9mm WSS!

6E23B1B0-94E6-4E27-8122-F55E86E62A90.jpeg

Here it is again, compared with a 10mm pair.

570EF6DE-9F14-4F83-A50B-744066B9584A.jpeg

What fun!

what an amazing day you are having :kiss2:
are you wearing pearls to the concert ?
 

Tourmaline

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what an amazing day you are having :kiss2:
are you wearing pearls to the concert ?

It really is quite a day! No, I don’t have pearls yet! Haha. In fact, I left my jewelry home except simple wedding bands (three thin ones). I am a country girl, and it’s somewhat backwards, but I don’t feel comfortable in the city at all, let alone wearing expensive jewelry. But I love to wear it at home and in my community. We live hours from the city.

Those earrings I saw today were so beautiful! I want to spend like half of what they cost, though. So I plan to go with Pearl Paradise. But I wish I could justify Mikimotos. They’re lovely, and the experience was fantastic.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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It really is quite a day! No, I don’t have pearls yet! Haha. In fact, I left my jewelry home except simple wedding bands (three thin ones). I am a country girl, and it’s somewhat backwards, but I don’t feel comfortable in the city at all, let alone wearing expensive jewelry. But I love to wear it at home and in my community. We live hours from the city.

Those earrings I saw today were so beautiful! I want to spend like half of what they cost, though. So I plan to go with Pearl Paradise. But I wish I could justify Mikimotos. They’re lovely, and the experience was fantastic.

have a wonderful evening being a proud country momma :kiss2:
 

yssie

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I am in NYC today because my daughter is going to be playing violin at Carnegie Hall tonight, and I had some time, so I went to Mikimoto, and it was really fun! I was able to educate my eyes, and it turns out I love South Sea pearls! Here are some that I compared. The little ones are Akoyas.

0DFD7F15-F141-47FF-92BD-ACC3C80820D5.jpeg

I love this pair of 11.9mm WSS!

6E23B1B0-94E6-4E27-8122-F55E86E62A90.jpeg

Here it is again, compared with a 10mm pair.

570EF6DE-9F14-4F83-A50B-744066B9584A.jpeg

What fun!

I would recognize that reflection pattern anywhere!! :love: That boutique’s lighting is so distinctive it might as well be a logo :lol:

That 11.9 pair is really nice!! And that teal pair, OMG :cool2:

Yeah… Miki pricing is… Really something… :???: I wouldn’t pay their premium for south seas. Such a great place to go ogle gorgeous pearls though :love:

Did you try any on? Pics!? ::)
 

Tourmaline

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I would recognize that reflection pattern anywhere!! :love: That boutique’s lighting is so distinctive it might as well be a logo :lol:

That 11.9 pair is really nice!! And that teal pair, OMG :cool2:

Yeah… Miki pricing is… Really something… :???: I wouldn’t pay their premium for south seas. Such a great place to go ogle gorgeous pearls though :love:

Did you try any on? Pics!? ::)

I didn’t try any on, just held them up in front of the mirror. I really do want big ones, like 12-13mm. Yes, the pricing is quite something. Haha.

The showroom is special. They offered me champagne (I declined). I really was happy to see the luster and see my own preferences in person. I’ll now know what to ask for if I order online.
 

Tourmaline

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@yssie A salesperson at Mikimoto said she hears people talk about bleaching and pinking, and she insists that Mikimoto’s pearls are never treated at all in those or any other ways. Is she misinformed about that? It was in front of a senior salesperson, and he didn’t contradict her.
 

yssie

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@yssie A salesperson at Mikimoto said she hears people talk about bleaching and pinking, and she insists that Mikimoto’s pearls are never treated at all in those or any other ways. Is she misinformed about that? It was in front of a senior salesperson, and he didn’t contradict her.

Yeah… I was told the same thing and I was disinclined to believe it. I think that sometimes the SAs hear “scary words” and jump to reassure their customers that their pearls aren’t dyed - without distinguishing between generally acceptable and unacceptable treatments. I’d believe either ignorance or inclination to simplify too much.

But even if they aren’t “pinked” or “bleached” explicitly, all akoya and WSS that pass through Japan will go through maeshori and goodness knows that word can mean a million different things to different farms and processing facilities. Including “stain removal” (which could be accomplished by, um, treating with whitening agents) and “surface enhancement” (which could be accomplished by, y’know, leaving the pearls in a bottle of pink dye for a while)…

Reason number two trillion the pearls industry desperately needs some sort of universal grading standards :rolleyes:
 
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