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Choosing Pearl Earrings

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yssie

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I got pictures from Pearl Paradise of “the most lustrous” available pearls and I’m underwhelmed.
F747295D-903C-451B-B4C8-2EE1E71B1758.jpeg
@yssie What do you think?

Pearl Paradise’s photos suck. That pair doesn’t look matched in that photo, but it looks like the lighting is also not even… Can they take some more photos for you? Ask for pics on skin and in sunlight, too.
 

Tourmaline

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Pearl Paradise’s photos suck. That pair doesn’t look matched in that photo, but it looks like the lighting is also not even… Can they take some more photos for you? Ask for pics on skin and in sunlight, too.

Do you have any comparisons of Pearl Paradise’s photos vs your own photos of the same pearls?
 

yssie

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Actually I found several in my inbox ::)

These are PP pics - I chose (A). This is my 11-12mm pair of WSS from PP.

FDB85EBF-3416-4E7F-8BDD-7BB8D2EDADA6.jpeg B2A5E6C0-0221-4A0F-AE7F-4341951BD8D4.jpeg 107E2347-17C9-42BA-BF7C-C1784C77DE47.jpeg 3C194777-6EED-4F9B-A5D3-8AE001A08524.jpeg 4DA40997-DEDF-4188-AAE6-F23E3C151F50.jpeg
 

yssie

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And here they are - same pair - compared to Mikimoto WSS (this link should take you right to the start of a few Miki comp posts)
 
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Tourmaline

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And here they are - same pair - compared to Mikimoto WSS (this link should take you right to the start of a few Miki comp posts)

Thank you! Your pictures are clear, but your received photos from PP are so much more clear than the ones I got. They look so dull compared to the ones I photographed at MM, and I am having trouble getting excited. I asked for more options and more views.
 

yssie

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Thank you! Your pictures are clear, but your received photos from PP are so much more clear than the ones I got. They look so dull compared to the ones I photographed at MM, and I am having trouble getting excited. I asked for more options and more views.
The nice thing about PP compared to other vendors is that returns are free, too. So you can always buy and return if your heart isn’t in it ❤️
Please share any other pictures they send you! I’m also not terribly impressed with the ones you were sent, to be honest, I’m just not 100% on that being the pearls vs. lighting.
 

Tourmaline

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The nice thing about PP compared to other vendors is that returns are free, too. So you can always buy and return if your heart isn’t in it ❤️
Please share any other pictures they send you! I’m also not terribly impressed with the ones you were sent, to be honest, I’m just not 100% on that being the pearls vs. lighting.

Here’s a choice of 4 pairs. The ones on the left are the 12-13mm, and the ones on the right are 13-14mm. The ones I showed above are the bottom left ones. Makenna said the top left ones are the most lustrous, followed by the top right ones.

E76AA740-60F0-4E49-9E56-6A40A7586118.jpeg

91A00241-C06C-4AF1-8793-02D805217A14.jpeg
 

yssie

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I would agree that top left are more lustrous than bottom left, and top right are more lustrous than bottom right… What an odd way to take the photos though…

Can you have her compare top left and top right? But for each pair of pearls, put the two pearls side by side. Like the layout on the right.
 

Tourmaline

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I would agree that top left are more lustrous than bottom left, and top right are more lustrous than bottom right… What an odd way to take the photos though…

Can you have her compare top left and top right? But for each pair of pearls, put the two pearls side by side. Like the layout on the right.

Yes, I’ve already asked for that. :)
 

Tourmaline

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@yssie I just received more pictures. A is the pair of 12.3mm pearls that she says lean more silver with hints of green, and C is a pair of 13.1mm pearls that she says are more rosy in appearance. I still am not wowed as I was at Mikimoto, but that could be lighting. Geez, this is hard. What are your thoughts?

58FB3630-F6F5-46F3-8C82-FF06788F483A.jpeg 731ED76B-8E6A-420A-A90F-38F6F0134AF7.jpeg AB9BCF1B-29B7-483D-A996-66C20630F85E.jpeg BE7F9056-2FD7-4EE8-9A5F-FEBFF0C7A699.jpeg 8EC8FD81-CEC8-437F-B425-7566AA7E2B7A.jpeg B736AD6E-7DEC-46AC-AD5A-A94B29E46C67.jpeg 8C3C7460-A750-4892-99BF-479CA426C230.jpeg BEEAD312-3B91-49B2-A773-E56B8330AF4B.jpeg 0B70562D-F0F0-4B18-963D-8294AE69AE1A.jpeg
 

Tourmaline

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Upon further inspection, A doesn’t look like a matched pair. One seems green and the other seems pink.
 

Tourmaline

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Well, I have analysis paralysis, and I’m not wowed by these pictures. I’m thinking of waiting for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in February, where I could choose in person.

@yssie Do you think the options they’ve shown me are wonderful and just not coming through in pictures, or are they just not amazing?
 

elizat

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Not Yssie, but pair C seems to not have quite the same shape. Or could be the angle. One pearl seems noticeably different in size/shape.

You lose nothing by having them shipped out and seeing them in person, they are great about returns. I prefer pair A of those two pairs.
 

seaurchin

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I have a pair of large white metallic freshwater Edison pearl earrings from PP, for another idea. They are very lustrous and a lot less expensive than South Sea pearls.

You can't find them all the time but maybe worth asking about, if you like freshies. I love pearls and have lots of them but I limit what I'll spend because pearls are soft and I am clumsy. I remember taking a big golden South Sea pearl out of the package, immediately dropping it and putting a ding in it, for ex. :(
 
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yssie

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Sorry!! Just seeing this on the computer now.

(A) is just not matched. It wasn’t the lighting in the other pic. Not matched in overtone, luster, or strength of iridescence. I wouldn’t even put those two together as a pair. I’m super picky about matching, I recognize that! But I think now that you’ve seen it you won’t unsee it.

(C) is def better matched. Not perfect but much much better. I’m not 100% that both of these pearls are spherical - I’d want mm across X/Y axes before buying. The colours… That pink and green overtone combo… It does tend to turn the pearl a bit warmer, from afar, than a pearl with silver/blue looks. I think most American buyers anyway prefer some silver/blue. But the silver/blue is hard to find in WSS - that one Mikimoto pair was really special. The Miki was better matched too.

Of these two pairs my pick is def (C). Since they do have free returns - maybe worth shipping out to see? Even if you wind up not liking them, can be useful to have another data point, especially for overtone colour preference.
 
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seaurchin

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Here are my metallic freshwater Edison earrings from PP (on the left). I was stunned and overjoyed when I opened the box. They are 11-12 mm, $550, though that was at the end of 2016 and probably included some kind of discount.

The ones on the right are also metallic Edison pearls but more of a cream or champagne color.

Also, wait... Did you say your kid was performing at Carnegie Hall? OMG. Congrats!!!

Metallic Edison Earrings.jpg
 
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Tourmaline

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Thank you for weighing in @elizat @seaurchin and @yssie .

I don’t want to waste their time and have them make them pearls into specific earrings for me only to return them. I wonder if I should just get something smaller at Mikimoto at some point, or pick something in person in Tucson. There’s a particular vendor who does the main show, who showed me a range of pearls. At the time, I had sticker shock. I’ve gotten my head around that since, though.

@seaurchin Yes! My daughter played at Carnegie Hall and it was an amazing experience.

Edison pearls are something I haven’t even heard of. Is that what they call Freshadamas? I’m such a pearl newbie! It’s unnerving.

I am waffling so much. I feel so rude for asking for so many photos and then not buying, but I’m just not in love with what I’m seeing.
 

yssie

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I feel so rude for asking for so many photos and then not buying, but I’m just not in love with what I’m seeing.
Don’t! At all!! That’s literally what they’re there for!!
Customers who ask for more info are customers who care and customers who care make better customers in the long run, whether or not any one transaction is fulfilled or not ❤️

I would 100% recommend taking a look at (C) in person and returning if you don’t love them (and I gotta be honest I don’t think you will). That gives you more insight into what you like and don’t like, and what’s available from the bigger online vendors at the moment, and also specifically how Pearl Paradise photos translate into real world viewing. The cost of returns is of course built into the price of the piece so don’t feel bad using that!!
 
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seaurchin

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That's excellent about your daughter, Tourmaline. You must be so proud!

Freshadama is Pearl Paradise's name for their top grade of freshwater pearls, nothing to do with Edison pearls. Edison pearls are relatively new and are a brand name of freshwater bead nucleated pearls. Before that, only saltwater pearl shells could be bead nucleated (having a round bead implanted in the shell, with the pearl's nacre then growing around the inserted bead to produce a pearl). Freshwater pearls were off-round at best because they did not start with a round bead implanted in the shell but were formed of pure nacre.

Now bead nucleated pearls (Edison and other brands now) can be produced with freshwater pearls too. So now freshwater pearls can be far larger and rounder than they used to be.

All Edison pearls aren't metallic, though. The pairs in my picture are called "metallic" because of their fabulous, metallic looking luster.

South Sea pearls typically have more of a satin-y finish, not metallic. Akoya pearls typically have a much sharper luster than South Sea pearls but don't grow all that large. Metallic Edisons are the best of both worlds as far as luster and size, and at a lower price point. You have to look around for them though; they're not always available. :)
 
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Tourmaline

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That's excellent about your daughter, Tourmaline. You must be so proud!

Freshadama is Pearl Paradise's name for their top grade of freshwater pearls, nothing to do with Edison pearls. Edison pearls are relatively new and are a brand name of freshwater bead nucleated pearls. Before that, only saltwater pearl shells could be bead nucleated (having a round bead implanted in the shell, with the pearl's nacre then growing around the inserted bead to produce a pearl). Freshwater pearls were off-round at best because they did not start with a round bead implanted in the shell but were formed of pure nacre.

Now bead nucleated pearls (Edison and other brands now) can be produced with freshwater pearls too. So now freshwater pearls can be far larger and rounder than they used to be.

All Edison pearls aren't metallic, though. The pairs in my picture are called "metallic" because of their fabulous, metallic looking luster.

South Sea pearls typically have more of a satin-y finish, not metallic. Akoya pearls typically have a much sharper luster than South Sea pearls but don't grow all that large. Metallic Edisons are the best of both worlds as far as luster and size, and at a lower price point. You have to look around for them though; they're not always available. :)

Thank you! I will look for them. Or if you can point me to any, please let me know.
 

Tourmaline

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@seaurchin Gow do you think these would be in person? Not super high luster?

 

seaurchin

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@seaurchin Gow do you think these would be in person? Not super high luster?


I don't know but I'd guess they're more of a satin-y luster since it says they're like South Sea pearls and "metallic" is not mentioned. But I'd definitely ask them if they have any "large, white, metallic Edison pearls" because they have sooo many pearls.

I'll do a quick look around to see if I can see any elsewhere.
 

seaurchin

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I’m set on drop earrings, as opposed to studs, so if they’re already made into studs, they won’t work for me.

Oh okay. It's easy to have them converted though. In fact, I bought some drop-shaped pearl earrings and matching strand from Wendy not too long ago and then sent the earrings to PP to be re-set with earring settings that I liked better. But then the cost and effort of that would have to work out for you too.

Do you especially want round pearl dangle earrings or are you considering drop-shaped pearls too? I like drops because to me, they have an elegant look and they also tend to be more bang for the buck. Drops tend to cost less than perfect rounds in the first place and they look larger as well because they're measured width wise, not length wise.

Also, if you decided to return this particular pair, it would be to England so that's something to consider too.

I don't see any more right now but you could go to the approved pearl vendors stickie that's around here somewhere and shoot them all an email if you want. They usually have a lot more than just what's listed on their sites.
 

Tourmaline

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Oh okay. It's easy to have them converted though. In fact, I bought some drop-shaped pearl earrings and matching strand from Wendy not too long ago and then sent the earrings to PP to be re-set with earring settings that I liked better. But then the cost and effort of that would have to work out for you too.

Do you especially want round pearl dangle earrings or are you considering drop-shaped pearls too? I like drops because to me, they have an elegant look and they also tend to be more bang for the buck. Drops tend to cost less than perfect rounds in the first place and they look larger as well because they're measured width wise, not length wise.

Also, if you decided to return this particular pair, it would be to England so that's something to consider too.

I don't see any more right now but you could go to the approved pearl vendors stickie that's around here somewhere and shoot them all an email if you want. They usually have a lot more than just what's listed on their sites.

Thanks. I definitely want round. And it’s ok to spend several thousand dollars on them if I love them. I just don’t want to spend that much and not love them. I’m really not into returning things. I wish I could justify paying double for Mikimoto. They are so beautiful.
 

elizat

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Thanks. I definitely want round. And it’s ok to spend several thousand dollars on them if I love them. I just don’t want to spend that much and not love them. I’m really not into returning things. I wish I could justify paying double for Mikimoto. They are so beautiful.

Why not check out Paspaley? If you want best of the best WSS, that is Paspaley, not Miki. Miki is the akoya top dog, but not for WSS. Paspaley is that. Paspaley won't steer you wrong for top of the line WSS. Miki doesn't get anywhere near the quality of WSS that Paspaley gets.
 

Tourmaline

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Why not check out Paspaley? If you want best of the best WSS, that is Paspaley, not Miki. Miki is the akoya top dog, but not for WSS. Paspaley is that. Paspaley won't steer you wrong for top of the line WSS. Miki doesn't get anywhere near the quality of WSS that Paspaley gets.

I just checked out their site, and I saw one pair of 11mm WSS earrings I liked. They are, indeed, less expensive than Mikimoto. The pearls I saw at Mikimoto flagship in NYC, though, were far more beautiful.
 
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