shape
carat
color
clarity

Choosing Pearl Earrings

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,385
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.

Paspaley just shows exemplar pearls. fwiw. @yssie can confirm that Paspaley is generally, a higher quality than Miki for WSS. You'd need to get actual photo, etc. That's where hers are from after shopping both, but I understand everyone has preferences!

I have seen many pictures of both from Paspaley and Miki and vastly prefer the Paspaley pearls, but again, pearls are difficult and we all have different views of what appeals to us! If Miki sings to you, that's excellent too!
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
586
Paspaley - at least on their wholesale site - has not so great photography. Atlas also has some beautiful pearls. Both have reputations to protect.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,536
Can confirm that Paspaley’s stock site photos are terrible but that (at least some of) their gem pearls are nicer than Miki’s best at any given time.

Miki gets theirs from Australia, Paspaley is the biggest and most prominent and powerful operation in Australia. We can all read between the lines ::)

That said - shopping from Paspaley as an American is a non-trivial venture. I haven’t posted my story here yet (I will sometime soon!!) but a wonderful friend helped me - I could NOT have gotten my pearls without her.
 
Last edited:

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
I asked for pictures of Edison pearls and look at these! They don’t have any metallic ones, but these are the closest.

D22BD374-9ECF-47FD-B798-612C77C491F2.jpeg
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,536
Wait - those are the same WSS as before next to two strands of edisons right? Were you wanting a strand instead/also?
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
Wait - those are the same WSS as before next to two strands of edisons right? Were you wanting a strand instead/also?

Yes, these are the WSS with Edison pearl strands. That’s what she sent me when I asked about Edison pearls. I wasn’t considering a strand, but I can.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,541
Can you easily go back to see the Miki SS pair? You seem very enamoured with them from the way you speak about them. Seeing them again could help you decide whether you genuinely love them (in which case can you justify and pay the miki premium?) or whether you were just caught up in the moment that day and should further explore other options.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,536
Can you easily go back to see the Miki SS pair? You seem very enamoured with them from the way you speak about them. Seeing them again could help you decide whether you genuinely love them (in which case can you justify and pay the miki premium?) or whether you were just caught up in the moment that day and should further explore other options.

I would take it a step further... Buy the Pearl Paradise pair and take them in to Miki and do some comparison shopping ::)

Edisons are a fantastic option too, if you can find a nice pair! If you want South Seas specifically they won't scratch the itch of course, but if you want big, white, and round - you could save a boatload going that route!
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
Can you easily go back to see the Miki SS pair? You seem very enamoured with them from the way you speak about them. Seeing them again could help you decide whether you genuinely love them (in which case can you justify and pay the miki premium?) or whether you were just caught up in the moment that day and should further explore other options.

Well, not really. I live hours out of the city and I rarely go there. It would involve Amtrak.
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
I would take it a step further... Buy the Pearl Paradise pair and take them in to Miki and do some comparison shopping ::)

Edisons are a fantastic option too, if you can find a nice pair! If you want South Seas specifically they won't scratch the itch of course, but if you want big, white, and round - you could save a boatload going that route!

At first I wanted Akoyas, and I switched to South Seas because of the sizes available. I’m flexible.
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
586
Have you considered button South Sea pearls? You can get a great pair for a fraction of the price and they could well sit better on your ear as the weight and balance will be different.
 

Crystal_Dreams

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
763
Have you considered button South Sea pearls? You can get a great pair for a fraction of the price and they could well sit better on your ear as the weight and balance will be different.

This is a good suggestion! Once you get above a certain size, it’s harder for large pearls to sit as nicely. Of course I understand WANTING a round pair regardless, but buttons which aren’t overly flat are a good compromise. I have a pair of 12-13mm rounds… and eventually bought a smaller pair of 10mm ‘off rounds’ as an easier to wear compromise despite loving the larger ones.

As someone who has spent a decent amount of time playing with the best Paspaley had to offer, as well as visiting the Miki boutiques in Japan almost yearly pre-covid… I will say that Miki excels in design. They really truly do. Their main market however, are akoya pearls. They buy their WSS from australian pearl farms (of which paspaley is one of the largest). They have BEAUTIFUL designs and stunning akoya. But I would not consider them to be THE best source of WSS (particularly for the prices being charged).

I understand loving the Miki vibe though!
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
Have you considered button South Sea pearls? You can get a great pair for a fraction of the price and they could well sit better on your ear as the weight and balance will be different.

Again, these are for drop earrings. I’ve said several times that I am interested only in round pearls. I meant spherical.

This is a good suggestion! Once you get above a certain size, it’s harder for large pearls to sit as nicely. Of course I understand WANTING a round pair regardless, but buttons which aren’t overly flat are a good compromise. I have a pair of 12-13mm rounds… and eventually bought a smaller pair of 10mm ‘off rounds’ as an easier to wear compromise despite loving the larger ones.

As someone who has spent a decent amount of time playing with the best Paspaley hadr to offer, as well as visiting the Miki boutiques in Japan almost yearly pre-covid… I will say that Miki excels in design. They really truly do. Their main market however, are akoya pearls. They buy their WSS from australian pearl farms (of which paspaley is one of the largest). They have BEAUTIFUL designs and stunning akoya. But I would not consider them to be THE best source of WSS (particularly for the prices being charged).

I understand loving the Miki vibe though!

Thanks. I am finding this process overwhelming. Pearls don’t make sense to me like diamonds do. And with how fragile they are, and how they change color and texture over time no matter what you do, I feel like I’m losing my nerve.
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
586
I'm sorry, I forgot this in a long thread of many permutations. White South Sea pearls will not change colour or texture (unless you dunk them in a cup of black coffee of course!)

Let's start again: do you have a specific design in mind? If you want the metal part of any earrings made specially that is going to dictate one course of action, while if you want a cheaper version of something you've seen on an expensive outlet such as Mikimoto that is something different.
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
I'm sorry, I forgot this in a long thread of many permutations. White South Sea pearls will not change colour or texture (unless you dunk them in a cup of black coffee of course!)

Let's start again: do you have a specific design in mind? If you want the metal part of any earrings made specially that is going to dictate one course of action, while if you want a cheaper version of something you've seen on an expensive outlet such as Mikimoto that is something different.

Well, I absolutely love the setting in my first post in this thread, and that was my intention from the beginning. I am not wowed by the available pairs of pearls they have shown me. I saw a particular pair at Mikimoto with unbelievably beautiful pearls, and the setting was fine. I wasn’t in love with it. I’m really not that particular about the settings, though they must be leverbacks or similar. I can spend up to around $4,000 and I would like them to be over 12mm. If PP had showed me 12-13mm pearls that made me swoon, I would have happily placed the order. I don’t need or want anything custom made. I also don’t think I care if they are WSS pearls, as long as they are large, lustrous and white. That said, I went into this thinking I wanted Hanadama Akoyas until I learned that they don’t get as big as what I’m wanting. I think looking for Edison pearls might be a good path.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,373
...Thanks. I am finding this process overwhelming. Pearls don’t make sense to me like diamonds do. And with how fragile they are, and how they change color and texture over time no matter what you do, I feel like I’m losing my nerve.

It really is a lot to take in.

I don't think pearls typically change color and texture over time. None of mine have, in over a decade and we see many strands around that are far older than that.

They just need a little special care. For ex. don't spray hairspray or perfume on them, take them off before you go swimming (neither chlorine or saltwater are good for them) and don't store in a safe or safety deposit box long term because they might dry out. Though I did leave all my pearls in a safety deposit box for six months while I travelled and they were all fine. The main problem I've had is just dropping that one and dinging it, though I've also dropped others and they were fine.

Also, earrings, pendants and strands get far less abuse than rings and bracelets. But I, personally, just limit what I spend a bit on any one pearl piece because of their softness, the same as I would with opals, juuuust in case.

It sounds to me like what you really do want is a large pair of round, white, metallic Edisons. With a specific pearly wish, you often have to take an extra step or two (or six) to make all the pieces fit.

The only thing I see like that online right now is the one below. If I were you, I'd ask to see pics of this pair. Then, if you like them, buy, and after they arrive, send them to PP to have them re-set in the eternal settings. Ha, I did just that with my drop earrings a few months ago (pic below). Disclaimer: I don't have any special connection with either of these companies or any of the other pearl vendor. I've just bought a lot of pearls. :)

ttps://www.pearlescence.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/104_176/products_id/6100/osCsid/sh11nm8l2c54hcb16ai4rekhg0

Another option is to email the vendors on the approved list in this section and ask if they have them. Or ask PP or another vendor to put them on their list to look for on their next buying trip.

They're on the right. (On the left is the eternal setting in yellow gold with 11-12mm round Tahitian pearls).

eternal1.jpg eternal2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
It really is a lot to take in.

I don't think pearls typically change color and texture over time. None of mine have, in over a decade and we see many strands around that are far older than that.

They just need a little special care. For ex. don't spray hairspray or perfume on them, take them off before you go swimming (neither chlorine or saltwater are good for them) and don't store in a safety deposit box long term because they might dry out. Though I did leave all my pearls in a safety deposit box for six months while I travelled and they were all fine. The main problem I've had is just dropping that one and dinging it, though I've also dropped others and they were fine.

Also, earrings, pendants and strands get far less abuse than rings. But I, personally, just limit what I spend on any one pearl piece because of their softness, the same as I would with opals. Therefore, I would go for Edisons rather than South Sea pearls but jmho.

It sounds to me like what you really do want is a large pair of white, metallic Edisons. With a specific pearly wish, you often have to take an extra step or two (or six) to make all the pieces fit.

The only thing I see like that online right now is the one below. If I were you, I'd ask to see pics of this pair. Then, if you like them, buy, and after they arrive, send them to PP to have them re-set in the eternal settings. Ha, I did just that with my drop earrings a few months ago (pic below). Disclaimer: I don't have any special connection with either of these companies or any of the other pearl vendor. I've just bought a lot of pearls. :)

ttps://www.pearlescence.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/104_176/products_id/6100/osCsid/sh11nm8l2c54hcb16ai4rekhg0

The drop pearls on the right. (On the left is the eternal setting in yellow gold with round Tahitian pearls).

eternal1.jpg eternal2.jpg

Your link doesn’t work for me, even if I add an “h” at the beginning.

I hadn’t heard of Edison pearls before yesterday! This is such a learning curve.

I’m thinking of pearls changing color and texture over decades, not a few years. Heirloom pearls are usually not looking the same as they did when ancestors wore them. It’s just a different thing than diamonds. Owning and caring for them seems to be a test of one’s attention.

I do take care of turquoise, and I guess it’s similar to that in durability.
 
Last edited:

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,373
Hmm. My last link takes me right to it so no idea what that's about.

Okay, if you google Pearlescence UK, then click on the site.

Then on the top left, click on "Essence: Our Finest Pearls."

From there, click on "Essence Earrings."

Go to the second of three pages of earrings and scroll down to "White AAA Round 12.7mm Pearl Earrings."

They sound fabulous. Good luck.
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
Hmm. My last link takes me right to it so no idea what that's about.

Okay, if you google Pearlescence UK, then click on the site.

Then on the top left, click on "Essence: Our Finest Pearls."

From there, click on "Essence Earrings."

Go to the second of three pages of earrings and scroll down to "White AAA Round 12.7mm Pearl Earrings."

They sound fabulous. Good luck.

Ok, I got to the page. Do you think that’s a stock, generic photo of a pair of pearls? I wrote to her and asked for pictures.
 
Last edited:

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,385
Quick thing to think about regarding buying from the UK. If you buy earrings from the UK you cannot return them. There's a whole thread about that elsewhere. Technically it's for earrings that have been worn or tried on, but I don't know how a vendor would know that. I think it would be safest to treat earrings as final sale if you buy them from somewhere with the EU trade laws.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,536
Right now is a bad time to buy WSS. They’ve shot up in price compared to just a year ago, it’s terrible!! Since you aren’t wedded to white south seas specifically alternatives are 100% the way to go IMO! Even nice Edisons might be a bit of a wait though, I think, realistically.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,536
That said, I will say that no FW in the world is going to look like this. This pair is a really genuinely special pair of pearls that I think only Paspaley or Mikimoto could hope to get, especially nowadays. So if your budget extends to Mikimoto I personally would say this pair is… Inimitable.

0E645C3F-231E-4ADE-988D-DE5BEE295F65.jpeg
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
That said, I will say that no FW in the world is going to look like this. This pair is a really genuinely special pair of pearls that I think only Paspaley or Mikimoto could hope to get, especially nowadays. So if your budget extends to Mikimoto I personally would say this pair is… Inimitable.

0E645C3F-231E-4ADE-988D-DE5BEE295F65.jpeg

Interestingly, I didn’t like that pair. I liked the one above them. Even if I could extend my budget to Mikimoto, I don’t think I could justify it.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,373
@Tourmaline- If you're still thinking about pearl studs, another thought is to consider Tahitian pearls. They typically cost less than the South Sea pearls. And at least from the pearl forum conversations I've read, many women say they wear their Tahitians a lot more than their white pearls fwiw. I know I do. :)
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
2,560
@Tourmaline- If you're still thinking about pearl studs, another thought is to consider Tahitian pearls. They typically cost less than the South Sea pearls. And at least from the pearl forum conversations I've read, many women say they wear their Tahitians a lot more than their white pearls fwiw. I know I do. :)

Thanks, but I was never considering studs and am pretty specific in the look I’m wanting.

Against @yssie ’s advice, I ordered WSS set A and an Edison pearls necklace from Pearl Paradise.

8E49CC1F-301E-473A-90BB-16D96C01B1D4.jpeg

Though I loved the earring settings, I was unimpressed with the pearls (it’s true, they weren’t matched at all in luster), and I returned them. I’m waiting for refunds.

I also got a pair of Stuller 14k white gold earring hook assemblies for pearls and two 11mm pearls from China for less than one tenth of the cost of the earrings from PP, and I glued them myself. The pearls are nicer than the less nice PP pearl.

7C7475CF-9724-458F-811D-1B6C58CB2DA3.jpeg

After I received them, I ordered a larger pair of half drilled pearls from the same vendor, and a strand of pearls of the highest quality that vendor offers (he gave me multiple options). I think they’ll satisfy the pearl bug until I go to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in February.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    "Not so Fast!" says Mother Nature
    "Not so Fast!" says Mother Nature - 11/29
    Jewels of the Week: November 2021
    Jewels of the Week: November 2021 - 11/26
    Throwback Thursdays: November 2021
    Throwback Thursdays: November 2021 - 11/25
Top