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First Tahitian strand, overwhelmed already!

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
This is my first post here and I am really excited about adding pearls to my wardrobe! I don’t know why I haven’t yet, seeing al of the pieces in the action thread really drove me to kick it into high gear.

I have one set of freshwater pearl studs from 25 years ago and have been combing over the threads here for nights on end looking to purchase my first strand of Tahitians!

I would like to start building my capsule jewelry collection with a good set of larger Tahitians. I’ve been on all the suggested vendor sites, Etsy, and the other pearl forum. (I’m in hiding and trying to read as much info on pearls as I can.)

I’m torn and wondering what you all would do. The budget is about $1k, possibly slightly over. Is this enough to get a “good” beginner set? I’m turning the big 4-0 next year and would prefer larger pearls that are around 10mm at least. I’m 5’3” and really own a very neutral wardrobe. (Blacks, grays, cream, jewel tones.) Blemishes are definitely ok if lustre and shape are fairly uniform, looking for off-round and baroque. I find I can over look beauty marks for lively pearls.

I’ve been in contact with Cees and awaiting replies from a few vendors, all of whom I am sure are slammed with holiday orders.

I have this nagging voice that says to try an inexpensive strand from Etsy to see how I like pearls before diving into a larger purchase.

What would you do with about a $1k budget?
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 27, 2011
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2,289
I’m sure you’ve looked at the vendors sites already but Pearl Paradise do seem to have a lot of choice of baroque strands in that budget range. I’d definitely ask them to take more photos of any that you like the look of and maybe choose between 2 or 3. They have a good return policy too. Remember that they may look very different in real life lighting compared to photos.
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Mar 2, 2009
Messages
11,728
I think the problem with getting a cheap strand to see if you like pearls in general is tough. It’s like getting a low budget I1 clarity poorly cut diamond and deciding on that that you don’t like diamonds.

I have cheap freshwater pearls and they are not at all the same as my gem grade akoya pearls. The freshwater are pretty but the akoyas make me swoon and I love staring at them.

I wish there were more places one could go to peruse different quality pearls. Sigh.
 

molinePDG

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
93
I won't (can't, being trade) make any particular vendor recommendations or anything like that -- however, I will say that advice I give to pretty much all my customers is along the lines of save up if needed and buy once to be happy, so with that I would not suggest trying out pearls by buying a lot of inexpensive ones, because as MTG says above me that isn't really a great way to decide if you like Tahitian pearls. Some low quality pearls, frankly, are simply not very attractive to most, so I would say that you want to definitely go for the highest quality you can off the bat. Even if you planned to return strands to view, shipping can get expensive.

Good vendors will be able to show you photos of pearls that you can receive for a particular budget, even if they are representative photos.

Pearls are a wonderful world to be in - but the range of quality (and prices) are absolutely massive, so my number one and final leaving piece of advice would be to find a vendor you can trust and like working with foremost. Finally, enjoy your journey into the wonderful gem that is a pearl. :)
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
How excitting for you !

I say keep the money for the 'try out' pearls and put it toward the Tahitians because that seems to be your dream

I know nothing about Tahitians but you should dedinatly take a look over at pearl paradise
 

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
I’m sure you’ve looked at the vendors sites already but Pearl Paradise do seem to have a lot of choice of baroque strands in that budget range. I’d definitely ask them to take more photos of any that you like the look of and maybe choose between 2 or 3. They have a good return policy too. Remember that they may look very different in real life lighting compared to photos.

Thank you Snowdrop13! You know, PP was NOT included in my list of vendors even though I know they are highly recommended here! I don’t know how I overlooked them. I have reached out to a few places via their contact forms - I will try to follow up Monday. I’m heading to browse PP now!


I think the problem with getting a cheap strand to see if you like pearls in general is tough. It’s like getting a low budget I1 clarity poorly cut diamond and deciding on that that you don’t like diamonds.

I have cheap freshwater pearls and they are not at all the same as my gem grade akoya pearls. The freshwater are pretty but the akoyas make me swoon and I love staring at them.

I wish there were more places one could go to peruse different quality pearls. Sigh.

When you compare pearls to I1 diamonds that was a great reference. I would never recommend an I1 diamond to anyone in the market for a stone, you made an excellent point!

I agree with you te: places to view pearls. I have found it hard here in the Midwest to find quality pearls, and then with covid, even harder to find someone open.


I won't (can't, being trade) make any particular vendor recommendations or anything like that -- however, I will say that advice I give to pretty much all my customers is along the lines of save up if needed and buy once to be happy, so with that I would not suggest trying out pearls by buying a lot of inexpensive ones, because as MTG says above me that isn't really a great way to decide if you like Tahitian pearls. Some low quality pearls, frankly, are simply not very attractive to most, so I would say that you want to definitely go for the highest quality you can off the bat. Even if you planned to return strands to view, shipping can get expensive.

Good vendors will be able to show you photos of pearls that you can receive for a particular budget, even if they are representative photos.

Pearls are a wonderful world to be in - but the range of quality (and prices) are absolutely massive, so my number one and final leaving piece of advice would be to find a vendor you can trust and like working with foremost. Finally, enjoy your journey into the wonderful gem that is a pearl. :)

Thank you for these words of advice! The draw to pearls are those jewel toned soap bubbly halos. They are just so soft and dreamy. I assume I will need to up the budget to find a strand with that quality.


How excitting for you !

I say keep the money for the 'try out' pearls and put it toward the Tahitians because that seems to be your dream

I know nothing about Tahitians but you should dedinatly take a look over at pearl paradise

I am definitely heading there now! I really have enjoyed reading up on all the pearls! I never thought of myself as a white pearl gal but Akoyas and SS pearls are amazing!
 

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
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Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
I’m seeing baroque and drop shapes - is the differences between the two the rings and tails on some of the baroque’s? Forgive me if this is a beginner question!
 

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
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Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
With the holiday sales I think you can find a nice 18 inch strand around $1000 or a little higher. If luster is important to you, I'd stick with AA+/AAA or an AAA strand. Pearl Paradise currently has a nice selection of baroque and circle pearls. They have a good return policy.

Yes!! They seem to have a lot of options around my budget!

Is 18” pretty typical? I feel like 16” would be really short with 10mm pearls? I have seen a few 17” strands that look about perfect when I use the search option. I’ll have to inquire if they offer custom lengths.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
Yes!! They seem to have a lot of options around my budget!

Is 18” pretty typical? I feel like 16” would be really short with 10mm pearls? I have seen a few 17” strands that look about perfect when I use the search option. I’ll have to inquire if they offer custom lengths.

From what ive read im sure they would do you a shorter length
 

mtsapphirelovingannie

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
360
Yes!! They seem to have a lot of options around my budget!

Is 18” pretty typical? I feel like 16” would be really short with 10mm pearls? I have seen a few 17” strands that look about perfect when I use the search option. I’ll have to inquire if they offer custom lengths.

Yes 18" is the typical length. Most of the vendors will modify a strand...normally shortening is no charge.
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
11,728
If drop shapes or circles don’t bother you, I think it’s a great way to stretch a budget to get pearls that have great color and luster but aren’t round. Pearls are sometimes classified as short or semi round and are cheaper but from afar look round.


I recently bought some circle Tahitians from them that Im quite happy with but I wouldn’t recommend them as a new buyer since once drilled you can’t return them and returning to China is a hassle anyways. But it’s a fun site for eye candy!
 

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
If drop shapes or circles don’t bother you, I think it’s a great way to stretch a budget to get pearls that have great color and luster but aren’t round. Pearls are sometimes classified as short or semi round and are cheaper but from afar look round.


I recently bought some circle Tahitians from them that Im quite happy with but I wouldn’t recommend them as a new buyer since once drilled you can’t return them and returning to China is a hassle anyways. But it’s a fun site for eye candy!

Those are beautiful! And I love the description name! I’m finding the only thing that I am not fond of is the little extended “tails” on some shapes. I thought all baroque shapes pearls were the non-round sisters to rounds? Other than being a pain to return to, is that the only qualm about buying from CMW? That have some pretty groupings!
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Mar 2, 2009
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11,728
Those are beautiful! And I love the description name! I’m finding the only thing that I am not fond of is the little extended “tails” on some shapes. I thought all baroque shapes pearls were the non-round sisters to rounds? Other than being a pain to return to, is that the only qualm about buying from CMW? That have some pretty groupings!

If you have them drill the pearls they are nonreturnable. But if you then like and want to keep them, I’m not sure who could provide drilling services..
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
If you have them drill the pearls they are nonreturnable. But if you then like and want to keep them, I’m not sure who could provide drilling services..

Pearl Paradise has kindly drilled pearls purchased elsewhere for me, for a small fee (and of course I accepted full liability for loss and damage).
 

KiloSierra

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
136
Update: Jose has pulled these two strands for me! I’m so excited! The lighter strand had a few larger pearls added to the middle to match the diameter of the darker strand. I wanted two casual options to start wearing Tahitians. They will be strung 16.5 and 17.5” so I can nest them together too.

Do those lengths sound good to those of you who layer? I have asked that they sit close to eachother without much drop gap, do you think that is safe enough if I only wear them together occasionally?


E4EC2FEA-10FD-43DC-A00B-68B9AE283843.jpeg
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
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21,445
Beautiful strands!!

And I don’t think you should have any worries at all wearing them together as often as you’d like ::) Tahitians have thick nacre - much thicker than akoya... And whilst it’s true that pearls are soft, they aren’t so soft that they can’t be enjoyed the way their owners would like best! ❤️
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
Update: Jose has pulled these two strands for me! I’m so excited! The lighter strand had a few larger pearls added to the middle to match the diameter of the darker strand. I wanted two casual options to start wearing Tahitians. They will be strung 16.5 and 17.5” so I can nest them together too.

Do those lengths sound good to those of you who layer? I have asked that they sit close to eachother without much drop gap, do you think that is safe enough if I only wear them together occasionally?


E4EC2FEA-10FD-43DC-A00B-68B9AE283843.jpeg

:appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:
 

MMtwo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,323
Update: Jose has pulled these two strands for me! I’m so excited! The lighter strand had a few larger pearls added to the middle to match the diameter of the darker strand. I wanted two casual options to start wearing Tahitians. They will be strung 16.5 and 17.5” so I can nest them together too.

Do those lengths sound good to those of you who layer? I have asked that they sit close to eachother without much drop gap, do you think that is safe enough if I only wear them together occasionally?


E4EC2FEA-10FD-43DC-A00B-68B9AE283843.jpeg
Yum! I love ringed pearls because they are a great price point and the colors are fabulous.
The length may depend on your general size and stature. I would consider a little longer for the longer pearls because you would have two almost similar strands in your pearl wardrobe. The other thing I love about baroque and ringed is that they are a cool casual look that looks natural with a tank top and jeans without looking too fussy but can look great with a dress too.

I love to wear two or three strands of Tahitians at once!
 
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