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Help an old lady find my first (and last) "WOW" Akoya necklace?

Rici

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
6
Hello lovely People of the Pearl.

My sweet husband, knowing I've yearned all my life (and I'm 69) for a truly fine Akoya strand necklace, wants to get me one for our upcoming tenth anniversary(love CAN happen again at our age, yay). Our budget is $10,000 USD, although being on a fixed income, we'd like to stay well under that if possible.

I've read and learned so much here. If y'all can help me by 1. recommending some vendors with good communication skills and return policies, and 2. making sure I've got my criteria/terminology lined up, I'd be so grateful. Here's what I know:

I'm seeking 7.5-8.5 mm (ideally slightly graduated, but definitely not required), 20 inches/50 cm long, and a matching pair of stud earrings.
Pearl color: My skin is light with golden-to-neutral undertones, green eyes, reddish brown hair. I prefer white pearls, but I know one shouldn't wear a white lighter than one's teeth, and my teeth are pretty stained. So maybe a creamy white? Slightly brownish white? What are your suggestions?
Lustre: as much wow as we can get.
Overtones: see pearl color above. I'm relying on y'all here. My best colors are the warm "autumn" tones, especially dark teal, dark turquoise, moss greens, golden browns, russets.
Brand: I've never cared a whit about brands or designers; I value something for its intrinsic qualities only. Let's save some money here.
Location: I live in the US, but not near a major city, so online is my preference. However, we plan to be in England and Europe most of the summer (in case that helps with import duties).

Dumb question: Is graduated more expensive due to the trouble of finding matching pearls of exactly the right size, or did I just dream that?

I can't think of any more criteria, but you probably can! Any help with recommended vendors so appreciated.

Many thanks for any advice! So glad I found this group.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
23,456
Good luck @Rici
i shell be following on in great interest and excitment
i have no doubt our pearl princesses will be along shorty to help you out
and congradulations on your anniversary
 

ShinyPleeease

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
49
What a truly exciting purchase! Based on your vendor criteria, I’d reach out to Andrew Moline. He is super patient and communicative and has a discerning eye. I’m pretty confident that if you let him know exactly what your priorities are, he’d be able to get you what you want. He also has a good return and upgrade policy. Pearl paradise is also a recommended vendor here but I’ve never worked with them before.
 

pearlsngems

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
2,866
I have bought many pearls from Pearl Paradise and can recommend them. They will work with you to meet your needs and have an excellent return policy. You can have a Zoom visit with them to select your pearls. They have a literal vault full of pearls (PP's building used to be a bank!)
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,318
Can I ask if you’re looking for a return policy because you aren’t sure about length/size, or if you simply don’t want to end up stuck with a dud strand?

I ask because if the former - I also recommend Pearl Paradise or Andrew Moline. But if the latter, I would recommend Takahashi - top quality for the lowest pricetag (because you’d be buying direct from Japan), no return policy but they’re a trusted vendor.
 

Rici

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
6
Can I ask if you’re looking for a return policy because you aren’t sure about length/size, or if you simply don’t want to end up stuck with a dud strand?

I ask because if the former - I also recommend Pearl Paradise or Andrew Moline. But if the latter, I would recommend Takahashi - top quality for the lowest pricetag (because you’d be buying direct from Japan), no return policy but they’re a trusted vendor.

Good question Yssie. I'm sure of the length and size. My concerns are whether the color will flatter my skin tone, and getting something inferior for the price.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,318
Good question Yssie. I'm sure of the length and size. My concerns are whether the color will flatter my skin tone, and getting something inferior for the price.

Just seeing this now - it’s been a manic week I’m afraid!

What did you decide @Rici?

If you’re still thinking - d’you have any children or young women in the family to buy gifts for? If yes, I might suggest buying a couple of pearls - just singletons, in a small size, half-drill both, shouldn’t run you more than a couple hundred for both even in top quality. One “natural white” akoya and one “pinked” akoya (ask for a strongly pinked specimen). You’ll know right away if you have a preference, or somewhere in the middle ::)

And they’ll make beautiful pendants if you have no other use for them!
 

Rici

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
6
Good suggestion, @yssie. Sadly I'm the last of the female descendants. No I've not made a move yet. I'm leaning toward PP based on their return policy. But being a newbie, I'm not yet feeling sure I know enough to ask the right questions. Any advice welcome!
 

newtojewels

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
434
Good suggestion, @yssie. Sadly I'm the last of the female descendants. No I've not made a move yet. I'm leaning toward PP based on their return policy. But being a newbie, I'm not yet feeling sure I know enough to ask the right questions. Any advice welcome!

I know you said you aren't in a major city, but do you live at all near a Tiffany or Mikimoto or anywhere where you can go look at pearls to get a sense of the color on you, or are you really stuck with online or on your trip this summer? If you aren't near a store, I wonder about calling PP or Moline to tell them your concerns, ordering strands or studs to you in different overtones and body colors, and saying that you plan to keep just one set.

I am not an expert and have not purchased from PP and have only purchased one pair of earring pearls from Moline, but he was very very helpful and made my purchase feel important even though it was so small. Based on that experience, if I had your budget and desires I would go straight to him.
 

Rici

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
6
I know you said you aren't in a major city, but do you live at all near a Tiffany or Mikimoto or anywhere where you can go look at pearls to get a sense of the color on you, or are you really stuck with online or on your trip this summer? If you aren't near a store, I wonder about calling PP or Moline to tell them your concerns, ordering strands or studs to you in different overtones and body colors, and saying that you plan to keep just one set.

I am not an expert and have not purchased from PP and have only purchased one pair of earring pearls from Moline, but he was very very helpful and made my purchase feel important even though it was so small. Based on that experience, if I had your budget and desires I would go straight to him.

Hi @newtojewels! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Yes I would very much prefer to see strands in person. I scoured the interwebs for pearl vendors all over the state of Arizona with no results. Guess we're too informal a state LOL. But I'll be visiting San Antonio, Portland OR, Philadelphia, and Washington DC this spring so I'll check for high-end pearl companies there. Then we're headed to London, Bordeaux, and San Sebastian over the summer, maybe Mikimoto has a store in one of those places. Lots of travel this year!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,318
1000%. If you aren’t in a hurry - definitely visit some pearls in-person when you’re able. I know the Saks in McLean VA - just a skip over from DC - stocks Mikimoto. Just be sure to call ahead to guarantee time with an associate ::)

That’s the absolute best way to learn about your personal preferences, just seeing them with your own eyes on your own skin.
 
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