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Help I think my PP freshadama studs don't quite match

Discussion in 'Pearls' started by srke, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. srke
    Shiny_Rock

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    by srke » Nov 15, 2018
    Hi,

    I was hoping to get other people insights. I recently bought a pair of freshadamas, which is my first pair of decent quality pearls ive purchased. All I've personally purchased previously were $20 eartings off ebay, with obviously limited expectations.

    When I first got the freshadamas they looked beautiful but I felt the hue between the two didn't seem quite the same. I decided to give it a few days as I thought maybe I was imagining things, as the difference is subtle. And in some lighting it is less noticeable than others and even less so when worn.

    But each time I look at them in the box I always get the feeling one looks slighly larger and pinker and less ?translucent than the other.. I don't really know how to describe it.. . And it just keeps bugging me slighly.

    I just don't know what I should reasonably be expecting in terms of how much the studs should match. I know I can't expect two pearls to be exactly identical but I was wondering what would be within normal expectations in terms of matching tones etc for a pair of freshadamas.

    I don't want to be making a fuss if this difference would be within expected tolerances. Especially as in based overseas so trying any sort of exchange will be a pain.

    So I was hoping people who have more experience in pearls would be able to let me know if you see the same differences I am between the two, and if this considered normal?

    is IMG_20181115_215153.jpg
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  2. missy
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by missy » Nov 15, 2018
    IMO bottom line is if you don't like the way they look together then it is not OK. Call PP and explain how you feel and see if they can send you a better match. Don't settle. If it bothers you now it will probably always bother you.
     
  3. marymm
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    by marymm » Nov 15, 2018
    Yes, based on the the photos one of the pearls does appear slightly larger & more pink than the other. For me it would not be okay. If you particularly like one or the other, you can contact PP and let them you will be returning the earrings as not well-matched, and ask if they could find a better match for one or the other, or an entire new pair with whatever specs most important to you. But me, for sure I'd return this pair.
     
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  4. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 15, 2018
    I see a small difference between the two pearls in your photos. I think they would fall within my personal tolerance, but I'm not the one who has to wear them.

    I have many pairs of earrings that do not match exactly, but because they are separated by a distance of about 6" when worn, it is not noticeable. Have you tried them on, or only looked at them in the box side by side? If you have not tried them on yet, I would do so, especially since you said it would be a pain to have to return them from overseas.
     
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  5. cmd2014
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    by cmd2014 » Nov 15, 2018
    I would return them. It bothers you now, and it will always bother you. To me they are not well matched, and it would bug me given the price premium placed on their being marketed as the top quality freshwater pearls PP sells (as in the roundest, cleanest, best luster, and well matched freshwater pearls on offer). I’m also international and have kept things because of the pain of return shipping...but I’ve always lived to regret it. Don’t keep anything you don’t absolutely love. You’ll never feel they way you should about it if you do.
     
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  6. srke
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    by srke » Nov 15, 2018
    Thank you all for your replies. I am relieved to know it is not just me seeing it.

    I have contacted PP to see what options I have to exchange them. Everyone is right that this is probably something that will continue to bug me and I want to be able to enjoy these pearls, not be bothered by them each time I see the difference in tone between the two.

    And yes I have tried them on and admittedly the difference is not that noticeable when worn, but each time I take them off or put them on I see it and it just bugs me...

    I'll see what PP say
     
  7. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Nov 15, 2018
    I think that you'll find PP easy to work with. They are used to working with connoisseur level clients who are quite particular about their wants. Plus they're just genuinely nice people with a very generous return policy.
     
  8. srke
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    by srke » Nov 16, 2018
    So I've had a rather disappointing response from Pearl Paradise. They said they consider that pearls do match, that this is not a quality control issue, so to send them back, I'm expected to pay the costs of shipping, which with shipping and insurance looks to be almost a fifth of my purchase price.

    I don't know if that will be worth it as even though they said they will take pictures of the new pearls so I can select the ones I want, my worry is that if there is something I don't see and in person there is something wrong with the new pair I'll end up paying a lot for shipping back and forth.

    I'm waiting to hear from them whether I'll have to pay for shipping new earrings back to me too, so I know what I'll be getting in to, but at this stage I really don't know what to do.

    Has anyone ever run into this before, where you get pearls that don't look well matched to you, that PP insists is an acceptable match.

    Am I just being too picky here ? I don't really know what to think. Help :/
     
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  9. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 16, 2018
    IMO as pearls are made by living creatures, they cannot be expected to match to the same degree that manufactured items do.

    Being overseas as you are, I think it's a good plan to ask for photos of several pairs (or strands, or whatever), before buying.
     
  10. srke
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    by srke » Nov 16, 2018
    Okay I've just heard back from PP and I'm expected to pay for shipping both ways if I want to exchange the studs for a pair that match! That will mean i'd be paying almost 40-50% of the original purchase cost...So I'm not sure it's worth it since given the additional cost, I may as well just buy a new pair of earrings locally that I can see in person..

    This whole experience has kind of ruined my enjoyment of these earrings. Even when worn I can pick out straight away which is the pinker one...although I'm sure it's only because I'm looking for it, so at least i can assume that most people looking at me won't notice.

    I suppose I should put this down to a very expensive lesson about buying from overseas. I had read all the positive feedback about PP and their customer service and felt safe ordering from them. However I guess that only applies when you are based in the US or when the purchase is a high enough value item. But i guess for someone based overseas there is still a huge risk involved in buying something from PP sight unseen as, if there is a problem, it is not easily fixed without a (comparatively) large additional expense involved.

    I don't know.. does anyone else think it's worth sending it back and trying to get something that won't bother me, but paying an extra 50%for that? And obviously with the risk that there will be issues with the new pair that I don't spot on the photos...

    Or should I just try and buy a new pair locally?
     
    


    


  11. mtsapphirelovingannie
    Shiny_Rock

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    by mtsapphirelovingannie » Nov 16, 2018
    I don't think you are being too picky. Different things bother different people.

    However, the variance is probably acceptable for earrings. I went and looked at my two pair of white pearl earrings (not bought at PP). They don't match perfectly. I never noticed this before. I have gemstone earrings that don't match exactly either. This doesn't bother me. However, other things do like imperfect prongs on a ring.

    I've had to settle or frankly feel stuck with things that I bought from overseas. Sometimes the return process is to difficult or expensive. :(2 I hope you can work things out so you end up with a pair of earrings you are pleased with!
     
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  12. mtsapphirelovingannie
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    by mtsapphirelovingannie » Nov 16, 2018
    I would buy a new pair locally.
     
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  13. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 16, 2018
    My gemstone earrings don't match perfectly either, and my watermelon tourmaline slice earrings are asymmetrical as well. The slight variation shows they are real. This is why it doesn't bother me.

    I also think you might be better off buying in person, locally.
     
  14. marymm
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    by marymm » Nov 16, 2018
    Looking at the PP website at the White Freshadama Stud earrings listed, none of them show the kind of variance exhibited by the OP's pair ... The freshadama stud listings for 6.5-7.0mm, 7.5-8.0mm, 8.5-9.0mm, and 9.5-10mm each specifically state: "Both pearls are very well-matched in size, color, and all quality characteristics." OP, your photographs prove otherwise at least with regard to the pair you received. Sorry OP that the vendor is not willing to stand by their product description. Frankly, I think very poorly of PP's response here, and personally will not consider them for future pearl purchases myself.
     
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  15. srke
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    by srke » Nov 17, 2018
    I think this is part of the issue For me a colour difference is one of the first things I will notice .I have gemstone earrings that are slightly different in size or a bit off in shape that I can easily forgive.


    I also have cheap pearl drops where I can clearly see one is larger than the other, but colour wise are identical.And once worn I find that the size difference is less noticeable than a colour difference.

    And if it was just the size difference between these two studs it wouldn't be an issue for me. The colour is what keeps bugging me. And which I'm finding hard to unsee.


    This is what is most disappointing about this experience with PP. Their freshadamas are marketed as top of the line of freshwater pearls, and I feel that premium should also extend to the level of expectation in the quality of the complete jewellery set.

    It is not even like I'm asking for a strand of 20 completely identical pearls. Just for 2 with the same tone in a pair of studs, where such a difference is more noticeable.

    So it is rather disappointing to be told that for this line of what was meant to be premium pearls, Pearl Paradise considers this degree of colour variance to still be well matched.

    Like others have said ,I think getting a pair I can see with my eyes locally is probably the best way to go.
     
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  16. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 25, 2018
    A little late posting here, but just wanted to say... I'm pretty surprised at this, honestly. PP has had a few issues with my orders in the past few months, and they've always worked with me to make it right when I expressed my unhappiness.

    OP, whom did you contact at PP? It may be worth it to explain your situation to someone different at PP.
     
  17. srke
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    by srke » Nov 25, 2018
    I contacted them by email, replying to my order confirmation and dealt wth Brie. She basically said she had checked with PP's VP and they considered that the earrings were matched - ie no quality control issue. Given that she basically said she went to the top, I didn't think there was any point talking to someone else.

    She did say that if I were to return the earrings they could send me pictures etc of new pairs so that I can pick one I'd be happy with, which was in line with other people's recounts.

    However they did not consider this a quality control issue, just a case of me not liking the item, so I had to pay for costs of shipping both ways, which meant it really wasn't worth it for me. (the equation might have been different if the cost of the item I'd bought was more expensive so the cost of shipping both ways would not amount to 40-50% of the purchase price of the earrings)

    It was just a bit disappointing for me that what was marketed as a premium item didn't have premium QC standards in terms of what is considered an acceptable match.

    She also said:
    "The pearls that you purchased of are high quality. These pearls are AAA grade.
    They have been matched by our inventory specialist.
    Pearls are similar to snowflakes, no pearl will be exactly identical
    ."
    which tbh I found a bit condescending as I wasn't expecting perfectly identical studs, just for the colour between the two to be closer and less noticeable. (ie it is subtle, but I can consistently immediately pick out the pinker pearl even when worn.) And then to be told that the studs were of "high quality" when the quality of the match was basically what I had issue with just felt a bit meh, like I was being entirely dismissed. The experience has kind of ruined my enjoyment of the earrings and made me really not want to deal with them any more.

    I had read a few threads on pricescope about how PP was very good about resolving issues, including one thread where a buyer had issues with the colour discrepancy between two earrings and apparently had a great experience getting it resolved, which made me think I didn't have to worry as they have catered to people with PS standards. However the situation appears to be different when you are not a local buyer. My guess is people who had issues with them and left those threads were based in the US and could get free return shipping regardless, so what PP actually considered a QC problem might never come up. But when I actually approached them about the quality of the colour match of the studs I received, their position seems to be that this level of discrepancy is within their acceptable standards.

    I think it is basically lesson learned for me that I should be more picky in the first instance and ask
    for pictures before ever purchasing online in the first place. I don't usually do this as I don't usually want to be annoying and start making demands without giving the seller a chance. And I had put faith in their standards given that I thought I was buying a premium item, and given all the reviews I had read about how they try to make it right if there is an issue. But obviously I did not realise that the same experience might not apply for international buyers.
     
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  18. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 25, 2018
    Perhaps the difference was not as noticeable in the photos you sent them as it is to you in person (remember, monitors differ in how they display colors), and they might agree with your assessment if you sent them back and they saw them in person.
    Or not.

    In general I do agree that the safest thing for people for whom shipping is expensive is to ask for photos first. (But even then, monitors differ, so....)
     
  19. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 25, 2018
    Was considering... did you happen to clarify in your message that they were (supposed to be) Freshadama grade? Perhaps they sent out the wrong item? I just noted that their message said "AAA" quality when usually they've always told me Freshadama or Gem Grade by name in the past. - Honestly, I've spent a lot of money with PP and not been unhappy before, which is why it's pretty surprising. Not even from a shipping standpoint but an actual QC standpoint. My mother has a triple strand necklace from Freshadama pearls from PP and I'd be hard pressed to find any throughout the whole necklace that don't match as visibly as yours. The size looks visibly different to me on your pair of earrings, too. :???: And earring grade pearls should always in general be higher quality than necklace pearls.

    It's pretty out of character for PP to be fairly nonchalant about it too, imho, international customer or not. I think you should consider asking PP customer service for the VP email address. Every time I've had an issue with anything, the VP (Mia) has always emailed me about it, which is why I find it odd that you're having such trouble with them! Sorry that it's been a struggle to get something done with the earrings; it shouldn't be. But do consider asking for the VP contact information directly, and you may wish to explain the same thing directly to her as you have on this thread. Just a thought.

    That said... all in all... I probably wouldn't think about it too much either. Of course, it's a mind clean issue, but there is a face separating them when you wear them, so as a casual observer, or even a PS observer, I'm not sure I could even tell.
     
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  20. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 25, 2018
    Good catch on AAA vs. Freshadama. You may have been sent the wrong grade pearls. Packing errors happen...the human factor. :roll2:
     
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  21. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 25, 2018
    They do- Also consider that they're crazy busy during Black Friday - not that it should excuse them. I did, however, buy a Hanadama Set off their VIP launch the other week, and they sent them and -- no earrings! They sent me a strand instead of the set. They're working on getting it resolved, but it was very smooth. I say an email to the VP is well worth it if nothing else to cement the decision. But truthfully, I have not seen Freshadama pearls that look that unmatched before. :/
     
  22. mochiko42
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    by mochiko42 » Nov 25, 2018
    I'm sorry about your predicament, OP. They look very different in the photo and I think you are justified to expect PP to replace them at their cost. For me, having the earrings be "mind clean" would be an issue and if these earrings are going to remind you of an unpleasant transaction which the vendor isn't going to resolve to your satisfaction, you might end up not wearing them just because of the bad associations. If that might be the case I would ask for a refund, chalk up the shipping cost to experience, and start afresh with another vendor.

    I've stopped buying from PP as an international buyer after being disappointed by the pearl quality in several recent purchases and having to return them all.. the cost of international shipping to return the items was getting expensive when one of my main motives for buying from them in the first place was to have an easy online buying experience and quality assurance. When I started buying from PP their quality control was better (in my experience) and I kept more items than I returned. In the past year I've returned almost more purchases than I've kept due to quality issues and had to eat the cost of the return shipping. One good thing is that they are prompt to process refunds, though. If I lived in the US where PP offers free shipping I might still consider buying from them.
     
  23. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 25, 2018
    On the right hand pearl, there looks to be a scratch? Or is it fuzz? That'd be something else to indicate not Freshadama.
     
  24. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 25, 2018
    I'd edit my above post, if I could. But here's a pretty crappy picture of my mother's 3 strand Freshadama necklace. MAYBE one -- or two -- of the pearls near the clasp might be a hair off, but even in all these pearls I don't see anything all that noticeably mismatched.

    fresh3strand.jpg
     
  25. srke
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    by srke » Nov 25, 2018
    That is a good point about being the wrong pearls. I sent my query on the back of my order confirmation email which clearly stated freshadamas so it is a bit strange if they were operating on the assumption id ordered a lower quality set, however I have raised it with them and will see what they say.

    And yes one stud is also slightly larger and I also feel just slightly off round, from some angles, but neither of those really bother me as much as the colour difference, which just stands out to me.

    And I think it is just dust or fuzz at the front. There is a slight dimple at the back of one of the studs but from the front they are both smooth.

    I have never had this issue before with other pearls ive bought - mostly cheap sets off ebay where expectations were not high and I could see some flaws, but never a colour mismatch like this. I think in this case my expectations were higher and the discrepency was in terms of colour ,which im more sensitive to, and which I feel is more noticeable, compared to slight shape or size differences, or slight flaws on the surface.

    I'll let everyone know what PP says once I hear back.
     
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  26. cmd2014
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    by cmd2014 » Nov 26, 2018
    If you’re not happy with the customer service you’re getting, just send them back for a refund. You’ll be happier in the long run.
     
  27. amoline
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    by amoline » Nov 26, 2018
    This has been bugging me all day. o_O

    I love PP, and I'd call them on it, still tactfully, but as gently as you feel is necessary for your situation.

    I pulled this from the PP education section:
    Freshadama pearls should be...
    • Round
    • Clean surface
    • Top .01% of freshwater pearls produced today
    • Excellent matching

    And your pair doesn't hit 2 and 1/2 of those. They aren't round. - Even PP's AAA grade says "round to the eye," so by that definition yours aren't Freshadama, because in these pictures those earrings are not round to my eye.

    At the very least, they should set clean - so the dimples/blemishes should be under the earring setting. And it sounds like you can see a dimple.

    I pay the premium for Freshadama, Gem Grade, and Hanadama, so I feel like it justifies my being cranky about issues like this. And PP is used to me being cranky. And I've spent money, sure, but not HUGE amounts either.

    I'm very curious to see how this resolves.
     
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  28. srke
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    by srke » Nov 26, 2018
    So ive gotten a response to my query about whether the earrings were freshadamas:

    "I do apologize, this was a typing error on my behalf, this message still applies.

    The pearls that you purchased of are high quality. These pearls are Freshadama grade, the highest grade that we offer for Freshwater pearls."


    I've gone back one more time outlining some of the concerns outlined above ie not perfectly round, slight blemishes (the dimple at the back, and also a tiny raised area at the top) and I'll see what they say, although im not holding out much hope.

    Really though, the other issues are comparatively minor, so I'm not pinning much hope on the idea that a dimple at the back that cannot be seen will be considered a QC issue when a colour discrepancy that is visible when worn, is not ...we'll see.


    IMG_20181126_181736.jpg IMG_20181126_181625.jpg
     
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  29. srke
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    by srke » Nov 26, 2018
    I think regardless of what the outcome is with PP I'll end up purchasing new pearls with an alternate vendor since i think this whole experience will affect how I feel about any studs I get from PP. I haven't decided yet, if PP ultimately still does not accept this to be a QC issue, whether id want to return the studs (and basically lose out on the costs of shipping ), or maybe just give them a a gift to someone I don't like that much :whistle::whistle::whistle: who might not be as bothered as I am about them :p
     
  30. kgizo
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    by kgizo » Nov 26, 2018
    I’m sorry you are having such a disappointing experience with PP. I don’t consider myself color sensitive, but I can clearly see the difference in the earrings you received. Hope they will rethink their position on this issue.
     

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