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Help with pricing pearl earrings

lilmosun

Brilliant_Rock
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Admittedly, for someone who owns a lot of pearls, I don't know much about pricing.

So I fell in love with these earrings from a vendor I've known for decades. He isn't cheap but usually fair. I was surprised that he wanted $1380 (my price..he had them listed for $1850).

So are they overpriced? What about these would make them worth the asking price? They are custom made, well made and substantial. The pearls are large and from Japan. I didn't measure them but maybe 15-18mm.

I was in a rush and didn't ask many questions. I am thinking of going back and making an offer but need help. I'd walk away but they look perfect on me and most earrings do not. On the other hand, I don't want to overpay.

Thoughts? IMG_20170512_163744.jpg
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Do you know what they are? They look like mabe to me, in which case I'm not sure I'd pay the price being quoted for them.

You might want to look at online vendors to see what other similar items are selling for to get a sense of fair market value.
 

lilmosun

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Thanks...no I don't know what type they are (other than he mentioned they were Japanese). But yes, I felt they were overpriced and was looking to confirm. I expected to hear they were in the $400-$800 range or wouldn't have even tried them on :whistle: I understand you pay a premium for a custom setting but this still seemed high to me. I only wish they didn't look so perfect on me.
 

NacreLover

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IMG_6587.JPG I didn't know they grew freshwater coin pearls in Japan. I've seen lots of qualities but these pearls are not expensive to buy. I would pass on these. They are not a deal.
 

marymm

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Unless perhaps the metal is Platinum, I agree with others the earrings seem to be overpriced for FW coin pearl earrings.

If you really love the setting, I'd suggest inquiring at Pearl Paradise about putting together a similar pair of earrings.
 

lilmosun

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I thought they were coin pearls, but the price, size and my lack of knowledge had me questioning. As I said, I don't mind paying for design...this just seemed way too high. Guess you have all confirmed my thinking. Now that I have a style in mind, I can keep looking. Thanks!
 

lilmosun

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I went back to take a look with a friend who knows more about pearls than I do. We measured, they are actually 25mm. They are from an older parcel he had from Lake Biwa Japan. At the time, he bought some beautiful larger blister pearls, which he showed me, but there were only 3 pairs of the large coin pearls. The coin pearls being priced at a premium. They are high quality (much better than my pictures). There is a significant amount of gold (its 18k). They are substantial earrings. My friend's verdict was that the price was fair taking everything into account BUT why spend that much for something that doesn't look their value. So I passed...and may look for something similar but at a lower cost. Thanks for all the input!
 
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lilmosun

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3 years later, I am happy to report these are mine :)

When I learned he was retiring due to Covid risks, I reached out and he offered them to me at his cost to make.

I've been eyeing them long enough and it's not often I find earrings that look decent on me. Yes, I could've had them made less with Chinese coin pearls, less gold in 14kt...so while not a "steal", I think I got a good price for what these were especially since gold has gone up.

Details from his internal inventory:
- 23mm Lake Biwa coin pearls (no certs so probably not a factor other than he paid more for them)
- Setting is in 9.47g 18kt gold
 

MakingTheGrade

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3 years later, I am happy to report these are mine :)

When I learned he was retiring due to Covid risks, I reached out and he offered them to me at his cost to make.

I've been eyeing them long enough and it's not often I find earrings that look decent on me. Yes, I could've had them made less with Chinese coin pearls, less gold in 14kt...so while not a "steal", I think I got a good price for what these were especially since gold has gone up.

Details from his internal inventory:
- 23mm Lake Biwa coin pearls (no certs so probably not a factor other than he paid more for them)
- Setting is in 9.47g 18kt gold
Yay! I’m glad they found a forever home with you. It was meant to be!

We need like a bajillion more photos and pics of you wearing them!!
 

katbran

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Certainly look like FW coin pearls to me. If all the components are hand made by the jeweller that could explain some of the price. I'm glad you got a deal and that you are pleased with them.
 

Pearlescence

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I've not heard of production starting up again at Lake Biwa. Someone may have set up shop there but that is not the same as the pearls growing IN the lake.
Those look like nice quality coin pearls. But even top quality coins aren't super expensive. Is the other side pearl or gold?
 

lilmosun

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They are beautiful.
Thank you! I bought them because I liked them as a piece of jewelry (and they came down to a price where I wasn't paying much of a premium for the pearls)

Certainly look like FW coin pearls to me. If all the components are hand made by the jeweller that could explain some of the price. I'm glad you got a deal and that you are pleased with them.
Yes, they are freshwater coin pearls and the components were hand made. From what I read, Lake Biwa did produce coin pearls in addition to the more familiar shape the name is known for...but again, I have nothing to verify origin and bought on that basis.

I've not heard of production starting up again at Lake Biwa. Someone may have set up shop there but that is not the same as the pearls growing IN the lake.
Those look like nice quality coin pearls. But even top quality coins aren't super expensive. Is the other side pearl or gold?
True- I was told that there hasn't been production for decades. While the earrings were made in 2012, I was originally told they were made from an older parcel (of 6) of pearls he had from Japan. I have no idea when he acquired them or how long the person who sold them to him had them. It was only in looking at his records was he able to say Lake Biwa. And while I trust the vendor (known since the 1970's). it IS entirely possible that somewhere along the line someone may have misrepresented them.

I know very little about pearls, although I love them, but I am not even sure I would call them good quality - luster is very good but the back sides are not clean (no gold backing). They are noticeably flatter and lack the smooth surface then my other(Chinese freshwater) coin pearls.. but I haven't seen coin pearls this size that are truly round before.

fwiw - From his records, he originally paid $60 a piece for the pearls - so they didn't really factor much into the price. He designed and had the earrings made using 9.47g of 18kt gold (the backs are open). I paid $1000. So while it wasn't a bargain and admittedly slightly higher then what I hoped, I got a pair of earrings I'd been eyeing without feeling like I overpaid too much regardless of where the pearls came from.

Yay! I’m glad they found a forever home with you. It was meant to be!

We need like a bajillion more photos and pics of you wearing them!!
Thank you...that is how I feel!

Here are couple of pictures (as I mentioned they have more surface blemishes than my other pearls).

Earrlings_Pearl_Lake_Biswa.jpg

Back

Earrings_Pearl_back.jpg

I tried to take pictures wearing but need to get rid of those greys coming in at the sides (ugh) because that is all I see. Admittedly, I do think they looked better on me when I had longer hair (.I chopped it all off in a short bob due to Covid but intend to grow it back).
 
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