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Mikimoto Advice

EyeMD

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
14
I have decided to buy my wife an 18” strand of akoya pearls from Mikimoto.
Any advice regarding pearl size and grade would be very much appreciated.
My initial plan was to purchase 7.5-8.0 mm pearls in AA grade. However, the 8.0-8.5 mm pearls in A+ grade are about the same cost.
Additional considerations: This will be my wife’s only (for now) strand of akoyas, although she has some grey Tahitian pearls as well. I’ve already bought her a set of 8.25 mm Mikimoto stud earrings in AA grade. She is petite.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,432
My gut feeling is that it's better to get the more lustrous (but smaller) strand, given that she is petite. Pearls are all about luster.

There is such a thing as Pearl Shrinkage Syndrome-- we ladies tend to prefer larger pearls as we get older. But she finds if that is the case, there will always be more gift opportunities in years to come.

Be aware that purchases made in Mikimoto stores are non-refundable-- you only get store credit.
Online purchases from Mikimoto have returns restrictons as stated on this page:
https://www.mikimotoamerica.com/us_en/shipping-and-returns

If you are not determined to get Mikimoto brand specifically, you can find some good deals online from large online pearl vendors, such as Pearl Paradise. I think they still have 25% off right now-- and returns are not a problem. More bang for the buck. Luster and size. Look at their Hanadama pearls-- those are their top of the line akoyas.
 

molinePDG

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
93
Trade members cannot comment on particular brands one way or the other, but my suggestion would be to make sure that you use the pearls you have on hand that you find to be of sufficient quality for your tastes to compare to other pearls you may be considering.

Most vendors are glad to educate and send photos of pearl strands you may be considering, so take advantage of that.

Finally, just wanted to say that I hope your wife loves her new pearls, whatever you find for her :)
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
You are in the enviable position of having exceptional earrings from
Mikimoto to compare any other pearl purchases with.

If you or your wife values the Mikimoto brand, you’re not going to go wrong with Mikimoto pearls - I personally strongly (strongly!!) recommend the smaller AA.

Be aware that purchases made in Mikimoto stores are non-refundable-- you only get store credit.
Not necessarily. If you purchase in-store, you can discuss possibility of a return with your SA, and if he is agreeable he will notate this on the invoice. This is at SA discretion - a number of luxury jewellery houses operate on this discretionary model.
 

EyeMD

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
14
I would like to thank the forum participants for the very thoughtful advice.
As a follow up, if luster is perhaps the most critical criteria, is it worth it to try to get the Mikimoto AAA grade. Would a “normal” person not using loupes even notice the difference between the AA and AAA?
 

lucky7355

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
44
Hi! Hopefully it's helpful, but I own the Mikimoto graduated 9x7mm 18" strand graded as A1 (the lowest grade offered by the brand) and a pair of 7mm earrings graded as A. I love my necklace and I'd consider myself petite (slender/short) - the 18" is a perfect length.

This should give you a better idea of what an A and A1 grades would look like from this brand.

For Mikimoto brand pearls, A1 pearls are slightly blemished, but have good lustre and medium nacre (skin of the pearl). A is a very slightly blemished, also with good lustre and medium nacre.


Additionally, you can find the website return policy here.

EXCHANGE & RETURN POLICY
Jewelry purchased through this website are accepted for refund or exchange if returned to our customer service center within 15 days. Fragrance products are not eligible for refund or exchange. You may also return jewelry purchased through this Website to one of our four retail stores within 15 days for an exchange or store credit only. Please note that all returns and exchanges are subject to a quality control inspection before they are accepted. Items must be returned in their original condition and include the original sales receipt and packaging.

Returns to our customer service center
Only jewelry purchased through this Website are accepted for refund or exchange if returned in its original packaging and condition within 15 days, accompanied by the original sales receipt. Please contact us at 1 (844) 341-0579 Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (EST) to receive a Return Authorization Code. Write this number on the outside of your package. Returns may be sent via an insured shipping method to our MIKIMOTO New York Flagship Boutique at:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
I would like to thank the forum participants for the very thoughtful advice.
As a follow up, if luster is perhaps the most critical criteria, is it worth it to try to get the Mikimoto AAA grade. Would a “normal” person not using loupes even notice the difference between the AA and AAA?
Honestly, a high-grade Mikimoto parure is a thing of dreams. If you’ve already splurged for Mikimoto earrings... A strand and perhaps one day a bracelet from the same brand would be inimitably special!

I am confident the difference between grades would be visible in a side by side comparison. Whether it would be “memorable” (ie. If you saw one strand, and then the other, but not side by side) - that, I couldn’t say. I suspect it depends on both your (and your wife’s!) visual acuity and familiarity with pearls.

The nice thing about pearls, I think - compared to other gems - is that looking through the loupe doesn’t give you any more information than your naked eyes do! The characteristics that determine quality - shape, skin smoothness, blemishing, luster, colour - the loupe doesn’t help you identify, quantify, or qualify any of these any better. So you really can trust your eyes!
 
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astaeria

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
135
I think that you should definitely try to get the AA over the A+! Reason being that there could be high AAs that are very close to AAA grade, in the photo below both of these earrings are AA grade (but different sizes), you can tell that the left is much more lustrous than the right!

06E311E0-EEE9-4718-B01A-5D222A8F1F27.jpeg

Having own the AAA Mikimoto earrings now I’d say that the left AA earring is actually pretty comparable to the AAA I have now, so I’d recommend to give the AA a shot!

37AC4CF2-B7ED-411E-9F40-8D592C7D0664.jpeg

426F0D6E-5C1A-4FC1-8745-5E6EC2A1A10E.jpeg

Also, in terms of timeline, I'm not sure if it matters to you but I had to wait ~3 months to get my AAA Mikimotos as they are not readily in stock and had to be ordered in, whereas the AA Mikimotos were available in store and I could get it from the store without having to wait. If you're close to a Mikimoto store I'd highly suggest you drop by the store as there could be some AA strands that are close to the AAA grade but were graded more conservatively!
 
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EyeMD

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
14
The AAA studs are extraordinary!

I am definitely committed to the AA over the A+, but I am still investigating the AAA. I suspect they will be about double the cost of the AA.

When I lived in NYC it was easy to visit the Mikimoto store, but I have since moved and no longer have local access. Moreover, the pandemic has made a trip to NYC quite difficult in the near term.

I agree that there is some variability in grading. When I purchased my wife’s AA studs, some pairs seemed more lustrous than others.

I have been working with an SA in NYC for about 5 years, so perhaps I can ask him to opine on the quality of the AA strands and even help pick the best one.

I very much appreciate the help of those on this forum and have even expanded my vocabulary with the addition of “parure”. Love it!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
The AAA studs are extraordinary!

I am definitely committed to the AA over the A+, but I am still investigating the AAA. I suspect they will be about double the cost of the AA.

When I lived in NYC it was easy to visit the Mikimoto store, but I have since moved and no longer have local access. Moreover, the pandemic has made a trip to NYC quite difficult in the near term.

I agree that there is some variability in grading. When I purchased my wife’s AA studs, some pairs seemed more lustrous than others.

I have been working with an SA in NYC for about 5 years, so perhaps I can ask him to opine on the quality of the AA strands and even help pick the best one.

I very much appreciate the help of those on this forum and have even expanded my vocabulary with the addition of “parure”. Love it!

Ohh! You even have a long relationship with an SA! You really are in perfect position to make the best decision for you and your wife that Mikimoto has to offer ::)
 

EyeMD

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
14
After rapid exchange of photos with a very helpful and patient SA, I decided that the AAA strand (fortunately they had one left in stock) was noticeably nicer than the AA stands that were available. So AAA it is!

Again, I appreciate the advice from those on the forum.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
After rapid exchange of photos with a very helpful and patient SA, I decided that the AAA strand (fortunately they had one left in stock) was noticeably nicer than the AA stands that were available. So AAA it is!

Again, I appreciate the advice from those on the forum.

Cannot WAIT to hear what you think. A Mikimoto AAA strand is one for the presses!! :appl: :love: :cool2: :eek-2::shock::love::dance::Up_to_something::love:

Please share your thoughts and tons of photos once you've gifted it to your very very very lucky wife :love:
 
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MrsBlue

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
223
This thread. My heart. I think it stopped beating for a few seconds.

Congratulations on this gorgeous purchase and thank you for giving me something new to dream about!

Is the stunning silver gray color shown in the photos true-to-life and typical of Mikimoto pearls?
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
Yes, I’m very excited to gift them to my wife.

On their way from NYC........will keep you posted!
1606782190634.jpeg

:shock:
Edit - is “reserve” AAA?
Also, just gonna point out that within just a few days and a few posts you went from thinking A+ to buying AAA - does PS have an #ExtraordinaryEnablement label? This thread deserves it :bigsmile:
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
Well....gift has arrived. This is the only photo until Christmas. I’ll take more when the gift gets opened. Pretty excited to see the necklace.

DE16CEE4-FBAF-454A-81EA-C1A91BAF028B.jpeg

1. You really should open it and make sure all is well before Christmas. I know it’s less fun the second time around, but please do it anyway, whilst your wife is busy elsewhere - if there are any issues you have a limited timeline to address. Even the big houses do occasionally make mistakes.
2. When you open it to check everything, if you happen to slip and accidentally snap a pic or two, feel free to share...
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
1. You really should open it and make sure all is well before Christmas. I know it’s less fun the second time around, but please do it anyway, whilst your wife is busy elsewhere - if there are any issues you have a limited timeline to address. Even the big houses do occasionally make mistakes.
2. When you open it to check everything, if you happen to slip and accidentally snap a pic or two, feel free to share...

Definatly show us a peak
We only have the best interests of Mrs @EyeMD at heart ;)2
what if they left a pearl out :lol-2:
13968917952_171b7cf07f_b.jpg
 

EyeMD

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
14
It is tempting to take a peek inside, but I think I will wait.

My SA is very attentive to detail (even took photos as he packed necklace). Pretty sure I would never get ribbon so pretty. Moreover, given our multi-year relationship he will accept a return in to January if there are any issues.
 

Polabowla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
1,447
Yes please check; I just bought a gift for dh and luckily we opened it before the holidays because it arrived smashed.
 
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