- Feb 23, 2013
Thanks! I love your fur babies! Sorry I contributed to their being woken up haha.That made me gasp out loud and woke the cats up!! I freaking love it so, so much!!
Yes, luscious is a great word. Nice pearls always look like candy to me, and I love me some funky bling too.OH EM GEEEEEEE
It is just LUSCIOUS. I love it! Classy, funky, beautiful....such a great piece!
Thanks! I feel pretty wearing them!That is amazing! So pretty!
Yeah they did a great job with the color graduation, I'm very impressedMy goodness, that's stunning! I've always loved ombre strands. The color graduation is perfect!
Haha, I asked for something "rock n roll" And I think I got it!Never thought pearls could look badass but here we are. Stunning.
Shale is more elegant than I"ll ever be, I can only be grateful to have him in my life.Also I wish I could pull off jewelry with half the careless elegance that your cat displays. I haz envy lol
I am THRILLED. This is one of those "you can pry it out of my cold dead hands" kind of pieces.It is so beautiful, amazing! Are you thrilled with it?
I really love how it turned out and how it looks on me. I was nervous it might be too big, and it was a significant amount for something I wouldn't be able to return if it didn't live up to expectations, but happy to report that I love it and feel awesome wearing it.Aaaah! It’s so cool/edgy but chic at the same time. I absolutely love it. Can’t wait for more of your thoughts and photos. You must be over the moon happy with it.
Me neither, and I do love unique pieces!So unique & beautiful! Never seen a pearl necklace like this before!
Thanks! Hopefully it'll distract from the zit on my forehead...I love it!!! It looks beautiful on you!
Thanks! I hope you find your dream strand soon too! Enjoy the hunt!Well done!!!!!!
Funnily enough it had not occurred to me to do ombre pearls until someone posted the mikimoto ones and then I was insta-obsessedLove me anything ombre!
One of the things I love about pearls is the creative arrangements!That is stunning! I have never seen anything like it!!
Thanks! Funnily enough I learned about ombre through people getting ombre hair coloring! I wonder if I should try to do black to white ombre hair to match hahaI love ombre pearl necklaces, and yours is drop dead gorgeous!!!
Thanks! I can't do the classic white pearl 18" strand cause it feels too formal and prep to me. THIS i'll wear and rock though. I actually don't know how many more of these exact layout the vendor can make given limitations to the large akoya supply. I think they can probably make similar ones with southsea or smaller akoyas or slightly more commercial grade pearls though for lower cost. Would love to see more people rock the ombre pearl trend! When I was researching, I saw Pearl paradise had a limited run of them at one point, maybe if it's popular enough they'll make them again?They could just make this pic their advert and they’d seriously sell ombres by the hank
For real. If there was ever a way to make pearls “cool”, “accessible”, and “wearable” - you NAILED it.
Haha yeah he's everywhere. I"m gonna try to get him to model the new pearls at some point.LOL the cats paws and tail in background....LOLLOL
So as an example of the trickiness of buying form this vendor, I asked for descriptions of the pearls and was told “very minimal blemishes”. There’s only one pearl that I think is more blemished than I anticipated. Had this been a typical customer facing vendor I’d probably have asked to see if I could have this one pearl replaced. Answer might have been no since priority is on color, size and luster match. But as it stands there’s not much to do about it.
That being said, the 2 little blemishes sort of reminds me of a vampire bite haha. And I don’t care cause you can’t see them when I’m wearing the pearls and having very slight blemishes is a nice sign the pearls are real!
I will also say I can’t wait for summer and to wear this with a spaghetti strap dress !
Ok, now that I have a little break, here's some info about the vendor.
Vendor is Takahashi Pearls, which I found on Instagram (@akoyapearlofficial_takahashi). They are in Japan and up until covid, were only wholesale to industry. However, given the shutdown on gem shows etc where they might typically wholesale, they pivoted into some direct to consumer sales as well (presumably out of necessity).
I will be blunt and say that I think they are perhaps not a good fit for people who are new to pearls or not sure what they want since they DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS. And you can only pay in bank wire and so there is no protection via credit card etc. They also do not have fancy or dedicated lighting set ups and their photos are often not great. You also cannot buy via a website, you have to go through their instragram account and discuss via DM. I found all this odd but then reminded myself that 1) they are not a consumer facing business typically and 2)I vetted them as much as I am able and am comfortable with their legitimacy.
At this point I've ordered a few different things from them and have been happy with the service and the products. I think the prices are great, which makes sense since they do wholesale pricing. However what you save in dollars, you risk in potentially ending up with a product you're not happy with and cannot return. There is also the hassle of international delivery being expensive (90$) and requiring potential import taxes and customs forms.
So in a nutshell, if you know what you want and how to ask/describe etc then they're a great vendor offering excellent value. But if the idea of no returns and "buying blind" so to speak makes you nervous, I'd stick with US based vendors that allow returns and credit cards, especially if it's an expensive purchase.
I do not wish to hijack MTG's thread or the excitement on the new piece. However, I think/hope it will be useful to provide some information about dealing with "direct to consumer" wholesalers, in addition to what MTG already mentioned.
The company mentioned is certainly not the only one who has opened their doors to social media and selling to a wider base of customers. As I am sure you may imagine, many already-pandemic-struggling vendors trying to make a living across the world are none too happy about being essentially totally removed from the supply chain by Instagram wholesale. I also understand end consumers want to find the best deal possible, be it for experimental projects, spontaneous buys, or just because of the deal seeking experience.
So, with that in mind, I want to leave some advice and information for PS'ers and anyone who may come across and be really enticed by the prospect of getting a more "direct deal." (In addition to what has already been mentioned of course).
- In pearls, the quality range is not very tight. If you think retail pearl grading needs some work, this is a whole 'nother ballgame. These companies are very used to selling thousands of pearls in single orders, and they will not want sit and meticulously sort or match for you - that is part of the service of retail markup. There is no "AA" "AAA" to even assist. Don't be surprised if things aren't up to a "PS standard." As vendors we account for some less useful throwaway in an order because there's enough to cover it. But if you're not buying in quantity enough that this is a negligible issue, just be careful. This is complicated stuff, and if you do not know pricing well, you may not get as good of a deal as you think by the time you account for findings, labor, etc. Think of this like buying uncerted diamonds. Sometimes there's not lots of visual difference between F/VVS2 superideal and J/VS2 excellent, but there's a dollar difference. Wholesalers won't help you with this.
- Similar to point 1, it is very likely anything you ask about you will be told is "best quality" - there are about 5-6 levels of "best quality" that any given wholesaler might use. You'll ask for the best, the wholesaler swears up and down it's the best, and it may well be high quality, but PSers have some exacting standards and this is something I am keenly aware of - and as someone who works with many different wholesale companies, "pricescope stuff" is genuinely difficult to find. It may take 6-7 companies contacted to find something that would pass the standards of this forum (and I love you all for it, truly) but be aware that, spoken from much experience and money spent, any wholesale company's idea of best will rarely match PriceScope's idea. You will find very nice stuff, but you're not finding "superideal" stuff. Brands already have standing orders for the best stuff when it rarely comes available.
- Customs, when done legally, can be very hefty. If customs are not done legally, customs and border can legally destroy the goods. They probably won't do that, but it has happened to me once before. Please, before you consider spending lots of money with a direct company, keep in mind that if something goes wrong and your items have issues with them, you are largely SOL. If the Loch Ness monster eats the boat the pearls get shipped on, we as vendors have insurance to cover that-- you as consumer may not. I say that not to alarm any of you lovely PS'ers but to simply warn that any of these wholesale companies will not be helpful in the event of an issue.
- Please, from the bottom of my heart, genuinely kindly asked, if you're considering purchasing from any wholesale company that allows direct to consumer, do not ask your favorite diamond/pearl/colored stone vendor to give their opinion on your considered purchase. If you choose to bypass retail pricing, you also choose to bypass retail service - which legitimately is the most fun part on this side of the sale. If you ask for help evaluating a wholesale purchase, we cannot help you. Not because we do not love you, because we do, but because there is a point at which we (collective, any vendor we) want to make sales too- because we have spent a lot of our own time and money to train and understand what it is our standards are, and using those standards to choose what we consider best for customers. We have a passion for gems and jewels too, but we are also trying to live off of them. So please do ask us about our stuff, but don't ask for help with not our stuff, especially if you're buying wholesale. This is a big issue that happens with pearls and I firmly believe PS'ers are wonderful people who don't mean any malice by it, but it can sting dishearteningly when we get messages (and we all get them) that essentially say "I am going to completely cut you out of the supply chain but expect your expert eye anyway"
- Finally, PriceScope pearls are a warped place in that every trusted vendor ever mentioned often here is dealing to you all in the top 1% - some of the pearls are in top .5%, some in top .01%, some in .00001% - but all of us in the top 1%. There really are a lot of scary-bad pearls out there. You will find lots of stuff out there, from excellent to bad to downright should be compacted into dust (like industrial diamonds). I don't want to sound like a broken record, but know that cheap does not necessarily mean "good deal."
OK-- hopefully, none of this comes off as bitter or mean in the slightest. Definitely not meant that way whatsoever. I just want folks on PS to walk into these situations as informed as possible.
All the best to y'all, and happy + informed deal hunting
PS- Back to regularly scheduled programming of MTG's exciting new piece.
i fully support you getting an ombré strand!Wow, This looks so trendy and perfect! I mean WOW!
Thank you for sharing the vendor, I am sure you vetted them well and there is an excitement and story behind your beautiful strand of “rock and roll” pearls! An adventure without leaving your house. No need to fly to Japan to search a Japanese market. And no stuffy pretentious US pearl salesman!
Over on one of the jade threads they explain how to buy jade at online auctions using google translate. The vendors do not speak or write in English, even the bill and wire transfer as well. Now that is a true gamble.
Thank you for sharing I love your story and of course now I want an ombré strand.
And for anyone who hasn't seen the Hangouts thread - five pages of PSers find this sort of behaviour appallingly obtuse.Please, from the bottom of my heart, genuinely kindly asked, if you're considering purchasing from any wholesale company that allows direct to consumer, do not ask your favorite diamond/pearl/colored stone vendor to give their opinion on your considered purchase. If you choose to bypass retail pricing, you also choose to bypass retail service - which legitimately is the most fun part on this side of the sale. If you ask for help evaluating a wholesale purchase, we cannot help you. Not because we do not love you, because we do, but because there is a point at which we (collective, any vendor we) want to make sales too- because we have spent a lot of our own time and money to train and understand what it is our standards are, and using those standards to choose what we consider best for customers. We have a passion for gems and jewels too, but we are also trying to live off of them. So please do ask us about our stuff, but don't ask for help with not our stuff, especially if you're buying wholesale. This is a big issue that happens with pearls and I firmly believe PS'ers are wonderful people who don't mean any malice by it, but it can sting dishearteningly when we get messages (and we all get them) that essentially say "I am going to completely cut you out of the supply chain but expect your expert eye anyway"
Thanks. I can’t take all the credit. I blame @yssie for turning me on to pearls. Her collection is insanely gorgeous.
Thanks! I’m looking forward to styling this strand more. Someday when formal events are a thing again...sigh. In the meantime I’m wearing pearls with my pjsBeautiful, lustrous and stylish! The strand is gorgeous.
While the pearls aren’t literally all perfect (there’s some minor blemishing. I don’t think I’d have the patience to assemble this with perfectly smooth skinned Tahitians and akoya, the wait time needed would kill me) they are definitely perfect for me!Perfection !