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Opinions on this strand?

Discussion in 'Pearls' started by Pinkmartini87, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Pinkmartini87
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 2, 2019
    70F56A3A-B745-43A2-A665-065A1C4C4D20.jpeg
    B773EA37-6F1D-426B-BD4C-2629CE8F587D.jpeg
    Dear all,

    Just bought this from a local store. Any thoughts on the type of pearl, the luster? How would you grade this if we were using PP grades? Please click on photos for enlarged version—this are iPhone photos only.

    Many thanks!
     
    


    


  2. marymm
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    by marymm » Jun 2, 2019
    Based on the 2 photos, I would guess Freshwater Pearls. They seem very round, very well-matched in size/color/lustre, mirror-like lustre, very few/minor blemishes, maybe AA-AAA?
     
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  3. Pinkmartini87
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  4. GliderPoss
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    by GliderPoss » Jun 3, 2019
    I'm no expert but they look very shiny & nice :clap:
     
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  5. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    The crimp end beads are not used to finish high end necklaces.

    I have to ask-- are you sure they are real? The pearls seem very uniform.
    To test, rub two of the pearls near the clasp together gently-- are they gritty feeling (real nacre), or do they glide smoothly on each other (imitation)?

    If you have a 10x loupe, look at the surface. Real nacre looks very smooth at that magnification, while imitation pearls are coarser looking. If unsure, compare with pearls that are known to be real or fake.

    Look at drill holes. Are they straight or beveled? Real pearls will not have beveled drill holes; fake pearls might.
     
  6. Pinkmartini87
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  7. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 3, 2019
    @pearlsngems sorry to ask for clarification, can you show me an example of what it means by crimp end beads, and beveled drill holes? I googled but did not get good images. I’m starting to think these may be fake...
     
  8. stracci2000
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    by stracci2000 » Jun 3, 2019
    I agree with @pearlsngems.
    The pearls don't look genuine to me. And what about that clasp? If those pearls were genuine, and look that good, then the clasp would be gold, and marked.
    The clam-shaped bead tip that hides the knot is a big red flag that these are probably glass.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  9. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    With beveled drill holes, the area around the hole is conical. I will look for an image.

    These are 2 kinds of bead end crimps, which you can see here:
    1. With this kind you use pliers to fold over the metal part after passing it through the clasp:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32269655613.html

    2. With this one you attach the double loops to the clasp with an open jump ring:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2014537254.html

    In both cases, you hide the knot inside the clamshell and fold it closed, often using a drop of glue to secure it before closing. The folded clam shell looks like a bead.

    A valuable pearl necklace ought to be finished with a loop of gimp a.k.a. French wire, which protects the thread where it meets the clasp.
     
  10. Pinkmartini87
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  11. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 3, 2019
    6506C9F3-3B42-4974-9C5D-36F69B6EB3B4.jpeg @pearlsngems thank you for the great links! I’ve tried to look up an example of gimp; did I circle the right thing in the above photo?

    And yes, would love a visual example of the beveled opening!
     
  12. pearlsngems
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    Yes, that is the gimp-- a little bit (1/4") is strung on like a bead after the pearl, then the needle is passed through the clasp, and back through the end pearl. When the thread is tightened, the gimp curves into a loop, like plating, protecting the thread.

    Here is an image of beveled holes in metal-- there is a shallow conical depression around the drill hole. You won't see this in all imitation pearls but when you do see it it is a dead giveaway that the pearl is fake.
    beveled hole in metal.jpeg
     
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  13. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 3, 2019
    17FC5F12-A707-4832-8CC7-7233DF2221DA.jpeg 7A2D199F-7E18-4007-A0EF-208F35CD41BD.jpeg DB837C5A-0371-4924-BA25-958626543A7B.jpeg @pearlsngems sorry for my enthusiasm. I went on eBay now and found some closeups of pearls (or should I say “pearls”) for compare and contrast (1st and 2nd photos where there’s no flat area around the hole). Whereas mine looks more like the 3rd imaging above in that there’s a flat area around the hole (is that beveled?)
     
  14. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    Here are a few gimp photos from my stringing tutorial on the other pearl forum.
    The first shows the gimp strung on but not yet tightened into a loop; the second shows the finished loop.

    gimp strung on but not yet tightened .jpeg

    Gimp when tightened.jpeg
     
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  15. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    I posted a photo of beveled holes in metal in post 12.

    Many imitation pearls have holes that are not beveled. But beveled holes are only found in fake pearls.
    None of the photos you posted have beveled drill holes.

    Many fake pearls also tend to have rather large drill holes. Pearls are sold by weight so the holes tend to be quite small to preserve weight. But high quality fakes (like Majorica brand) may also have small holes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  16. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 3, 2019
    @pearlsngems thank you again for all the pearls of wisdom (pun intended!)

    I think the fact that each is perfectly matched without costing me a fortune, the rough knots (twine?) between each bead, the cheap clasp as you pointed out, the light weight of it as I hold it in my hand, all point to glass. :cry2:
     
  17. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 3, 2019
    You should also be aware that just because a clasp is marked 14K doesn't necessarily mean it is, unfortunately. Many items coming out of China are base metal but stamped 14K.

    Okay, I just read your last post. I hope you didn't overpay... are they returnable?

    FYI, glass pearls don't weight less than real ones. Plastic pearls do weigh less, often a lot less, than real pearls. But I agree, I think you have glass pearls.
     
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  18. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 3, 2019
    @pearlsngems I’m very appreciative of all your time and effort in teaching a newbie. Sure, I’ll try to see if I can return them later this week. They were not very expensive at all so worst case scenario I will have paid a small tuition and came away with more knowledge, and great fun learning as I always do on this forum full of generous folks sharing their expertise!
     
  19. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 4, 2019
    Good plan, and you're right, it was an opportunity to learn!

    Do try the "tooth test" if you have not already (rubbing pearls gently against each other, or against the edge of your front tooth), so that you know what fake pearls feel like (slippery, not gritty.) That will help you the next time you are trying to determine if pearls are real or not.

    Do you think you will now want to find a real pearl strand? Always happy to be an enabler. :mrgreen2:
     
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  20. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 4, 2019
    Just did the tooth test! Super smooth like hard candy. Not good hehe.

    Yes, I would love a real strand with matching studs now more than ever! Please do be my enabler! :lol:

    Let’s go for a fancy Akoya strand (AA vs AAA?)! 7-7.5 mm I think (at least with this glass set which was sold to me as7-7.5 mm I know it’s the size I want, there’s the silver lining!). What’s your preference as to where to start (I’ve eyed Pearl Paradise and Pure Pearls very briefly in the past).
     
  21. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 4, 2019
    My round (i.e. non-baroque) akoyas are vintage, but if I were in the market for a new akoya necklace in the size you stated, I'd go for the best ones, budget permitting.
    At Pearl Paradise, Pearls of Joy and Pure Pearls (I have bought from all 3 vendors and can reccomend them) the best akoyas are their hanadama pearls. Hanadama pearls are AAA pearls that have been sent to the Pearl Science Lab in Japan to be certified.

    Hanadama pearls have to meet certain high standards to be given that designation by the lab in Japan. They will have an individual certificate, specific to that necklace, stating the details, such as nacre thickness.
    There are two kinds of hanadama pearls.

    The regular hanadama pearls, like 99+% of akoyas, are bleached and pinked. The bleaching removes colors that are undesirable, and the pinking (done by soaking the pearls in large jars of pink dye) gives the pearls a slight rosy overtone that flatters many complexions, but the pearls still look white against the skin.

    Then there are the "natural white hanadama" pearls which do not go through the standard bleaching and pinking process. I've only seen photos of these but they are stunning. They have beautiful pink and blue overtones that are completely natural. Personally I think I'd want to buy these, but your skin tone may "like" the pinked ones better.
    Whatever you decide, ask whichever vendor you prefer for several side by side photos so you have options to choose from.

    There are other pearl vendors I have not bought from but have read good things about. I understand that American Pearls' AAA are their highest grade of akoyas, so if you buy from them, ask for photos of those rather than their hanadama.

    Unlike diamonds, pearl grades are not standardized, but A-AAA is the usual range. Some vendors may use A-AAAA to make it seem their pearls are better. To me that is just marketing. Read the vendor's own websites to find out what they mean by their pearl grades. You can't really compare one vendor's pearls with another's by using grades. One vendor's AA may be another's AAA.

    Bottom line-- only buy from vendors with excellent return policies, communicate what you are looking for and ask for photos, and to get the best prices, get on email lists and wait for sales! 15%-20% off is significant when the pearls are costly to begin with, as high end akoyas are.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  22. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 4, 2019
    @pearlsngems thanks for the wealth of info! As a matter of fact one of my friends who is getting married recently had contacted either Pure pearls or Pearl Paradise asking for an AAA Akoya strand. She sent the above photo (which they sent her a sample of their AAA) to the bridal party aka me and a few others.

    Here’s the AAA Akoya:

    2BC5ADD4-7156-43B5-B9E1-A7B4BDE5C521.jpeg .

    They also sent her several Hanadama strands to choose from:
    3794C525-7A4F-4CFD-A2CE-4FB8F012E98E.jpeg
    09118E49-5C4F-4309-B473-BD40568E25B1.jpeg
    2CF6DA68-ACD2-4A94-9426-C451A938189F.jpeg

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the strands. Not sure my friend is committed to buying any of them just yet. Honestly to my untrained eye with the exception of the first Hanadama strand, the other two Hanadama don’t look as good as the AAA Akoya.
     
  23. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 4, 2019
    The top 3 photos are in better focus than the last photo, and that may be influencing me, but I would prefer any of the top 3 over the last one.
     
  24. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 4, 2019
    Thanks! Do you think the Akoya strand looks almost as good as the Hanadama? I know it’s probably hard to tell for sure in photos, but the Hanadamas are twice as expensive and I don’t think they look twice as good!

    I also read a blog today about how Jackie Kennedy’s famous triple strand pearl necklace is actually faux pearl! Do you think the average person can tell at arm’s length (where one can’t see the beveled hope, the cheaper clasp)if someone is wearing real vs fake pearls? Can you? If not, then is it worth it buying real pearls in the end????
     
  25. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 4, 2019
    I totally understand what you're saying about price vs. value! Sometimes less is more.
    Spending less on a necklace also leaves some money left over for earrings! (And if you plan to do that, I highly recommend buying the earrings at the same time as the necklace, so that the vendor can match the color tone.)

    I can't imagine being disappointed at owning the top strand. It is lustrous and a beautiful color!

    Yes, Jackie Kennedy's 3 strand necklace was an imitation made by Kenneth Jay Lane-- as were Barbara Bush's famous pearls! Personally I love the best of the fakes (made by Majorica), and own a number of strands and studs in different colors and sizes. I was married wearing a strand of Majoricas! They are just fun to wear, and as I buy them secondhand, I never pay a lot for them. There is certainly a place for costume jewelry just as there is a place for real.

    Can I tell the difference? Yes. Can most people? Probably not!

    Most of my real cultured pearls are non-round, and therefore cost a lot less. I love the baroque, drop, circled and and near-round shapes, and the lower price tag means I can get more! :mrgreen2:

    Wear whatever you like! Real/ fake, round/baroque, white/colored, cheap/costly-- it doesn't matter, as long as you feel beautiful wearing them and they give you pleasure.
     
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  26. Pinkmartini87
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  27. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 4, 2019
    @pearlsngems PS Would love to see your Majorica pearls if you have time to share! I’ve never seen Majorica pearls before. What do you think of their quality—Do you think they look close enough to the real thing when it comes to most casual observers? (Obv I know they won’t fool a connoisseur like you!)
     
  28. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 4, 2019
    There's a thread on the other pearl forum (pearl guide) where I've posted photos of some of my Majoricas. We're not supposed to link to other forums but you can find it by googling.

    On PG, look on the "What Kind of Pearls Do I have?" forum; the thread about fake pearls is the first thread stickied there.

    Majorica brand is the best of the fakes. They dip the glass beads anywhere from 18 to 30+ times in the coating solution, polishing between dips, then add a final coating that imitates orient (the play of colors that high quality real peals have.) But the color play is the same for all the pearls in the strand, and that gives them away. With real pearls, the overtones in a strand will be varied from pearl to pearl. Most people wouldn't know that, so sure, I think they would assume you are wearing real pearls. (In a weird twist, one person said her friends think her hanadamas are fake because they are so perfect! :eek2:

    However, even Majorica fakes are expensive when bought new. You'd be better off getting white gem grade freshwater pearls. At least then you'd have real pearls. Fortunately, there are pre-owned Majorica strands listed on eBay all the time, so there's no need to buy new. Those can also be pricey, so wait for a good deal. Just be aware than many of the older strands on eBay are a light cream color rather than white-white; that color used to be the fashion.

    I think you have to ask yourself: Do I want a strand of pearls primarily as a fashion accessory, or because I love pearls? Both real and imitation pearls will satisfy the first function, but only real pearls will fulfill the second. One does not sit and gaze at fake pearls, marveling at their beauty, as one might with real pearls, but fake pearls still serve nicely to complete an outfit.
     
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  29. Pinkmartini87
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    by Pinkmartini87 » Jun 6, 2019
    F541B5ED-3479-45FB-B2E3-078964490FF9.png 3D5ED1D1-E765-487B-B8ED-88ECC6F57F13.png 52327D6D-66CA-45CD-B419-271F1F506B55.png 5C9F1067-FC50-4A5B-ADC3-1160A32821CF.png 7C08146F-A8FC-4693-B47E-A470094BA125.png 587DA266-F53E-46FE-A927-7BC01676770A.png
    @pearlsngems PS I just bought the above Majorica strand on eBay and thought I’d share with you as you’ve been so helpful. What do you think? It’s hard to tell what is the true color of this strand as it looks more cream in some photos and more white in others...I’m hoping it’s not too cream since I don’t think that will look good on me! I was reading today that the older Majorica ones tend to have sterling or 14k clasps with the safety chain, whereas the newer ones have electroplated gold and no safety chain—is that true?

    I didn’t really like the ones on the actual Majorica site. They look kind of flat compared to their vintage counterparts which seem to have more green and pink tones and more of a glow. Is this just me? I’m so new to pearls that I’m not sure I don’t sound crazy!
     
  30. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Jun 6, 2019
    Those do look like the older cream colored pearls. You never know, the color may suit you well. The knots look like they are in fairly good shape so maybe it wasn't worn a lot.

    The older strands I've seen have a softer shine and less-pronounced pink and green iridescence than the newer ones. I think this probably made them look a bit more like real pearls. The degree of shine/luster of a pre-owned strand will depend on how well the strand was cared for. Majorica pearls are quite durable, but they can lose luster the same way cultured pearls can, if exposed to cosmetics, hair spray, cologne, etc., or if they are scratched up by being stored with metal or stone jewelry. Real or fake, pearls are soft and have to be treated and stored with care.

    Majorica clasps are typically stamped 925, whether they are sterling silver or vermeil (gold plated over sterling silver.) I have 2 pieces that have 18K gold (marked 750) safety clasps, but that is quite unusual. Safety chains were common with the older necklaces; I haven't seen the chain used on newer ones.

    I hope these are just what you were hoping for. Are they returnable if you don't like the color?
    If they only serve to whet your appetite for real pearls, that's okay too! ;)2

    Just want to add that they look very much like my mother's strand, similar clasp-- she got hers in the late 1960s.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019

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