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Purchasing Keshi Pearls

lmcriss

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
159
Hi Everyone!

I was wondering if anyone has any expertise in purchasing keshi pearls online? I say otherwise because I live in rural Montana and there are not a many specialty pearl dealers in my area.

I fell in love with a gorgeous strand at the jewelry store that I work at, but they are, naturally, pretty far out of my price range even with an employee discount. Since I've made plenty of friends and family's wedding jewelry, I'm going to make my own (with the guidance of our jeweler who also owns the store). Normally I'd just ask her what she thinks, but we're closed until after the new year and I'm getting really excited to FINALLY be able to make my OWN wedding jewelry. I've been attempting to do research, but am not finding out very much. Does anyone know of any reputable dealers? There are plenty of beautiful keshi pearls on Etsy and Ebay, but how will I know that they're quality pearls and not junk? Is there anything in particular that I should be looking for? Price ranges vary wildly and where I know that you pay for quality, I don't want to spend $$$$$ on pearls when I can get ones of equal quality and beauty for $$$.

The final necklace that I'm hoping to make will look something like this, but possibly with whiter pearls (or not, these are really pretty) ;-).

keshi_pearl_necklace.png
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
Welcome. I purchased my strand of freshwater Keshi at Pearl Paradise. I am not sure what type of keshi you are looking for. All cultured pearl types can create keshi. Sarah at Kojima pearl company also sells loose and finished keshi jewely
 

Siameseroo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
1,475
What kind of keshi are you looking for? WSSP, GSSP, Akoya, Tahitian, freshwater...

I've purchased metallic freshwater Keshi from Wen Pearls on Etsy and Tahitian Keshi from the Pearl House, also on etsy!
 

lmcriss

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
159
Thank you so much for your feedback!

I started looking just for saltwater keshi pearls but I guess that wasn't specific enough... I think I'd probably be looking for either Akoya keshi or freshwater keshi. I actually have a bunch of strands from wen pearls saved in my etsy favorites. What is the difference besides cost in going Akoya vs freshwater? My only real preference is that I don't want them to be dyed. I'm assuming that a reputable dealer will disclose that?
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
Sarah at Kojima pearl company has both akoya and freshwater among other types for sale. The akoya keshi is much smaller than the freshwater, but that is to be expected since the shells are much smaller to begin with. I am sure she has some loose strands she can send you photos of if you request them. Are you making more than one necklace?
 

Begonia

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
1,721
I've online purchased keshi from both kojima and Catherine cardellini. All have been stunning with sharp metallic overtones and great lustre. The akoya are small but Sarah did a lovely graduated 3 strand for me some years back. It's delicately beautiful, almost vintage in appearance with a round akoya set in the clasp.
 

lmcriss

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
159
Begonia|1482958423|4110105 said:
I've online purchased keshi from both kojima and Catherine cardellini. All have been stunning with sharp metallic overtones and great lustre. The akoya are small but Sarah did a lovely graduated 3 strand for me some years back. It's delicately beautiful, almost vintage in appearance with a round akoya set in the clasp.
Oh the eye candy on Catherine's site!! absolutely gorgeous! :love: Thank you for turning me onto it! Thank you all for your super helpful advice!
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
I haven't purchased from Catherine. How long does it take to get things from Australia? Anyone?
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,189
NacreLover|1483034657|4110400 said:
I haven't purchased from Catherine. How long does it take to get things from Australia? Anyone?
When I purchased some a few years ago it took around 3 weeks for me to get them. I'm sure it varies, because it seems to me mine took longer to arrive than they usually do.
 

amti

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
34
Those appear to be Chinese Freshwater keshi and are relatively cheap. You can find them from any online vendor. Wen Pearls and Kong Pearls are both on etsy and have good reputations. I've ordered from Wen a few times but haven't used Kong yet. To find the best quality, it is best to email Wen and tell her you want the best quality freshwater keshi in a certain color and size to keep your sanity (she's got over 1000 items). You need to specify your drill hole size. I am pretty sure both vendors can string and make a necklace for you but you may have to purchase a clasp from them. If you are stringing yourself, I recommend Beader's Secret from Pattye on Etsy. She also sells great stringing needles and is a pleasure to work with. Good luck!
 

amti

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
34
lmcriss|1482936989|4110021 said:
Thank you so much for your feedback!

I started looking just for saltwater keshi pearls but I guess that wasn't specific enough... I think I'd probably be looking for either Akoya keshi or freshwater keshi. I actually have a bunch of strands from wen pearls saved in my etsy favorites. What is the difference besides cost in going Akoya vs freshwater? My only real preference is that I don't want them to be dyed. I'm assuming that a reputable dealer will disclose that?

Akoya keshi are much smaller, more rare, have a different luster and come in whites and creams... very rarely faint blues. Freshwater keshi have a world of their own because many sellers call nonkeshi keshi because of their wild shapes. Freshwaters come in whites, creams, light pinks, and if they are edisons, a lot of other colors. Blacks are dyed unless they are Tahitian keshi. As far as sellers mentioning if a pearl is natural or dyed, don't count on it. Ask if you really need to know. Most sellers will state that a pearl is undyed or natural/untouched but if it isn't disclosed, best to ask. And really get to know which sellers know their stuff. There are a lot of sellers who have no clue what they're selling and mislabel their pearls.
 

Begonia

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
1,721
NacreLover|1483034657|4110400 said:
I haven't purchased from Catherine. How long does it take to get things from Australia? Anyone?

It too 2 to 3 weeks to Canada :D
 

Begonia

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
1,721
Additionally, I found her (Catherine cardellini) "vendor shots" to be much closer to what you receive than other pearls I've ordered from other vendors. Just sayin'.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,240
I ordered earrings from Catherine once, and I think they took about 2 weeks to arrive.

I'm sure it helps being able to photograph in her "front porch in deep shade", as her website says. For vendors who can't do that due to their location, other photography setups are necessary.
 

kalmen22

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
141
Catherine is wonderful to work with. And the pictures are very accurate.
 

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
731
I'm in Australia and it generally takes about 2-3 weeks for a package to get to America. The main delay is in the Postal Facility where they have to go through customs. You may owe duty as well on the items. It can be random .. sometimes they go through and sometimes you owe money. I've had things sit in Chicago for 6 days.

South Sea and Tahitian Keshi are always quite expensive..even at wholesale they are expensive. The Freshwater ones are beautiful and can be well priced..but for good quality you pay a bit more.
 
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