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Reputable places to buy?

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laughwithme

Brilliant_Rock
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On Rocky Talky, there is endless talk of best places to buy diamonds - Whiteflash, etc. I personally got my only pearls (pink freshwater pearl earrings, see the ''Show Me'' thread) at Blue Nile. I would like to buy more pearls in the future and am wondering about quality sellers. I adore my Blue Nile pearls of course but I am sure there are even better retailers out there. I would prefer online, BTW, since sometimes jewelery stores are located in one city but not another.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 

jmtomaui

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
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390
Hi Laugh, I have purchased from Pearl Paradise and The Pearl Outlet and been very happy with both of them as vendors. They both offer monthly specials, have very knowledgable staff, and good customer service. Their pearls are beautiful!

I''ll be curious to see what others recommend as I''m always interested in finding new vendors to work with.

Good luck with your purchase.

Julie
 

coatimundi_org

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 9, 2007
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6,281
http://pearlparadise.com/

http://thepearloutlet.com/

http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/

http://www.purepearls.com

http://www.kojimapearl.com/

Etsy Seller who uses quality pearls
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6032646

I highly recommend working with Jeremy Shepherd's team at Pearl Paradise. They know pearls. I posted this in another thread, but Jeremy Shepherd is a contributor to the GIA pearl course. The other vendors listed above have great inventory and fantastic pearl knowledge. If you really want something specific, it's best to call the vendors and ask them about their inventories.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I obtained almost all my pearls from pearlsource on ebay. He hasn't listed in quite a while. He has his own website now and I believe he used ebay as a springboard to start his web business. I haven't purchased from that website but the pearls I received from him on ebay were outstanding (high luster, very little pitting and nice color). In show me the pearls thread, I obtained my pistachio/bronze pearl lariat, tahitian strand, and freshwater strand (with gorgeous colors) all for excellent pricing from him.

Here's his website. Prices went a bit up from when I was buying from ebay, but I have to say that my pearls were some of the best deals I ever obtained on ebay (especially when won on auction), and I've obtained some of the most awesome prices on gems and jewelry on ebay. I don't think his prices for Tahitian strands can be beat.

http://www.thepearlsource.com/index.php
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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There used to be an Ebay seller called pearllunar ( maybe it was pearlunar) but I dont think they are around anymore. I wish I had purchased something from them though. The prices were pretty good and most people seemed happy with their products. The pearls tended not to be round but had nice color to them. Keep an eye out if you like to shop on Ebay. They may come back again.


ETA Oh they seem to be up again. I wouldn't buy anything expensive from them ( They seem to have expanded their selection), but they have some pretty freshwater studs and necklaces.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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On ebay, just be leary of dealers selling dyed pearls, and not disclosing this, or lying about it.
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
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So true TL. Also watch out for "ocean Pearls" which are usually a fancy name for simulated pearls. Druzy Design is a good seller on Ebay. I know she was mentioned in another post. You won''t find a strand of off round South sea pearls anywhere else online at those prices.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
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24,299
Date: 4/17/2009 10:40:40 AM
Author: coatimundi
http://pearlparadise.com/

http://thepearloutlet.com/

http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/

http://www.purepearls.com

http://www.kojimapearl.com/

Etsy Seller who uses quality pearls
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6032646

I highly recommend working with Jeremy Shepherd's team at Pearl Paradise. They know pearls. I posted this in another thread, but Jeremy Shepherd is a contributor to the GIA pearl course. The other vendors listed above have great inventory and fantastic pearl knowledge. If you really want something specific, it's best to call the vendors and ask them about their inventories.
ditto Miss Coati, I bought from both Pearl paradise and the Pearl outlet. Some of us posted pics of our pearls so you can see the quality.
 

Kay

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
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2,573
I highly recommend American Pearl for Akoya or South Seas pearls. I believe they also carry fresh water pearls, but I have not seen any of theirs IRL, so I cannot comment on the quality. I visited the American Pearl offices in NYC, and was very impressed with their quality, value and customer service. I also received excellent service on two subsequent telephone/internet purchases. I have purchased the following from AP: 51” strand (7x7.5mm, AAA, white Akoya with rose overtones), Akoya studs, Akoya dangly earrings, and black Tahitian pendant, earrings and ring (the Tahitians were for my mom and unfortunately I never took pictures of them, but they are gorgeous). I am contemplating another purchase now.

Here is a link that talks about my experience with AP and has some pics: https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/pearls-51-strand-from-american-pearl.48766/

http://www.americanpearl.com/
 

jmtomaui

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
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390
Terry Shepherd of The Pearl Outlet is the brother of Jeremy Shepherd of Pearl Paradise so quality and expertise obviously runs in the family!

Julie
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Slightly off topic, but since this vendor was mentioned:

AmericanPearl has had this loose pearl on their website for years. I've been admiring it for the longest time.


I have a thing for pistachio colored pearls.

http://www.americanpearl.com/ksbt1.html
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
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1,471
I too have bought from American Pearl. I have a lovely pair of their AAA akoya stud earrings. And a couple of weeks ago, they sent me an e-mail about a new product of theirs - a freshwater AAA double strand (16" and 17") which they''ve named the First Lady pearls. The $220 price looked like a good deal so I bought them and I''m very pleased.

I''d be interested in Pearl Paradise''s Freshadama pearls if they had the silver overtone in stock. The web site has listed them as out of stock ever since I first heard about them from the people in this forum. Bummer.
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
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Is that green pearl still there! Funny. I have admired it a few times too. I also love the silver blue South sea baroque strand they have ( must check to see if it''s still there). It would go so well with my earrings :)
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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1,772
The other pearl forum doesn''t recommend American Pearl though. I didn''t read up the history, apparently they also do not have industry standard pearl grading on their website.
 

mercoledi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
2,822
Tiffany launched a sub-chain of stores selling mostly pearls that is currently being liquidated and going out of business. I think there were only 12 or so worldwide. The one near me has some really nice deals, though the gem-quality pieces haven''t come down too much yet. The sale prices don''t show online, but everything is marked down in the stores.

http://www.iridesse.com/
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
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Simply Splendid -

I can''t speak to what someone on another forum might have said. All I can say is that I''ve made 3 purchases from American Pearl and I''ve been delighted. I have pearl jewelry from a variety of sources, including vintage, and the quality I''ve gotten from AP is right up there. The AAA pieces and even the AA earrings I''ve gotten are absolutely lovely.
 

jmtomaui

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
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390
Rainwood, you have a valid point. Various forums will have multiple personalities with different likes and dislikes in vendors. Not to "pick" on GOG, James Allen, or any of the others, but some of our posters will love one vendor and there will always be others that would never buy from that same vendor. That is part of what makes our buying world so wondeful - and confusing - in that we have so many options of who to choose to do business with.

And honestly, while I like to get recommendations of vendors to work with, the recommendation will never replace my personal experience. I may try a vendor based on a recommendation but will only continue to work with that vendor if he meets my needs.

I appreciate hearing what everyone recommends so that I can try new jewelers and experience them for myself.

Julie
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 4/21/2009 2:14:38 PM
Author: rainwood
Simply Splendid -

I can't speak to what someone on another forum might have said. All I can say is that I've made 3 purchases from American Pearl and I've been delighted. I have pearl jewelry from a variety of sources, including vintage, and the quality I've gotten from AP is right up there. The AAA pieces and even the AA earrings I've gotten are absolutely lovely.
Rainwood, I believe you have been pleased with your purchases. I guess the point is do you believe that your pieces have been absolutely the best as compared to other companies' for its price? I read up a little more about opinions on them a lot of which were posted by pearl connoisseurs, they have not received good feedback in terms of being ethical in their practices as well as representations of the product. The key points as summarised by a poster in another forum is that they do not use actual stock photos (which is important when purchasing certain unique pieces such as baroque pearls), misrepresentation and misinformation (see http://www.americanpearl.com/necklaces.html - does anyone's AAA strand look this bad?), they had tried to piggy back off another reputation pearl vendor's name on google.

Have you ever encountered a problem with American Pearl and has received a satisfactory response? That will probably be the true test of service. I had a recent experience with The Pearl Outlet and the response was more than satisfactory, they will definitely have me as a long term customer.

I believe the original poster was asking for a list of reputable places to purchase from. If I had come to know that American Pearl was not reputable, I had to say so. It will be absolutely up to each customer to decide if they want to try the jewelers recommended here and experience the service level themselves.

ETA: Mods, please feel free to delete this post if I am not allowed to post these links and these comments.
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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1,471
Simply Splendid -

I actually did have a customer service issue. I bought a pearl slider necklace on a very thin, white gold chain which gives it almost an invisible look. The only problem was the lovely necklace box with the little "hooks" had put a slight crimp in each side of the chain so I sent them an e-mail and they responded quickly and were very anxious to resolve the issue in whatever way I wanted. I thought the customer service was great which is why I''ve purchased from them again.

And I''m sorry if some "connoisseurs" on some other forum were disappointed with something they bought, but as I said before my personal experiences have been great with their products and their customer service. I have a lot of different pearls of varying age and quality so I think I''m a pretty good judge. I just hate to see any vendor get slammed based on something somebody read somewhere instead of personal experience. Virtually every jewelry vendor has unhappy customers who decide to write about their unhappiness. I''ve certainly read about lots of bad experiences on Pricescope, including about jewelry designers and diamond vendors with whom I''ve worked and had great experiences. I''m not sure why you feel so strongly about badmouthing a vendor you''ve never worked with, but I wanted to balance it with my own experience. Then everyone can judge for themselves. It only seems fair.
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Date: 4/23/2009 2:14:34 AM
Author: rainwood
Simply Splendid -

I actually did have a customer service issue. I bought a pearl slider necklace on a very thin, white gold chain which gives it almost an invisible look. The only problem was the lovely necklace box with the little ''hooks'' had put a slight crimp in each side of the chain so I sent them an e-mail and they responded quickly and were very anxious to resolve the issue in whatever way I wanted. I thought the customer service was great which is why I''ve purchased from them again.

And I''m sorry if some ''connoisseurs'' on some other forum were disappointed with something they bought, but as I said before my personal experiences have been great with their products and their customer service. I have a lot of different pearls of varying age and quality so I think I''m a pretty good judge. I just hate to see any vendor get slammed based on something somebody read somewhere instead of personal experience. Virtually every jewelry vendor has unhappy customers who decide to write about their unhappiness. I''ve certainly read about lots of bad experiences on Pricescope, including about jewelry designers and diamond vendors with whom I''ve worked and had great experiences. I''m not sure why you feel so strongly about badmouthing a vendor you''ve never worked with, but I wanted to balance it with my own experience. Then everyone can judge for themselves. It only seems fair.
Rainwood, since this pearl forum is so new, I guess only time will tell if American Pearl lives up to its name as you have said. As I have mentioned, the original poster was asking for reputable vendors. What I read on the other forum raises the red flag and I do not think it is wrong to share this information here. To "badmouth" means to spread the untruth, and I believe the experiences posted in the other forum which has been a longer running forum and is entirely dedicated to pearl knowledge is probably not untrue. Your experience is only one in thousands and your opinion is one of the first few here. Just because you don''t share the same experience as the others, doesn''t mean that what was said by others wasn''t true and constitute "badmouthing". Honestly, I don''t think any problems that has to do with the box the necklace came with is a difficult problem to fix. In addition, I am not a vendor, I am a consumer who has not dealt with this vendor and I have absolutely nothing to gain by badmouthing them. I am merely sharing information which I believe is important for any other consumer to be aware of. No offence, just because you have been buying lots of pearl jewelry doesn''t make you a pearl expert.
 
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