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The Pearl Source, freshwater, Hanadama

TisforT

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
12
I tried on a pair on studs from Tiffany's recently and became a little obsessed w pearls. I took advantage of The Pearl Source's Black Friday sale (20% off) and ordered a few pieces. I was curious about size, color, and Hanadama vs freshwater, so I ordered an assortment of items to see what I like. Please note I'm totally new to what I call "adult" pearls. Until a few weeks ago I was wearing Forever 21 studs and had no idea what nacre was! Boy did I have a lot of learn.

Hanadama Akoya studs
- 7.5-8mm, (PSL report says 7.5mm)
- white w pink-green
- 14k yellow gold setting
- I couldn't see any blemishes on one stud but could see a few on the other pair. One has noticeably more luster than the other. Still gorgeous and from afar can't really tell.

Pink Freshwater necklace
- 7-8mm, 30 gm total weight
- 16in
- Finesse clasp 14k yg
- More purple/lilac tone
- I like the metallic shine and would keep if the pearls were rounder

White Freshwater necklace
- 8-9mm, 41 gm total weight
- 18in
- Seashell clasp 14k yg

My first impression was disappointment bc I thought freshwater pearls would be fairly round. A majority of the pearls on both strands were more oval than round. There were smaller pearls in-between bigger ones. Wish it was more graduated. I prefer the 16in strand on me (my neck circumference is 31cm, ~12in). I think I also prefer the white color as the pink had too much purple in it for me. Both strands have pretty good luster (I can see my facial features on both of them).

Pictures galore! Taken on iphone 10 pro, aside from cropping, no other editing

Video (this is probably the most true to what I see IRL)

studs natural light away from window
IMG_1672-1.jpeg
IMG_1859.jpeg

Studs by sunny window
IMG_1696.jpg

Pink freshwater
IMG_1675.jpg

White freshwater
IMG_1674.jpg

Both
IMG_1679-1.jpg

All 3 natural indoor lighting
IMG_1684.jpg

By window
IMG_1687.jpg

Louis wanted to know if these were edible
IMG_1692.jpg

Color-wise this is what I see IRL
IMG_1857.jpg
 

Attachments

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
You take beautiful photos! And your pup is so well behaved - any of my brood would have devoured every pearl in sight by the time I snapped that pic :bigsmile:

Sounds like a white 16" strand is your happy place?

How do you feel about the studs?
 

TisforT

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
12
You take beautiful photos! And your pup is so well behaved - any of my brood would have devoured every pearl in sight by the time I snapped that pic :bigsmile:

Sounds like a white 16" strand is your happy place?

How do you feel about the studs?

Thank you @yssie! I enjoy seeing your glamour shots of your jewelry. It feels very ethereal and of course your pieces are exquisite. Louis snuck a bite of my breakfast this morning so he was trying to redeem himself lol

I did think that a 16in white 8-8.5mm was my happy place. But now that I'm looking at these pictures, I like the mix of pink and white strands. I'm going to return these however bc I would like as close to round pearls as possible.

As for studs, I'm actually working with Andrew on acquiring a pair of gem quality akoyas. I have pinned down that I would like 7.5-8mm but unsure of color. Is the gem quality strand you got from him pink or white?
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
i think you would suit a double strand!!!

they do look the perfect size for you

i love pink pearls (its weird because i hate pink anything)

the studs look beyond perfect
 

JoeQueen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
9
This is why I prefer Akoyas. Akoya pearls are my favorite type because of the roundness and luster. You should look at a strand of Hanadama in-person. They’re breathtaking, and you get a lab certificate with them. The only thing is the big price difference between saltwater and freshwater pearls, but it’s well worth it imo.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
Thank you @yssie! I enjoy seeing your glamour shots of your jewelry. It feels very ethereal and of course your pieces are exquisite. Louis snuck a bite of my breakfast this morning so he was trying to redeem himself lol

I did think that a 16in white 8-8.5mm was my happy place. But now that I'm looking at these pictures, I like the mix of pink and white strands. I'm going to return these however bc I would like as close to round pearls as possible.

As for studs, I'm actually working with Andrew on acquiring a pair of gem quality akoyas. I have pinned down that I would like 7.5-8mm but unsure of color. Is the gem quality strand you got from him pink or white?

Redemption granted, Louis!! :bigsmile:


Hanadama - occasionally I seem to feel compelled to write a thesis or two about the Hanadama designation. @Snowdrop13's thread has the latest, if you're interested ::) https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/akoya-pearl-terminology-and-quality.261590/

At the end of the day I think that tThese are entirely luxury items - you have to love them, or they're just not worth it, no matter how much of a deal they might be!

The PSL certificate costs around $75 (I'm not sure of the exact cost, but it's something very close to that). PSL, like GIA, has a single fee schedule that is the same for any customer - whether that customer is a private citizen or a jeweller or a supplier - that report always costs $75. So if you see a pearl piece that comes with a report from PSL, you know that somewhere along the line, someone paid $75 to get that report, and you can be confident that the cost of that report is built into the final cost of the piece. A pair of earrings that costs $200 retail that comes with a PSL - somewhere along the line someone paid $75 for that report, which means that the pearls are worth at most $125. And since we can be confident no retailer is letting things go at cost with no profit margin - we can be confident the pearls are worth X% less than $125. A pair of pearls that cost $200 without PSL, well, at least no-one carved a $75 chunk out earlier in the supply chain!

I don't think you sound thrilled with your studs, so I'll give my honest opinion: The Hanadama designation represents a range of quality, and - I can't think of a better way to say this so I'll just blurt it out, and my apologies in advance for the bluntness!! - in my opinion those earrings are at the lower end of the range of quality. The Aurora image on the PSL report gives it away, and your photos of the pearls themselves confirm. Hanadama at the top of the quality range are mind-bogglingly beautiful - day and night compared to what TPS has sent you.

The best way to choose pearls is to see them in-person of course, but since most of us can't do that, we've got to rely on expert opinions and photos. Good vendors will be happy to inspect pearls and choose the "best" few for you - selecting "best" according to your personal priorities - and photograph those selections for you so you can choose your own. If you'd like to buy from TPS I'm confident they would be happy to work with you!

I have three gem akoya pieces from Andrew - two 8-8.5mm bracelets (from a single strand), a 6-6.5mm bracelet, and 9.5-10mm studs. All three are astonishingly beautiful - you've picked a fantastic vendor!! To elaborate on your question of pink vs. white... Akoya pearls are regularly "processed" - bleaching, pinking, and maeshori (which is an umbrella term for chemical and mechanical tightening of nacre to enhance luster). These three forms of processing (bleaching, pinking, and maeshori) are routine with akoya - meaning that literally every akoya that you encounter has gone through them. Most jewellers who don't deal extensively in pearls won't know anything about any of that, and will insist that their akoya are "untreated" - by which they actually mean "un-dyed". Freshwater pearls are very often dyed. Gem quality akoya will never be dyed. My gemmies from Andrew have all been through bleaching/pinking/maeshori. I like a strong pink overtone - this is also the Japanese preference. Sometimes you'll see pearls advertised as "natural white" - this can mean different things depending on vendor... Pearl Paradise's natural whites have been through maeshori but have not been bleached or pinked. Many other vendors use the term for akoya that have been through bleaching and maeshori, but not pinking. Again, though, bleaching and pinking and maeshori are truly commonplace - even the big houses like Mikimoto do this!! - and they don't devalue the akoya in any way, so the question really becomes whether you like a bright white or a pink overtone.
 
Last edited:

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
Picture from @molinePDG, shared here with permission -

"Natural white" akoya on the left - maeshori + bleaching.
"Normally processed" akoya on the right - maeshori + bleaching + pinking.
No inherent value add for lack of pinking - entirely up to personal preference. Me, I strongly prefer the pinked ::)

1607665212648.png
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
inta
Picture from @molinePDG, shared here with permission -

"Natural white" akoya on the left - maeshori + bleaching.
"Normally processed" akoya on the right - maeshori + bleaching + pinking.
No inherent value add for lack of pinking - entirely up to personal preference. Me, I strongly prefer the pinked ::)

1607665212648.png

sharp intake of breath !
im in love with the white one !
 

TisforT

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
12
@Daisys and Diamonds - Thank you! I think I'm definitely adding 2 strands on my wish list :)

@stracci2000 - the pink is growing on me!

@JoeQueen - I didn't realize freshwater would be so oval! I wish I had bought a Hanadama strand to compare to the freshwater

@yssie - haha love your pearls of wisdom! I agree that these are luxury items and I need to love them. I was very underwhelmed with all of these items. I was disappointed that the luster between the 2 studs were not equal to one another. I had looked at your posts and some other PSL prior to buying so I could tell the aurora image wasn’t up to par.

Thank you for explaining processing. I wasn’t sure if processing would devalue pearls but sounds like it is expected and the case of maeshori it makes them shinier. Is the “normally processed” strand from molinePDG a baby pink color IRL? I’m having a hard time deciding which color to purchase from him. My ideal pearl color would be an ivory or soft white.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,574
@Daisys and Diamonds - Thank you! I think I'm definitely adding 2 strands on my wish list :)

@stracci2000 - the pink is growing on me!

@JoeQueen - I didn't realize freshwater would be so oval! I wish I had bought a Hanadama strand to compare to the freshwater

@yssie - haha love your pearls of wisdom! I agree that these are luxury items and I need to love them. I was very underwhelmed with all of these items. I was disappointed that the luster between the 2 studs were not equal to one another. I had looked at your posts and some other PSL prior to buying so I could tell the aurora image wasn’t up to par.

Thank you for explaining processing. I wasn’t sure if processing would devalue pearls but sounds like it is expected and the case of maeshori it makes them shinier. Is the “normally processed” strand from molinePDG a baby pink color IRL? I’m having a hard time deciding which color to purchase from him. My ideal pearl color would be an ivory or soft white.

im glad because those 2 stands look beautiful on your very enviable neck
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,445
@Daisys and Diamonds - Thank you! I think I'm definitely adding 2 strands on my wish list :)

@stracci2000 - the pink is growing on me!

@JoeQueen - I didn't realize freshwater would be so oval! I wish I had bought a Hanadama strand to compare to the freshwater

@yssie - haha love your pearls of wisdom! I agree that these are luxury items and I need to love them. I was very underwhelmed with all of these items. I was disappointed that the luster between the 2 studs were not equal to one another. I had looked at your posts and some other PSL prior to buying so I could tell the aurora image wasn’t up to par.

Thank you for explaining processing. I wasn’t sure if processing would devalue pearls but sounds like it is expected and the case of maeshori it makes them shinier. Is the “normally processed” strand from molinePDG a baby pink color IRL? I’m having a hard time deciding which color to purchase from him. My ideal pearl color would be an ivory or soft white.

Haha well I have to say I’m very glad my ramblings are helpful! ::)

The pinking doesn’t actually change the body colour at all - it just adds an “overtone”. You know when you see a bubble at just the right angle in sunlight, and it looks like there’s an iridescent halo of colour at the edges? But the middle of the bubble - the actual body of the bubble - is still clear and colourless? Imagine if the bubble was white rather than colourless, and if the halo of colour was pink... Best description I’m coming up with right now :D

Pink freshwaters, dyed or non-dyed, will have a pink body (vs. akoya white/ivory/cream body). It’s unusual for freshwaters to show overtone, but some do... I’m comfortable stating that no freshwaters can compete with true gem akoya in luster and iridescence.

Some akoya are pinked more strongly than others, and some pearls aren’t pinked at all. In that photo from Andrew that I posted earlier - the white strand has had no pinking at all, and the pinked strand is a very, very strongly pinked strand. That picture is actually a fantastic visual of the two extremes of pinking potential! Here’s another photo from Andrew - same two strands, slightly different lighting.

It seems that many Asians prefer a strongly pinked akoya whereas Americans tend to prefer more silvery pearls... I’m Indian, and my skin has a fair amount of olive/green - pearls with a touch of pink look immensely better on me than those without. My MIL is caucasian with naturally rosy skin, pearls of all colours and overtones look phenomenal on her!

1607760574096.jpeg
 
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