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Why I love and hate PS: Sea of Cortez Mabe Pearls

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I both love and hate PS, since I always find more things I NEED to have haha. However, to be fair, my newest plan is only partially PS' fault.

I remember absolutely drooling over this piece (link here and embedded in text: https://kojimapearl.com/blogs/news/sun-shadow-cortez-pearl-necklace) from Kojima Pearls back in 2018-2019. However, it was much over budget and impractical for my life with the long drop and sheer number of pearls. I never looked into where the pearls were sourced, etc, because I figured I would never be able to afford something so lovely. I am usually not a huge pearl person with the exception of baroque/fireball style pearls because I love their unusual shape. But in general, traditional pearls tend not to be something I covet for myself (though love looking at them on all of you!)

However, when @yssie posted her wonderful project using sea of cortex pearls, it kicked off a cascade of internet searches. I think when I first saw her thread I looked up Hisano Shepard rather than the pearl farm. Her designs are incredible and otherworldly, but not "me". But when I came across the thread again over the last week, it somehow clicked and I looked into the pearl farm she mentioned (https://cortezpearl.mx). I was both shocked and thrilled when I realized their mabe pearls (https://cortezpearl.mx/collections/cortez-mabe-pearls-perla-mabe-mexicana) are what were used for the necklaced I coveted years ago!

I emailed the pearl farm a few days ago, and received a reply really quickly asking what I was interested in. I have a tentative plan for some mabe pearls, but want to make sure it's feasible (and choose the pieces I want) before sharing too many details :)

I just wanted fellow pearl lovers to know how excited I am about the possibility of having some of these pearls for myself!
 

Lisa Loves Shiny

Ideal_Rock
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Hands down these are beautiful pearls. I have admired them so many times when seeing the works of art created with them. The cool colors of silver, green, blue, pink and aquamarine that dance on the surface of these pearls are just mesmerizing. I am excited for you.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Ohhh more Cortez pearlies!! :appl:

@lovedogs I recognized the necklace you referenced right away from the name in the hyperlink! Count me in as another who spent an inordinate amount of time salivating over it :saint: But I don’t wear necklaces - and even if I did, like you, it’s just too busy for me. A longer and more scattered style, with fewer stations, or maybe a single line of pearls sans pendant - much more casual...

The mabes are really fascinating. The colours... Every time I pull my pearls out I’m awed anew by how colourful they are :love: I can only imagine what a SoC mabe must look like - the colour amped up multifold!!:cool2: My understanding is that SIP and travel restrictions in the Americas have been an unexpected blessing to oyster health and the harvest was significantly larger this year than last. Silver lining? Or, actually, I suppose I should use Douglas’ terminology and call it an erotochromatic lining :bigsmile:

PS is both #Justification and #Scapegoat ‘round here too :lol:
 
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lovedogs

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@yssie you totally nailed the type of more casual design I am going for. I am asking them about a more scattered piece with 7-10 Pearl's rather than the 27 (to my count) of the original. I think having it more like a "station" necklace will mean I can wear it more often and with more casual outfits. It also means I can afford it Haha
 

whitewave

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Who translates Spanish? Is this a face cream?
 

whitewave

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Oh also, what is the difference between a blister and a Mabe pearl?
 

elizat

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Who translates Spanish? Is this a face cream?

Yes, a face cream with mother of pearl shell pieces, basically. Seems like they are aiming at folks with pigmentation issues or sun spots, as it talks about not using lemon.
 

MrsBlue

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Who translates Spanish? Is this a face cream?

Yes! Remember those old commercials....pearl cream, made with real pearls!!!

I suppose this is a fancier face cream, considering that the pearls are so lovely.
 

yssie

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Yes, a face cream with mother of pearl shell pieces, basically. Seems like they are aiming at folks with pigmentation issues or sun spots, as it talks about not using lemon.

Yes! Remember those old commercials....pearl cream, made with real pearls!!!

I suppose this is a fancier face cream, considering that the pearls are so lovely.

Grind up all the pearls that aren’t saleable and sell them emulsified I guess?

Just found some very un-factual-but-vaguely-better-than-the-other-links background...
 
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yssie

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Oh also, what is the difference between a blister and a Mabe pearl?
I asked Fernando this. Apparently they’re exactly the same thing - it’s just that sometimes “blister” is used to refer to the growth when it’s in the oyster, and “mabe” for when it’s been extracted from the shell, cut, and finished.

Mabe does sound much nicer than “blister pearl” - I can see preferring a different term! :bigsmile:
 

yssie

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@yssie you totally nailed the type of more casual design I am going for. I am asking them about a more scattered piece with 7-10 Pearl's rather than the 27 (to my count) of the original. I think having it more like a "station" necklace will mean I can wear it more often and with more casual outfits. It also means I can afford it Haha
:love:
How big are you thinking for the mabes? And will you straight bezel them?
 

lovedogs

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:love:
How big are you thinking for the mabes? And will you straight bezel them?

I'm thinking somewhere between 9-14mm each, though I wouldn't be opposed to one big one as the "focal point" and the rest closer to 9mm. I'm pretty flexible on size and shape--color and luster are the #1 priority.

I want almost a plain bezel but with some gold "accents". Exactly like this one from the pearl forum Screenshot_20201227-123716_Chrome.jpg
 

lovedogs

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Those are lovely ::) I especially like the way they’re joined near the top rather than in the middle - they won’t flip nearly as much that way :appl:

Exactly. I need them to not flip because I can't handle station necklaces that flip. So I'll need to specifically speak with whoever makes the setting about that.
 

whitewave

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Exactly. I need them to not flip because I can't handle station necklaces that flip. So I'll need to specifically speak with whoever makes the setting about that.

Who do you think would do the setting?
 

yssie

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Just spoke with Fernando over the phone (such a kind man!) and he is pulling some sets of mabes for me and taking pics of options today. EEEEEK!

Fernando is lovely!! And I know the farm does some setting work - maybe they can mount the mabes for you as well?
 

lovedogs

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Fernando is lovely!! And I know the farm does some setting work - maybe they can mount the mabes for you as well?

That would be ideal--one stop shopping!

I explained to him what I was looking for in terms of color and overall aesthetic and he seemed to totally understand. I also showed him examples of AAA and U mabes that I like from the website (along with a few AAs that I was unsure of in terms of why they were graded as AA vs AAA).

He kindly explained that some of the AA (at least the ones I liked) had amazing color/luster but had some "growth lines/stretch marks", and said he would take pics of them compared to AAA and/or U quality options.

I really appreciate how straightforward he was in terms of explaining everything and am looking forward to his pics!
 

yssie

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Their grading is confusing... It seems to weigh colour very little. Some A+/AA pearls are much more colourful than some AAA/Gem, but the more highly-graded pearls are consistently more lustrous and less lumpy/bumpy/blemished. Fernando is the farm's photographer so you're in good hands! And he's always been really helpful in terms of giving me his personal opinion on which pearl(s) he likes best, and why :appl:
 

lovedogs

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Their grading is confusing... It seems to weigh colour very little. Some A+/AA pearls are much more colourful than some AAA/Gem, but the more highly-graded pearls are consistently more lustrous and less lumpy/bumpy/blemished. Fernando is the farm's photographer so you're in good hands! And he's always been really helpful in terms of giving me his personal opinion on which pearl(s) he likes best, and why :appl:

Yeah it's funny because in the mabe pearls I consistently seem to like the AA/AAA the best. Of the few U's they have on the website in mabe I like one but not the others (entirely due to color). I feel like he understands how hard it is for color to translate correctly via photograph so I'm confident I'll end up with ones I like regardless of grade.
 

lovedogs

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just as an update: Fernando sent me some lovely images of some AAA and AAA/U mabes that could work in the design I'm imagining. Unfortunately, a jeweler recently bought a bunch of their stock so they don't have a ton of choices, and none of the sets "spoke" to me.

I will likely wait for this year's harvest, though he did note that some of the AAs are extremely colorful (which is the most important thing to me after luster). So hopefully he will send pics of some AA options in case those work.
 

yssie

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just as an update: Fernando sent me some lovely images of some AAA and AAA/U mabes that could work in the design I'm imagining. Unfortunately, a jeweler recently bought a bunch of their stock so they don't have a ton of choices, and none of the sets "spoke" to me.

I will likely wait for this year's harvest, though he did note that some of the AAs are extremely colorful (which is the most important thing to me after luster). So hopefully he will send pics of some AA options in case those work.

Perhaps buying from this jeweller will be another option - especially if they're domestic and do bench work...
 

Cerulean

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I’m following this journey with interest. I know it might be a while until there is an update - traditional pearl necklaces just don’t do it for me - super excited to see what you come up with @lovedogs!!!
 

lovedogs

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I’m following this journey with interest. I know it might be a while until there is an update - traditional pearl necklaces just don’t do it for me - super excited to see what you come up with @lovedogs!!!

Thanks! Yeah, I decided to wait for the new batch of pearls since none of the ones that were left really grabbed me. Fingers crossed that when they get more I'll fall in love with some!
 

lovedogs

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Really happy to report that this project is moving forward! They got more mabes and took pictures of them for me and I definitely fell head over heels for a bunch of them :)

Also I will be able to work with their local jeweler on the project, which should make everything much easier vs finding someone in the US to set the pearls. This is the jeweler who sets stuff for them all of the time and they are in regular communication with him, so I feel comfortable with that.

I am waiting for specific layout options and Fernando is speaking with the jeweler to get pricing info for the necklace. Likely won't be completed until April as the jeweler is apparently very busy, but I'd rather wait and have it done 100% right vs risk someone who doesn't know these beautiful pearls messing something up.

Sharing my inspiration necklace and my hilarious attempt at using "paint 3D" to show Fernando what I'd like my necklace to look like. I want to be able to wear it regularly, and I know the mabes I'm considering are larger than the ones shown, so I plan to have somewhere between 7 and 12 pearls vs the 25+ shown on the inspiration necklace.

The inspiration necklace has mabes in the 9-10mm range if I remember correctly, whereas the ones I like are around 13-15mm.

Kojima Pearl SOC Necklace.jpg


My hilarious attempt to show what I want. Luckily it got the message across :)
photoshop.png

Wanted to share updates with the PS community since I am very excited!

I'll share pearl layouts once I get them and have confirmed/paid for the specific pearls. I just have a persistent fear of lurkers, so don't want to share anything yet since they still aren't "mine".
 
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