04-12-2005, 01:58 AM
Interested in purchasing a Tahitian strand for a dear friend.
I've got several questions though:
1. I haven't seen too many high quality "tin cup" style strands available. Is this common?
2. Does the material that the pearls are strung upon matter? I've seen double knotted silk as well as actual gold chains. Can one actually see the strand when the pearls are worn?
3. Is it recommended to send items to a GIA grader? Can I trust internet sites to provide accurate grading for these strands? What type of grading is required for insurance purposes?
Those are some of the questions I had. Thanks for your time.
04-12-2005, 06:44 PM
In response to your questions:
1. This style was very popular a few years ago, and is starting to make a comeback. It is not difficult to make, it is just time-consuming. What I would suggest is contacting a company that deals in Tahitian pearls and asking them to make the piece for you. The chain and labor would run about $250, and the pearls could be purchased loose, so you would be able to have the piece made with any specifications you choose.
2. The material does matter. For a full strand, silk is always best. If the strand has been strung in the US, it is likely that it is strung with silk. If the strand has been finished in Asia, it is most likely with nylon thread. If you are creating a tin-cup style necklace fishing line is typically used (to give the illusion of an ‘invisible strand’), but if you would like a nice piece with Tahitian pearls fishing line would NOT be a good idea – it is too fragile. I would suggest a thick link chain.
3. Sending them to the GIA will do you no good. Your appraisal will simply tell you that the pearls are genuine. A jeweler is not always a good idea either because they may either be biased, or more likely, know very little about pearls and pearl grading. This is a very, very specialized field, and less than 1% of jewelers out there are qualified. I would suggest a lab that specializes in pearls. If you would like the names and addresses please email me. They will always give you the best appraisal valuation.
An Internet Site may give you a good valuation as well, but it depends very heavily on the Site. The questions you need to ask are:
1. What is the quality of the pearls you are using, such as:
a. Are there any blemishes on the Tahitian pearls.
b. Are the pearls visibly round (less than 3% off).
c. What is the body color, and what are the overtones?
d. What are the sizes you will be using?
2. Do you have enough loose pearls (undrilled) to match into this piece?
3. Do you guarantee your work?
4. Can you guarantee the pearls you are using are Tahitian pearls of natural color?
I hope I have been of help. Good luck putting this piece together. The finished product is sure to be beautiful!
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