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  1. #1
    micaht
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    Default Help! Trying to buy for special person...

    Hello all,
    I'm completely new to all of this but am looking for a pearl necklace for my girlfriend's birthday. I must admit that all the choice and dynamic of the industry is quite confusing, but I think after a few hours of poking around I have the general gist of what's going on. I've seen several posts touting the quality arguments for all of the types of pearls but I think I've settled on the freshwater type, just need to find a great value as I'm a law student and therefore am extremely poor! I've managed to find a few deals...

    First, a white freshwater set from PearlParadise.com
    http://www.pearlparadise.com/detail.aspx?ID=1021
    This is for an 8 - 9 mm set and it's their monthly special for $292.

    Second, the "Freshadama" also from PearlParadise.com
    http://www.pearlparadise.com/detail.aspx?ID=921
    These are a smaller set (6 - 7), but they are freshadama. Not quite sure what that is but the description sounds nice and they were recommended on several posts.

    Third, a necklace from PearlsOfJoy.com
    http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=144
    These are 7.5's, are AAA but are only $200, why the discrepency in cost?

    And last, a necklace from ThePearlOutlet.com
    http://www.thepearloutlet.com/servle...supplierID=490
    These are 7 - 8 mm AAA for 200.


    I really want a set which would include a bracelet, a necklace and earrings but that's a bit out of my price range so I'll settle with a great necklace which will look great for many years to come...all considering my need to find quality for a good value.

    I would GREATLY appreciate any help in finding a better deal, or help in letting me know why there seems to be so great a discrepency in seemingly similar necklaces. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    nlerner
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    Hi Micaht,

    I would recommend the first choice: the 8 - 9 mm set; Pearl-Paradise monthly special for $292.
    Their classic look will be always appreciated !!!

    best,
    n.

  3. #3
    pattye
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    Hello Micaht,
    I notice you describe the items from Pearl Paradise as sets, but I think they are necklaces only. Freshwater is a great choice!
    Zeide has some great ideas. Does your friend prefer dainty jewelry or bolder pieces, that will give you some clues. Hopefully you have been an observant fella!! I think it would be great to stay in a price range where you could afford stud earrings to match. One can purchase
    earrings of excellent quality for under $50, and she will be assured of a very wearable set. I think an AAA set would be terrific, and save the Freshadama for an even more auspicious occasion! Its great to build a wardrobe of pearls! Check out Purepearls.com also, nice black set. Colors can be a bit less formal. Lots of luck!!
    Just my thoughts--Pattye

  4. #4
    micaht
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    Default Too many choices!

    Ok...I've refocused a bit after even more looking around. Now it's between the freshadama 18" 7 - 8 mm or the AAA 16" 8-9 White Freshwater Pearls. The price difference is only 18 dollars so I think it comes down to pure quality. Unfortunately, although I'd love to buy a full set (necklace, ear rings and bracelet), being a full time law student limits my resources, too bad they don't give student discounts!

    As far as picking them out with her, that's a fabulous idea. Unfortunately, right now she's in London, and I'm in South Bend, Indiana (aka, middle of nowhere). I want them in time for her birthday in early December when she's coming to visit so it's going to have to come to a quick decision.

    Can anyone tell me the benefits/detriment to each of the two choices?

    The website says the White Freshwater retails for over eleven thousand...seems a bit hard to believe, do they really go for that price? And if the Freshadamas are so much better, and they're only going for 1500 retail, what gives? I guess I just don't understand

    Freshadama
    http://www.pearlparadise.com/detail.aspx?ID=746

    White Freshwater
    http://www.pearlparadise.com/detail.aspx?ID=1021


    This is me being nitpicky...when looking at the various sizes, I thought all the pictures looked curiously similar...I've found that if you go to the website, the Freshadama 6 - 7 mm, 7 - 8, and 8 - 9 are all using the same picture when you click on the necklace... It's dissapointing because I want to see the actual pearls I'm intending to buy and they're all point to the same URL, http://www.pearlparadise.com/images/...mawhite-XI.jpg rather than an individual shot of each necklace as we'd actually see it (in comparison with the clasp size and number of pearls for that particular length of necklace). I still want to buy but maybe just a suggestion if anyone from Pearl Paradise site happens to find this post.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Those monthly specials were just recently put up and the values are clearly typos. It appears as though our webmaster goofed by not replacing the values from the previous pieces. They are standard pieces, however, so they are listed on the regular freshwater section as well.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Unfortunately I will probably not be able to get it corrected until tomorrow, however...

    Edit:

    After a late night telephone call to an employee we were able to fix that issue this evening.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 11-06-2006 at 04:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Valeria101
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    Quote Originally Posted by micaht

    ... although I'd love to buy a full set (necklace, ear rings and bracelet), being a full time law student limits my resources, too bad...
    You are the only one who knows the taste of the recipient, but... I wouldn't cry too much for a set of matched pearls versus just strand. I don't know anyone who insists to wear such matched sets and they seem to be most often considered a 'bridal' item. It is very common to match larger earrings with a necklace of similar color (or contrasting!), so... that isn't much of a problem either, IMO - the earrings can be the next gift

    Sorry that I cannot comment on the two options: I would be just as torn between the two! Perhaps for me the smaller Freshadama have the upper hand, but I like the smaller size anyway, so the trade-off size vs. quality is not quite as important. Besides, even if the size difference sounds like a big deal, it isn't all that much (7-8, 8-9mm, sound like either strand would be 8-ish on average.).

    Just my 2c ...

  7. #7
    micaht
    Guest

    Default Thanks!

    Thank you all so much for your help. Although I do know a lot of her tastes, her taste in pearls has eluded me (and as far as I know she doesn't even own any so it seems to have eluded her as well!). I want this to be a surprise and hopefully her reaction and subsequent comments will aid me in future purchases I may make so it won't be this hard!
    I think I'm going to go with the Freshadamas mainly because of the pleased posts I've seen, and Valeria's comments. When it comes down to it, a mm won't matter too much and if they're as beautiful as they are touted to be by both the website and Zeide, I can't go wrong right? I'll order today and when I receive them I'll be sure to let you know how well they're eventually received. Thank you all for your help and guidance, maybe next time (if law school works out), I'll be deciding between sets rather than single necklaces Thank you all.

    And thanks JShepherd, that makes a lot more sense now that it's somewhat in relation I appreciate your feedback and I want to thank you for your excellent site. Other than the single picture representing multiple strands, its excellent and seems to be a very honest island amidst a sea of dishonesty when you consider the pearl market as a whole on the internet (eBay and such). Thanks and I look forward to doing business with you in the future as well!

  8. #8
    micaht
    Guest

    Default Freshadama

    Bought the Freshadama! Wish me luck!

  9. #9
    esqjohn
    Guest

    Default Freshadama purchase

    Micah,

    I'm very sure that you'll be happy with your purchase since I made the same decision a couple of weeks ago. I'd also like to note for anyone considering the same issue that Mr. Shepherd's PearlParadise.com site has been extremely helpful. Unfortunately the beauty of the freshadama strand has created a bit of a problem.

    When they first came in, my wife indicated that while they were lovely she'd really actually prefer a couple inches longer than 18 inches and she'd prefer rose overtones to silver.

    I wrote PearlParadise the next day, received a quote on the change and went home planning to box the beauties up and send them back for the change.

    Perhaps I was too efficient as my wife now refuses to let me have them back saying: "I just like to look at them. How long will it take to get the new ones?" I'm working on her but I'll give up soon.

    John

  10. #10
    Rosomane
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    Yeah, I like to look at them too. That's the problem with anything shorter than 22" is you have to have a mirror to see them. Unless it's a bracelet. Frankly I wear them for myself, not for others' viewing pleasure....

    I used to feel kinda sorry for Jeremy because he's a guy with a vault full of gorgeous pearls that he can't wear because of an unfortunate draw at conception, but I no longer do because he can look at them as well as any female.

    I like different size pearls for different occasions or moods. I've had a freshwater necklace that is made up of baby freshwater button pearls, like tiny luminescent rondelles, that I've loved for many years. It has it's own charm and it has alot of orient which doesn't hurt any.
    Dull pearls are dull no matter how big they are - go for the orient. An 8mm pearl with lot's of mirror and orient is not a small pearl by any means and will look "bigger" because of the quality of the light it refracts.

    Just my 2 cents, most of which I've picked up from the pros and scholars here.

  11. #11
    youngster
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    Nice choice micaht. I have a couple of strands of the freshadamas and they are wonderful. I also just recently bought a 6-7 mm set (when it was on special a month or so ago) for my daughter. She's getting the earring and bracelet for Christmas, and the necklace when she's a bit older. I hope your gf loves them!

  12. #12
    micaht
    Guest

    Default Some bad...some good

    Ok, got the pearls today. Good and bad about the whole situation. Firstly, shipping... Not the worst thing but it took them 2 days to get sent out, I can handle that as I'm sure they're busy for the upcoming holiday season. But...when I got them, the box was within the FedEx packaging and didn't have any padding or cushioning in there at all! So, the small gift box the jewelry case was in, was just bouncing around inside the box. Not to mention the gift box was torn. The actual jewelry case was filthy (some sort of white scuff marks all over it, but the actual FedEx box was unharmed so it seemed as if it would have happened prior to shipping). When I open the jewelry case to take my first look at the pearls, I noticed the case itself was broken! The hinge on the left side had snapped and it wouldn't even stay on straight. It was quite a dissapointment to begin with.

    This made me VERY skeptical, so I decided to take them to my neighborhood jeweler to do a quick appraisal....$4,500. I was floored. The lady that had helped me couldn't believe how much I paid for them and the appraiser himself came out and was stunned. They are beautiful. There are a few scuff marks if you look closely but they're gorgeous. They laid them next to a strand of Akoyas and these outshone them in every respect, and that was a $3,000 strand that was shorter and smaller (even when you factor in retailer inflation, this is a heck of a deal). My girlfriend doesn't get back in the country until the 15th of December so I'm dying in anticipation to give her something this special. My only recommendation is that you consider also purchasing some sort of gift box to buy along with these pearls as the ones sent are shoddy and don't do the product any service whatsoever.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I am going to guess that you purchased that set of pearls from us because I heard about that story today in the office.

    I am sorry to hear that they arrived in that condition. It sounds to me like the package nearly went through a shredder before it arrived. I am surprised, frankly, that the pearls were in the package when it arrived. Each box does have an inner box protection - this was apparently missing. When things get torn appart by FedEx they usually repackage the parcel, place a new shipping label on it, and send it on its merry way. I would actually prefer if they simply taped it closed so at least customers would not think we shipped out a torn up, dirt-covered box. It is a very, very rare problem, but it does occur, and I have probably seen just about everything. Once a package was literally run over, with tread marks on the outside (USPS not FedEx). Another instance FedEx left the package in a safe place (because they were in a hurry) without a signature. The dog got it, and they turned up several months later in a hole in the backyard.

    Anyway, we insure the packages all the way through outside of FedEx. So if the pearls are damaged in any way we would be happy to replace them for you. I am glad you were pleased with the pearls, though.

    Post Edit:
    After I just read the body of the thread instead of just the last post I see that you clearly bought it from us. Ignore the "I am going to guess" part!
    Last edited by jshepherd; 11-14-2006 at 11:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Slraep
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    The one time I ordered something from PP for a friend, it came in a pristine box that was well packed. Nothing was damaged and the presentation was A1. The only thing I hated was the fee FedEx charged me. They are one of the most exorbitant on handling fees. They once charged me $128.00 Can. for some food supplements that cost $132.00 US.

    I hate them(FedEx).

    Slraep

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Are you sure that was FedEx, or could it have been a custom charge? Canadian customs can be steep.