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  1. #16
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    I might suggest buying pearls places other than eBay. $400 is a lot when you don't know what you're getting/what you have once it arrives, and if you want to resell what you don't want to keep, you really need to know what pieces are. eBay is full of freshwater pearls and shell pearls being sold as Akoya and south sea pearls. Unless you at expert in spotting these based on pictures, you're likely to pay Akoya and south sea prices for pieces worth much less.

  2. #17
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    As for lower quality being placed in high end mountings, my grandmother always thought her 18K gold studs were aquamarines.
    They were glass.
    And the "aquamarine" ring set in 14K gold was synthetic spinel.

    I agree with cmd2014 about eBay not being a good place to buy pearls, unless you know and trust the seller. Of course, if one wants lower end FWP eBay is not bad since that is primarily what is being sold.

  3. #18
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    This pair hooked me with the platinum settings.

    It is true that synthetic gemstones were places in 14 & 18K even with real diamonds. It was common for esp sapphires. They have been making them since the early 1900's. Gold was alwayd a precious metal but was alot more affordable in the early 1900's.

    I have a 18K white gold ring with diamonds that has a huge most likely synthetic blue sapphire cabachon. I took a chance on it as it was under $200 & laden with gold value. 5 or 10 ct sapphires are not priced cheap so not everyone can afford one...LOL

    My last 2 have been south seas though & that's been problematic as even a GIA graduate I had look at the other pearls said you really can't tell south sea pearls. He said they were nice but in his opinion even akoya were south seas. He says he is a graduate of GIA but I guess not all of them are experts at pearls. I would not expect a private person to know but I suppose that's what they were told & it seems south seas fly around more than flies. The only problem with fighting a south sea claim is you would have to have a good lab grade them & that costs money.



    I bought them because they were in an old platinum setting & the setting themselves have most of the value. I was hoping they were nice yellow gold south sea pearls but I really can't tell.

    Frankly I'm pretty much done with hoping to find nice old pearl yet I am not at all satisfied yet that the newly cultured are of the older standard but I see I have no choice if I want white south sea or tahitian. Almost all of the vintage pearls are akoya. Really don;t think they popped in a freshwater pearl in a platinum setting. Platinum was always very expensive.

    I'm not a fan of yellow pearls just the darn platinum setting is really nice. If I had to buy that in a jewelry store the setting would probably be $400. You really can't get a cheap light platinum setting for $200.

    I am going to look into buying a tahitian or a white south sea from one of our reputable sellers & have the pearl set. I just don;t like modern findings. Only one with decent settings is Mikimoto at least in 2005 the posts were close to 1mm & the butterfly backs were thick.
    The tahitians I bought on ebay also have a decent Mecan mounting of close to 1mm on post. I am not going to spend $500/ $1000 on a pair of new earrings with a bendable setting.

    I am not a pearl expert but I have had studied jewelry & gemology & took diamond grading but not at GIA. I have an edge of the average ebay buyer but I am also much more hard to please because of it.

    I'm not sure what to do with these yet. She said I can return them if I am not happy with them.
    Yellow can't compare to a black tahitian with aubergine or a silverish white south sea pearl but I really don;t want to part with the setting.

    I'm glad I joined this forum.

    OOOOhhh they are blue under UV light???? I still am not sure what this signifies.

    Surprise the suspected freshwater strand that cost me $2 with a 14/20 clasp does not react to the UV light...
    Now that is surprising as I was reading the freshwater do react & since most clutured pearls have a shell nucleus of probably similar origin that would react to the uv light...
    Last edited by Camelotshadow; 06-18-2017 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #19
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Big difference in 9.1 to 10.1mm!

    Do have a slight faint green iridescence which is nice.

    They look different outside & are golden in the sun. Why all the different colors?
    Sometimes they are even champagne. What I don;t like is sometimes they are a fake obnoxious yellow
    so wonder if they were dyed?

    Bottom line is the settings are platinum.
    Seller was surprised they are only 9.2 mm max. Says she was told they were 10 1/2 mm but guess she never checked or measured them which is not a good thing to do when selling.
    She says she paid alot but I think since they are not the 10mm size plus she said they were that there should be some fair price adjustment if I decide to keep them but she has offered to take them back..

    Sent her photos to prove the size difference.
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    Last edited by Camelotshadow; 06-19-2017 at 05:16 AM.

  5. #20
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Well decison time on both my "south sea"pearl earrings. I have not felt the strength to tackle the 18K that tests 14K yet & I have to soon.
    I really like those white pearls even if they are akoya but convincing this seller is not going to be easy. Gold content that is not correct will be noted in feedback if I am not compensated for that, Hard to do anything about a south sea pearl as I'd have to send them to GIA to grade.
    No one seems to know by looking at them. To me they look very much like akoya but I have not seen many real documented south sea.
    I have to change that.

    I do like the platinum setting & would spend $200 for it. She's coming back she showed pictures to a jewler & he says the settings alone are $300 $400. I agree if new in a jewelery store but this is ebay. She says she paid $750 for them from a mansion in Georgetown. I believe her but the person she bought them from also said they were 10 1/2 mm so who knows what the pearls are.

    She says she will take them back & she misses them. I think she will give me $20 credit for the mistake in the pearl mm....really covers postage & a In & out hamurger...but I'll take it should I decide to keep them which I will only for the settings. I can't tell if the pearls are worth $100 each. Plat value is only $50 but I think they are handmade & they drilled the screwhole on the screw off center...but it functions.

    I can't tell her what to credit for the mistake as that's up to her as long as she is willing to refind me in full if I return them but I wish it was more than $20.

  6. #21
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sanippy's Avatar
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    Doesn't sound like you love them. So I would return them. For that amount of money you could get some pretty amazing pearls.

  7. #22
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanippy View Post
    Doesn't sound like you love them. So I would return them. For that amount of money you could get some pretty amazing pearls.
    +1. Since the vendor doesn't know what they are and has already misrepresented two important aspects of them (size and gold content), I would not be inclined to believe anything else. IMO mystery pearls of questionable provenance aren't worth $100 each. I also wouldn't bother to haggle with eBay sellers after the fact. If it's misrepresented, send it back and spend your money with reputable vendors instead.

    I'd also spend some time getting to know what different pearl types look like in person. You don't need a GIA appraisal for pearls when you know what you are looking for to differentiate one type from another (and GIA graduates are often not experts in pearls from what I can tell). The size, color, shape and nacre quality will tell you most of the time what type of pearl you have (although some edisons are getting harder to tell apart from WSS pearls). Maybe take the CPAA Pearls as One course, although nothing replaces seeing the real thing in person side by side with pearls of other types. Plus you should take a look here and on pricescope to see who other expert pearl buyers have found to be reputable (including some eBay vendors). There are some selling what they claim to be selling, but they are few and far between, and their prices reflect the actual value of their goods.

    eBay is FULL of dyed freshwater pearls, fake pearls, shell pearls, and freshwater pearls being sold as "south sea" so if you don't know from pictures or in person what they are when they arrive you're either spending money on stuff that isn't worth it, or if you resell under what you *think* it is (but isn't), you're at risk yourself of committing fraud. Plus, if it's a 'deal' it's probably not what you think it is.

    ETA: one eBay scam is to refund money to maintain 100% raitings that are undeserved. Some of the most blatant frauds that we here have discussed have 100% ratings spanning years. Plus people rate as satisfied because the buyer has no idea they were scammed - either ever or until long after the rating window has closed. Another vendor scam is the "found these at an estate sale" to convince people that modern poor quality pearls are vintage. If you search these forums you'll find lots of examples discussed here.

    Finally, the best way for us to help you identify pearls is to see macro closeup pictures of the pearls on white paper towel (including pictures of the drill holes), with accurate information about size (measured by caliper since you have some) and where you got them. And you need to directly ask for opinions if you want them. Otherwise people will simply tell you that they are nice/look good on you and will be circumspect about any suspicions they might have so as to avoid hurt feelings. There's a lot to be learned too from following other people's identification posts and seeing what the experts here have to say. Sadly we recently lost one of our posters who was passionate and expert about pearl identification, but there are many here who will be happy to help if asked.
    Last edited by cmd2014; 06-20-2017 at 08:29 AM.

  8. #23
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Thanks,
    I have alot of thinking to do.

    Bottom line is there is $900 on the line for 2 pairs of earrings & that is alot of money!

    Trouble is I really like the platinum settings on the gold pearl earrings & the white pearls with diamonds earrings are very nice too. Nicer than what I have. Still I extended myself on these 2 purchases. One was a stretch but the other sort of broke the bank & I hate to dip into last of savings.
    I wish I did not have to pay top top $ for them.

    $900 could buy a really nice pair of pearl earrings.

    I've tried to get good prctures of the yellow pearls but they don;t cooperate. The color just never comes right & I can't get the surface in detailed focus & I've taken least 100 pictures of them! Plus they change color depending on light & if you put them under water they look cream!

    WTH?

    What is the ring in the photos?

    Don;t be shy...I can retun them so I want honest opinons about the gold pearl.\\

    Thanks
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    Last edited by Camelotshadow; 06-20-2017 at 06:46 PM.

  9. #24
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    In addition to the slight green orient I am now noticing a rose but it was in pictures just these pearls are cameleons.

  10. #25
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Oooh, I see the jagged band of dullness in the last 2 photos...no idea what it is, though. It could just be be a quality of the nacre.

    Honestly, the fact that you are agonizing over this decision means you are not overjoyed with them. That is a lot of money to spend on something that you are not overjoyed about. At least, it would be for me. I think you can do better.

  11. #26
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Thanks...I would be spending alot for the settings....oooohhhh...I guess I should see a few jewelers & ask how much to get this quality setting.

    I think that ring will start to really bother me...

    I really hate to part woth the plat setting!!! I can never replace it. Its handmade.

    Like the white pearl better & the platinum setting...if I only could have them together or that platinum setting would look nice with a tahitian
    & give up the antique white diamond earrings...

    I don;t see the yellow/gold pearl as a great pearl & I am not thrilled with the color...true yellow washes out on me...

    I don;t know why the gold look the same color as the white as the gold is almost 1mm bigger

    The jagged dull line i hard to find again but it did show up in those photos.

    OOOOOOOOoooohhhhhhhhh,,,I guess I better get to a few jewelry stores...

    Could be worse...look at these chinese gold ss pearls for $20.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/beautiful-AA...YAAOSwmLlX356U
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    Last edited by Camelotshadow; 06-20-2017 at 07:00 PM.

  12. #27
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    The gold pearls don't have great luster or color. They might be commercial quality really pale gold south sea pearls, they could be low quality cream/yellow Akoyas, or they could be dyed freshwater pearls. The color in some of your pictures and the jagged line across the nacre leads me to think they could be dyed (that and some of the colors you describe in different lights). I think you can do better. It's expensive to keep them for the settings alone. That said, if you love the settings, soak off the pearls and put some nicer quality ones on the settings. Some of the vendors here might help you with that.

    Those $20 Chinese pearls are definitely cheap dyed fresh water pearls. All of them.

    I like the style of the white pearls, but the pearl quality is not the best either. They're off round and there's some variation in color and nacre quality. For $900 you could get some gorgeous, AAA quality Tahitian earrings with bright colors and strong overtones and probably have money left over for something else. You could also get gorgeous white south sea pearls, or fancy Akoyas. But if you love them, you should keep them and maybe sell your other less loved pair to recoup the cost a bit.

  13. #28
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    I don't have pierced ears so I don't wear earrings, but what is so special about that setting? No one but you can see it. Is it comfortable? Is it really all that different from other settings? If I were picking out earrings, I would get one that is comfortable and one that people can see. No one sees behind the ear. So pay for comfort, or pay for what people can see and something that you love. You seem to keep buying things you're not happy with and talking yourself into keeping them. It's pretty much a clear cut decision in my book. Write out your pros and cons on paper and keep emotion out of it. Then whichever is longer decides for you. Even if you like the setting, changing out pearls and buying new ones would be too much work for that much money for a new item, and you have two sets of earrings with the same issue.

  14. #29
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    I agree that for the price, these are not a good value. On the platinum mounting, it doesn't look to me to be entirely hand made. It might have been modified to add the threaded post, but you can find similar mountings in any number of jewelry catalogues, and in platinum! On eBay, I know that finding a gem among the rough is alluring, however, I find that it's not worth all the misrepresentation. I think if you enjoy vintage, take a look at some of the wonderful vintage jewelry sellers on Etsy. Also Pinterest and Instagram are great ways to find vintage pieces...I can lose an entire day just looking at jewelry posts on Instagram. I know you will find an incredible pair of earrings you will cherish...I just don't think these are the pair.
    Etsy shop: OceansCove
    Instagram: OceansCove
    Facebook: Ocean's Cove Jewelry
    Amazon Handmade: Ocean's Cove

  15. #30
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Camelotshadow's Avatar
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    Thanks so much...
    I need all the help I can get so I can make the right choice.

    Yellow are not really attractive to me but those setting would look great with a 9.5 mm or 10mm tahitian!

    I have a tahitian pair but I'm not sure if they are real tahitian or are dyed.. They don't chance color with uv light & I read that could mean dyed. That said they are also off round & different sized but the color is nice & they came in a nice 18K setting with that push button mecan back & they were not too expensive.. So do I need more tahitians>>??? I guess I would really like a nice pair wth a bit more aubergine & peacock.

    Took it to 2 shops on Ventura Blvd.

    First said throw it back as the pearls are not worth $100 ea. He's not seen many pearl earrings in plat but does not think he would keep them just for settings. He had a half carat pair of old french back diam earring in 14 wg with off color stones but price of $400 really was quite good. He buys jewlery & the neighborhood is rich so perhaps he could get som nice things for a good price so I have to check in from time to time. He had a strand of GIA papered gray tahitians he's selling for $6000. Says he's had the 4 years!!!! They are large & clean but just a plain gray with no overtone,

    He liked my white pearls/

    The next store said they looked nice to her & liked the settings. She liked the white pearls too & said the white looks better on me.
    She thought the price was OK but she is selling button freshwater pearl earrings for $500!
    She said one plat screw back might cost $60 & unfortunaltely she is right. so thats the dilemna.

    I'm not looking for perfectly round flawless pearls. I do want thick nacre & natural color.

    I could use the setting but it would not be worth buying a gold setting & have the yellow pearl set as I would probably break even,

    $400 is alot to pay for a setting without diamonds but personally I prefer pearls as plain studs. Jus happened upon the ones with diamonds & the diaamonds are old cut & I like the old stuff but old pearls are generally in poor conditipn from perfume/hairsprays & just decades of hot summers as in the old days there was no central AC.

    OOOOhhhh I guess I should close my eyes & send the yellow pearls back. She misses them but I'm in love with the setting & I want platinum & its hard to find & its not cheap!

    Setting is actually comfortable & platinum is very hypoallergetic. Yellow gold sometimes itches so that why I was afraid of the rhodium over yellow gold from those scratches the other earrings setting have but I went below one & its white metal & tests 14K...

    Maybe I should try to get into LA & see Josh. I need an idea of what is really nice & what I can afford.

    Those white pearls are a bitoff round & they have some surface irreg but the violet overtones & blues & pinks are amazing!!!
    They are irradecent which is really hard to find. I think I'd rather sell my Miki's then those.

    Can't really see it in photos
    but I agree maybe I am in a rut trying to get the same white pearls with some blue & pink with a violet wash?

    OOoooooohhhh
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    Last edited by Camelotshadow; 06-21-2017 at 01:01 AM.

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