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  1. #1

    Talking What to get as a first pair of everyday studs, SSPs, Miki, Handama grade?

    Hello everybody, I'm so excited to discover this forum!
    I've always been a pearl lover and recently decided to get serious in getting my very first pair of studs for everyday wear (9-12/13mm?) and maybe a strand of necklace.

    I'm in Australia and made the mistake of trying out some gorgeous 13mm button SSPs from Paspaley, . Since I'm still an amateur, I decided to be sensible.
    Just want to know who are some the reputable Aus retailers (preferably in Sydney so that I can inspect in person) or online websites that ships SSPs to Aus? I am a little wary of not getting genuine SSP from a boutique store?
    Is there anyway to know if the SSPs are from Australian waters or other places like tahiti?
    Should I get SSP studs (so larger size) and Mikimoto necklace or a set from Miki?
    Is it more expensive to purchase Miki from Japan? Do you think it would be special to purchase miki from the flagship store in Ginza Japan? or should I just stick with hanadama grade akoya studs?

    As I'm not a big jewelry wearer, I want each purchase to be memorable/special.

    All suggestions are welcome!

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Hi Jadore,

    Personally I think pearls look best when the earrings are at least a little larger than the necklace. But that is a matter of taste.

    The Paspaley buttons sound fantastic! One thing to understand about studs is that large buttons won't tend to sag as much as round (spherical) pearls of the same size. A 13mm button shaped pearl will wear closer to the ear than a 13mm round pearl. If you think you may want very large round studs, I urge you to try some on first to see if you like how they look on you. And be sure to get large earring backs to counteract the tendency to sag.

    Mikimoto sells amazing looking pearls, but you can absolutely get amazing high quality pearls for less money if you are willing to forego the name. You are already familiar with the term hanadama, so you know what to look for in akoyas.

    Is it very important to you that your SSP come from Australia rather than Indonesia or Burma, even if it's the same kind of mollusk producing the pearl? If so, ask; the vendor may be able to answer that.

    I am in the USA and I do not know Australian stores, but a few vendors in the USA to check out include Pearl Paradise, Pearls of Joy and Pure Pearls (I got my white SSP necklace from Pure Pearls-- and they were stated to be from Australia).

  3. #3

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    There are plenty of fine Jewellers in Australia who will be able to help you. Try Bunda Jewellers in Sydney or Rutherford pearls in Melbourne - Wesley Rutherford is a good guy!

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Not sure of any retailers in Australia, but I can speak on the subject of what kind of earrings to get - I would go for the hanadamas. Luster is fantastic and they come in a range of sizes that are great for everyday earring use. Plus, they are top of the line akoya, so you won't regret not getting the best luster.

    I personally don't have wss earrings, but I do have large freshadama pearl studs from Pearl Paradise and I find that I don't reach for them for everyday use like I do my 7 to 8 millimeter studs (in all different kinds of pearls). My natural white hanadama studs from Pearl Paradise are right in that sweet spot of larger normal wear for me (8.2mm).

    That's just my two cents. I hope that helps your decision-making process a little!
    You can never be too dressed-up.

  5. #5

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    Thank you Pearl Dreams for the tips.
    Guess I'm curious as to whether there is a way of confirming that the SSP are from Australia, given that I'm Australian it would be nice?
    I've been looking at PPs and Pure Pearls, probably need to do ask them about duties once I spend over the threshold and hopefully the return process is just as easy for international buyers. At this stage, I am leaning towards bigger SSP studs and smaller strand of akoya necklace.

  6. #6

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    Thanks LondonPearl. will check out Bunda Jewellers as I'm in Sydney.

  7. #7

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    Thank you Lary007.
    Guess I should also try out smaller pearls just to see if they works just as good.

  8. #8
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Jadore, I think you just have to go with a reputable vendor. There isn't any way for you, as a consumer, to tell where a given SSP came from.

  9. #9
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    From where I come from, we like our pearls big, so a 10-11mm ssp studs is everyday wear. Yes, this comes from someone who at first found 12mm studs too big. Also, check out gold ssp studs. At first they seem daunting because of the premium price, but now I use them similar to how I use my other gold jewelry for everyday wear. Think of them as bigger-than-your-average gold studs; they are pretty easy to pair with, yet they have this magical oomph.

    For the neck, I find simple ssp pendants to be easier for day wear over strands. I was thinking of getting a strand myself, but I put it off for more research. A friend of mine lent me a couple of her strands (love her!), and I found that I didn't reach for them as often as I reached for pendants. I did use them eventually when I attended a couple of weddings, so maybe I should get myself one (still thinking!).

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Definitely try on the larger studs first and make sure you know what you want. The larger and more round = expense. You save by going with Buttons ... a full Button is nice and sits well on the ear while appearing to be round.

    Autore have lots of pearls as well..lovely. Are you in Sydney ? I'm in Adelaide You have a large duty on expensive items as you know plus the cost of shipping. It will be even worse as they are going to be charging duty on all overseas purchases soon ... bummer.

    But try on all the different sizes...then you will know what you want...check out the colour too. There are creamy WSS and Silvery White SS and some with a slight pink cast. Once you know the size and colour you can shop for price.

  11. #11

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    Thanks Katbran. Yes I'm in Sydney and realised international purchase might be easier with lower cost pieces but probably not for the prize range that i am considering, and i would really like to see each the pieces first before committing.
    I will try on some smaller items, any idea where I can find button pearls as they appear not to be as common? will check out Autore too, just can't get the Paspaley ones out of my mind!

  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Are the Paspaley ones out of the question, price-wise? Sometimes we just want what we want....

  13. #13
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    If you just want plain studs that are round Australian White South Sea you don't necessarily have to go to Paspaley other than to check out the sizes...they are so nice in there ! Plain Australian Button or round are not hard to come by but if you are looking for design features then definitely look at Paspaley or Autore. I think it's nice to support the Australian farmers that operate in Australian waters !

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Are the Paspaley ones out of the question, price-wise? Sometimes we just want what we want....
    I agree, I was talking to my partner the other day that it would be so much easier if I just settle for quality freshwater pearls, but nope I'm set on some Australian SSP, haha. However, considering it's my first pair and definitely not my last... E.g. entry level 10mm paspaley studs is ~2.2k USD / 2.9k AUD, but they do have some stunning designs if budget is not an issue!

  15. #15

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    Thank you Katbran. That's my sentiment too. I've since discovered a few more jewellers specializing in pearls, and able to offer a better selection of what I'm after, looks like I may end up with something other than studs given the price points are more reasonable.
    Thank you everyone for the advice!

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