Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29
  1. #1

    Default Advice on normal imperfections on top AAA pearls

    Hi,

    I've been reviewing the forum and using it to guide my recent purchase of some "top AAA" pearl earrings from one of the recommended vendors (huge thanks to the community!). The sales process was excellent and the staff seem really friendly.

    However, the pearl earrings have now arrived and they have a number of blemishes, which is I understand normal for freshwater pearls. However, it's very obvious and pronounced on one of the pearls, and I'd like to seek some advice from the community on whether this is typical for this quality of pearl, especially for earrings?

    On one pearl there are some pinprick dimples over it which is fine, but then there is a rather large and obvious dimple/dent/inclusion. On the other there are some pinprick dimples and then a chalky mark / scratch and minor dimple. The second seems reasonable enough from what I understand, but is the first with its obvious bump typical?

    A couple of pictures for reference:

    Name:  pearl3.jpg
Views: 382
Size:  15.5 KB

    Name:  pearl1.jpg
Views: 373
Size:  10.3 KB

    Name:  Pearl2.jpg
Views: 377
Size:  11.3 KB

    I've reached out to the vendor for some advice, who said that some level of blemish is unavoidable but they'd check with the team. They haven't yet got back to me, so I'll have to follow up again. Sadly if I need to exchange I'm looking at $135 of shipping expenses overall and a late anniversary present...

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Matt
    Last edited by MattMitchell; 12-13-2017 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,482

    Default

    Hi MattMitchell,

    As there is no standardized grading system for pearls, you should look at the grading criteria of the vendor you bought the pearls from-- to see how that specific vendor describes their AAA freshwaters.

    That said, I would expect better for AAA freshwater pearls. It is possible an error was made when your order was filled. If so, I would think a reputable vendor would pay for return shipping. I urge you to follow through with the vendor; send them photos if you have not already done so.

    It's disappointing that your anniversary present will be late, of course.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Hi MattMitchell,

    As there is no standardized grading system for pearls, you should look at the grading criteria of the vendor you bought the pearls from-- to see how that specific vendor describes their AAA freshwaters.

    That said, I would expect better for AAA freshwater pearls. It is possible an error was made when your order was filled. If so, I would think a reputable vendor would pay for return shipping. I urge you to follow through with the vendor; send them photos if you have not already done so.

    It's disappointing that your anniversary present will be late, of course.
    Hi Pearl Dreams,

    Thanks so much for the quick response :-)

    I want to be careful not to reveal the vendor, who I believe are acting in good faith trying to help me out right now, but from what I understand on these forums they are meant to be one of the top grading standards.

    At first contact they indicated perfections of this nature were normal, but perhaps I described it poorly, and given your feedback I'll take your advice and send the photos through to the vendor and see how I go.

    Will follow up with the outcome.

    Thanks again,
    Matt

  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,482

    Default

    The divot /indentation in particular seems unsightly to me. If it were further back toward the finding I might not mind it, but not in that location. JMO.

  5. #5
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    5,468

    Default

    I agree, that flaw shouldn't be on earring pearls graded as AAA . It's possible that there was an error in grading..or that they sent the wrong ones. Your shipping costs seem extremely high ... ?? I have things sent from the US to Australia ( where I live ) and the cost is around 20$

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pareltje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Town
    Posts
    1,365

    Default

    $135 is that the cost of shipping with FedEx or UPS?

  7. #7

    Default

    $45 USD / $60 AUD was the original FedEx cost to Australia (to have express delivery in time for the anniversary, otherwise it would have been $25 USD). I multiplied that by 3 (i.e. original cost, return, second shipping) as a baseline when I still thought I might be able to get a replacement in time.

    You're both correct that this is higher than it needs to be now that the date will be missed.

    Return cost to the US via AusPost (6 business days) looks to be ~$25 AUD uninsured, or ~$50 if insured. The vendor has also now got back to me and indicated that they will pay the next shipping charge for free if they agree that the pearls have an imperfection that is worse than expected, so that will be excellent if they do, and not too much additional expense overall. Thankfully I have a very understanding wife :-)

    Thanks for the feedback, and I'll post back with an update once it's all sorted.
    Last edited by MattMitchell; 12-13-2017 at 07:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    549

    Default

    FedEx and UPS costs are very high for private uses with insurance, out of USA I think. They also price small packagings like bigger. 135 dollars don't wonder me, about same quote I had obtained for my own pearls shipping.
    Last edited by ericw; 12-13-2017 at 07:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pareltje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Town
    Posts
    1,365

    Default

    If you didn't have to pay the import tax, it may be worth returning them to the US and get a replacement.
    In my case, when I purchase jewelry/gemstones from the US I'll have to pay import tax prior to receiving the package and see the jewelry piece I ordered myself. If I'm not happy with it, I may be able to return it but there's no way for me to get my import tax refunded by the state after the return. That's why I'm trying hard to purchase only from local vendors as much as I could, and be very selective when it comes to buying things from abroad like US. I do make exceptions once in a while and purchase special and unique items from abroad, things that are not easily available in Europe.

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    5,468

    Default

    I just noticed that I wrote 20$ ..its a bit higher than that for regular post. Your explanation of the costs makes more sense to me now. Certainly Fed Ex from Australia is ridiculous .. it's like 120$ without insurance.
    Fortunately there would be no duty at the moment for purchases under 1000$ .

    I think that anyone would appreciate the effort and thought that you put into your anniversary present. Not your fault that the pearls were not as you wished. I'm sure they will find a perfect pair for you. Ask for photos of any imperfections before they are sent.

  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    549

    Default

    No duty for purchases under 800 dollars US in United States, under 1000 in Australia, under only 150 euros (about 177 dollars) in France... I see how pearls are not an easy deal for us! Is it the same for you, Pareltje?
    Last edited by ericw; 12-13-2017 at 10:22 AM.

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pareltje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Town
    Posts
    1,365

    Default

    Eric, we in Belgium have to pay import tax and/or administration cost for all things coming from the USA, that I know from experience. For jewelry the customs charges 21% import tax (of the price of the item) plus about
    €30 administration fees. Once I bought a beading kit from the US, I was charged €15 for inspection fee.

  13. #13
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Wow, if 21% import tax don't account VAT (20% in France, that we must pay for any amount), that's worse than us! We have not to pay fees, but 2.5% custom tax above 150 euros purchase's price, so 22.5% with VAT... And an artist as me can't recover VAT
    I didn't know you are in Belgium, thus you speak frensh, don't you?
    Last edited by ericw; 12-13-2017 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #14
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    3,694

    Default

    Yes, importing into the EU is hugely expensive in terms of VAT and also duty, plus the shipping company adds in their brokerage fees.
    Of course, once in the EU goods can move around and across borders without any more taxes.

  15. #15
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    549

    Default

    But we don't produce our europeen pearls... our silk... and silver, and gold, but many mysteries: I buy my bails in UK, half price than exactly the same in France, and in the same compagny!

Similar Threads

  1. Advice for purchasing pearls and where from?
    By gavin in forum Consumer Q & A
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-28-2017, 06:49 AM
  2. Newby to Pearls- LOOKING FOR COURSE ADVICE
    By weejesster in forum Cultured Pearls
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-24-2015, 08:08 PM
  3. First Pearls - Advice appreciated!
    By MrsLlante in forum Freshwater Pearls
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-25-2011, 04:04 PM
  4. Need advice on pink pearls, please!
    By SarahR in forum Freshwater Pearls
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-12-2009, 07:27 PM
  5. AAA strand imperfections?
    By tahitiangirl in forum Freshwater Pearls
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-14-2008, 09:55 PM