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  1. #1

    Default Is blinking typical with AA+?

    Hi, I am buying myself my first set on pearls for my wedding and I have done a bit of research. I purchased a set of 6.5-7mm, AA+ from both The Pearl Source and Pearls of Joy. I received the pearls from The Pearl Source and am disappointed. I can see the bead nucleus easily and all the pearls appear to be blinking in most lights, except low indirect light. Many pearls also have chipping around the drill hole. I am waiting on my order from Pearls of Joy and hoping they will be higher quality. I am going to return the set I like least. After reading up on Akoya pearls and how thin nacre is typical for these pearls I am having second thoughts. I am thinking about possibly exchanging the AA+ Akoyas for a gem grade freshwater set. Part of the reason I am purchasing a set for my wedding is that I had always wanted to wear my Nana's pearls, which I think are Akoya, but they are very worn down and not in the best shape. I love them because they were hers but was hoping to get something new for my wedding. My budget is around $600, not enough for super luxury. If I exchange for a freshwater set of the same size in gem quality maybe I can avoid my pearls looking like my Nana's if I end up with a granddaughter who wants to wear them in 60 years. I appreciate any thoughts, ideas and opinions! I am adding some pictures but the blinking and thinness of the nacre is hard to capture with my phone camera
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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Blinking pearls-- where you see the bead nucleus as you roll the pearls on a flat white surface-- is a sign of unacceptably thin nacre. Chipping around the drill holes is also unacceptable. I would definitely not keep such a strand.

    Why not wait and see how the POJ pearls look before deciding whether to switch to gem grade FWP? (When is the wedding? Do you have time to wait?)

    Also FYI it's best to photograph (and view) pearls against a white background. Dark backgrounds make it hard to see detail and luster.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 05-11-2018 at 10:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    On second thought, since the 20% off Mother's Day sale prices are about to end, you might want to go ahead and order the gem grade FWP, and return the strands you like least after you have had a chance to see the akoyas next to the FWP.

    But I would not keep the PS necklace with the defects you described. It won't be durable.

  4. #4
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    Even without the white background, the pearls look rather sluggish in luster and the colors don't match. I'd be returning that strand without waiting for another strand. You're not happy with it now, you won't be happy with it ten years later.

  5. #5
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Good advice. Keep looking until you get what you love.
    GemGeek
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  6. #6
    Member nnguye20's Avatar
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    I don't know the common quality of AA+ akoya, but with quality like that a strand of Gem grade or freshadama is definitely gonna be a better choice.
    A few months ago I talked with pearl paradise rep about some AAA/ freshadama fwp, and this is the pic they send me. I don't know which one were freshadama tho, but I remember the top smaller one was AAA. I hope this help.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks for all the advice. I was concerned that the strand I got from The Pearl Source is just the quality to be expected with AA+. I did a little research and am expecting the Pearls of Joy AA+ to be a much higher quality. The Pearls of Joy set was about $100 more but hopefully that gets me a big boost in quality. I am looking into getting the gem grade freshwaters to compare are see which I like better. The pearls in the picture are definitely going back.

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    I can’t say whether that strand is representative of AA+ pearls across vendors or not, but those were not great Akoyas. You can do better. I suspect that with your budget you will find much better quality freshwater pearls (the gem grade should be beautiful if you go that route). I’d prefer top quality freshwater pearls to poor quality Akoya pearls, all else being equal.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Lugana's Avatar
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    You can do soooo much better than that even in akoya within your budget.. there is a TON of options within your budget!

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    It's not easy to get high grade Akoya in your budget. If you go for the higher grade freshwater...make sure they use round pearls. I've seen many nice lustre strands but the pearls are oval or quite off round. Ask for photos to be sure of what you are getting.

    PP has 15% off and a lovely looking strand of AAA Akoya 7-7.5 for 738.00 with your discount and a lucky spin on the wheel you might end up at 600 ! Akoya AAA will be round. It's the freshwater strands that you need to check on 'roundness' . Even AAA might not be truly round no matter where they come from.

  11. #11
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    ckent12, looking forward to your update and photos of wedding-worthy pearls!
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  12. #12
    Co-Founder: Cortez Pearls Senior Guide Member CortezPearls's Avatar
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    I would definitively return them without a blink of an eye! (pun intended)
    So many good and affordable pearls from reputable sellers all over...get the pearls that will satisfy your pearly needs always.
    Happy Hunting!
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  13. #13

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    I just got my AA+ Akoyas from Pearls of Joy. I like them much better! I also ordered their gem grade freshwater pearls to compare. After those come in I will decide which Im wearing at my wedding. I am posting a side by side of the two akoya sets. The bottom are from The Pearl Source, the top are Pearls of Joy. I am definitely returning the ones on the bottom. Thank you all for the advice its been so helpful. I will post the freshwaters next to the akoyas when I get them.
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  14. #14
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckent12 View Post
    I just got my AA+ Akoyas from Pearls of Joy. I like them much better! I also ordered their gem grade freshwater pearls to compare. After those come in I will decide which Im wearing at my wedding. I am posting a side by side of the two akoya sets. The bottom are from The Pearl Source, the top are Pearls of Joy. I am definitely returning the ones on the bottom. Thank you all for the advice its been so helpful. I will post the freshwaters next to the akoyas when I get them.
    When I saw this first post I was taken aback by the apparent quality of the strand but thought it might be just terrible photography (no offense). But this photo is clear. There is not even a remote comparison between these two strands. One strand is short-cultured and almost worthless. You can clearly see the bead in every pearl.

    The difference in value is huge. I don't mean a difference of 20-30%. I mean the Pearl Source strand is a $40-$50 strand of very poor-quality pearls, and the Pearls of Joy strand is a fine strand of akoya pearls worth hundreds.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 05-14-2018 at 10:09 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    When I saw this first post I was taken aback by the apparent quality of the strand but thought it might be just terrible photography (no offense). But this photo is clear. There is not even a remote comparison between these two strands. One strand is short-cultured and almost worthless. You can clearly see the bead in every pearl.

    The difference in value is huge. I don't mean a difference of 20-30%. I mean the Pearl Source strand is a $40-$50 strand of very poor-quality pearls, and the Pearls of Joy strand is a fine strand of akoya pearls worth hundreds.
    Just for the sake of value comparison, The Pearls of Joy strand was $100 more, but I definitely feel the quality is substantially better and Im glad I didn't settle for the other pearls.