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  1. #1

    Question Best pearl size for Opera length?

    My wife wants a 30" necklace and I'm considering what size pearl is best in a longer Opera length. I am looking at Freshadama from Pearl Paradise in the 7-8mm size, which would be just over $500 for 30".

    Are there general rules of thumb regarding pearl size to necklace length? Will 7-8mm look too small? Or would 8-9mm or larger look garish? Is it better to trade down in quality and up in size in a longer length? Or will the luster of Freshadama make them appear larger?

    She will be wearing these to work, and tends to dress up more than her coworkers. Also, she is tall and likes to wear sweaters and turtlenecks, so she wants a longer length.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Administrator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    Personally i'd say 7-8mm is the perfect size for longer strands - but that's just it, everybody has different tastes.

    I'd go bigger if she wanted to wear them as a special event item and smaller if she wanted to get more daily use out of them.
    Kevin Canning
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  3. #3
    purepearls
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    From personal experience, I would say go with 36" and the 7-8mm size. With a 36" strand, she can wear long or wrapped for a double-strand. There is much more flexibility here.

  4. #4
    purepearls
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    I would never trade down in quality to go with a larger size!

  5. #5
    youngster
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    Hi Cheerwino,
    I did just what you are considering. I had PP make a custom 33" freshadama strand for me. I used 8 -9 mm pearls though, which caused the price to be substantially more than $500. I have worn it a lot. I tend to wrap it around and wear it as a double strand. I'm on the tallish side (5' 7") and I'm over (yikes) 40 so the larger pearl size looks great. Hope this helps.

  6. #6

    Default Opera length

    Hi,
    I would go as long as you can afford to and try to get the necklace made with invisible clasps that will allow your wife to break it down into a number of necklace and bracelet combination... like a whole pearl wardrobe in one long necklace!
    As far as size, I think smaller (7-8 mm) pearls look great, especially in an opera length. If she is planning on wearing these every day, especially.
    Good luck,
    Elsa P.
    Orkyd Pearls
    www.orkydpearls.com

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Thanks

    Thanks to everyone for your prompt and helpful replies to my question regarding the ideal ratio of pearl size to necklace length. I am glad there were no complicated equations offered in any responses.

    Elsa mentioned hidden clasps--does anyone on this board offer such an option on high-quality, round freshwaters? American Pearl offers four hidden clasps on a 51" rope of Akoyas, which can create many different looks. However, I assumed it would be unprofitable for online retailers dealing in volume to offer such an option in top quality freshwaters since the pearls would need to match so closely in size for you to mix and match different looks. In other words, one could buy another necklace or bracelet for the added cost due to labor.

    Thanks again to everyone who has replied. This has been very helpful.

    Guy
    aka "Cheerwino"
    Last edited by Caitlin; 05-30-2007 at 06:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    It is just the cost of the labor, which will run around $25 per junction. It is actually a lot easier to add a mystery clasp to freshwater than Akoya - South Sea pearls are also a good choice because the nacre is so thick. It is an interesting piece, I know my brother makes a lot of them - ThePearlOutlet.com.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 02-20-2012 at 08:14 PM.

  9. #9
    cindyclark
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    For a tall woman, like me, I would not go below 9 mm. You can do great with a high quality, near round, freshwater with lots of luster. Just two junctions work well on a 36 length, with two 18 inch strands or a little bit longer and a 18 and 22 inch length for more versatility. You don't have to do invisible clasps. I have used decorative gold ones and they look great.

    Cindy Clark

  10. #10
    purepearls
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    We have done quite a few mystery clasps for customers. You can get very creative with it. For example, we recently had one customer purchase an 18" strand and we broke it up to 16" and 2" so his wife could wear the strand as 18" or as 16". We also did one where a lady wanted 7" and 18" so she could wear the necklace as one long 25" necklace or a necklace and a bracelet set.

    I really think it's a personal preference for size but you mentioned you have a budget so I highly recommend quality over size.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodecia
    Brings to mind another subject - why not grow keshi on purpose - they are so much more beautiful than almost any other pearls. And could it be done. Just a little tickle to the oyster a minor irritant and would one possibly grow.
    Keshi are grown on purpose. I would surmise a large portion of today's harvested keshi are intentional, as a matter of fact. As market value goes up, so does volume.

  12. #12
    Pearl Designer & Collector Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    "Keshi are grown on purpose. I would surmise a large portion of today's harvested keshi are intentional, as a matter of fact. As market value goes up, so does volume."
    -------

    Bodecia - above a quote from Jeremy

    I read recently that oysters are now x-rayed so that any non round pearls can be discarded - so that the keshi harvested were likely to be less in the future - or was I reading an old article.

    It does seem to me that there are keshi to be had although many are very small. I would love a really big one, big big big, with lustre galore - and gold would be great. If anyone has one they want to sell let me know

    _____________

    Bodecia

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodecia
    I read recently that oysters are now x-rayed so that any non round pearls can be discarded - so that the keshi harvested were likely to be less in the future - or was I reading an old article.
    Sounds like a bad article, not an old article. Yes, a lot of farms use x-ray, but it is used to determine nucleus retention, not shape of pearl. I have heard the claims before, but if you understood how a farm's x-ray machine works, you would realize that those claims are ridiculous.

    You likely heard the story at one of those "pick an oyster, find a pearl" places. They claim that all their oysters go through x-ray do ensure a perfect, round pearl is inside. The truth is, they put that pearl inside the oyster - it did not grow there. There is one Site online that sells a type of "pearl in the oyster" business, and on their Site they even claim to stick a grain of sand into the oysters to produce the pearls they sell.

    The way an x-ray actually works is the oysters are placed on a sheet, or a type of conveyor depending on the machine. As they go through, those pearls with a retained nucleus are shot with a colored dye. The shells with stains have pearls - those without, don't.

    Regarding the keshi, I believe that bits of mantle are often "lost" during nucleation in both Tahitian pearl culturing and Akoya (but only in Japan). The Japanese produce a huge amount of Akoya keshi every year, where as the Chinese produce almost none.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 02-20-2012 at 08:16 PM.

  14. #14
    Pearl Designer & Collector Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    "Regarding the keshi, I believe that bits of mantle are often "lost" during nucleation in both Tahitian culturing and Akoya (but only in Japan). The Japanese produce a huge amount of Akoya keshi every year, where as the Chinese produce almost none." QUOTE of Jeremy's
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    Hi Jeremy & Caitlin - sorry haven't worked out how to do quotes yet.

    Thank you for the info on x-raying. I will try to find the article again.

    Okay, Japan has a market for the keshi. Right? As to the Tahitian cultuturing - do you mean Tahitian pearls from Japan? Just a little confused as you said only in Japan. I bought some Tahitian keshi not so long ago, some black, some silver. I believe they came through Hong Kong via the big sale/show recently.

    Also how big would these bits of "lost" mantle be? If I am understanding this correctly the Japanese realise there is a market for keshi so "lose" pieces of mantle for that market whereas the Chinese don't.

    How do you rate keshi in the scheme of pearls? Do they have a place in your store? I hope these questions are okay. I am not sure what is kosher yet. Guess someone will set me straight if I ask to many questions.

    BTW - Caitlin, was just off looking at your beading - great - I am a beader too. Love it. It is a passion although Pearls always take pride of place and I tend to work more with them than anything else. Although you seem to use them all the time too. For love of Pearls.

    Thanks for all the info and photos I have been looking at,

    Bodecia

  15. #15
    Pearl Designer & Collector Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I think it is only with very special FW pearls that the public will slowly come to accept each pearl on its merit and not on whether they are SW or FW. They don't seem to care about them being cultured and SW having dirty great big beads in them.

    I meant to ask later about SS Golden Pearls. It seems that as they are often refered to as PPBs they are not highly thought of on this Forum. But surely there must be many different qualities or are all cultured pearls called PPBs in a derogatory way. I have been wondering if there is a standard size bead that is used in the culture of SS Pearls in different countries and if so what sizes are the beads? Also do all SS Pearls have shell based beads or are glass beads ever inserted. I know that some Chinese pearls, especially the huge ones are very, very heavy and have wondered if they had glass beads instead of tissue inserted in them. I hope this is not too many questions at one time. My mind keeps jumping from one thing to the next All related in a way

    Thanks very much, Bodecia
    Last edited by Caitlin; 05-30-2007 at 06:36 PM.