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  1. #1

    Default If you could do it over again - what would your very first pearl purchase be?

    Hi everyone!

    I just found this forum, and I have to say the amount of information that can be found on here absolutely incredible. Thank you for sharing!

    Needless to say, I have caught the pearl itch, and now I'm trying to figure out what my very first pearl purchase should be. If you could do it all over again, what would you start out with?

    Right now I'm thinking I have two main options: wait for a special occasion and get a set of AAA akoyas from Pearl Paradise (I'm not that into bracelets, but I would love a 16-17" strand, some studs and dangle jackets). The other option is getting something to satisfy my current craving, but I would only be able to spend around $100-150 on that purchase, so that means even freshadamas are out of budget. A third option is look for something preowned (a CC strand maybe?..), but I'm not sure where the main preowned pearl sales spots are!

    In any case, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience.

  2. #2
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Welcome, Recordaras!

    Since I don't have any 'Significant' pearls yet (and may never, at the rate I'm saving - NO! I take that back! I will succeed!!!) I consider myself to be on training wheels. I'm aiming for a CFW White Metallic suite. Those are my "I'd Better Not Die Before I Get Them, or I'm Coming Back To Haunt Someone!" pearls.

  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I got 7-8mm Freshadamas first. I compromised on size due to budget constraints at the time, but in retrospect I think it would have been better to wait and buy the size pearls I really wanted, which was 8-9mm.

    I wear my metallic freshwaters more than anything-- both my white ones and my multicolored exotics. These are all 8+mm. I also wear my drop shaped pearls.

    I understand Jeremy bought some graduated strands of white and naturally colored fw metallics at the Hong Kong show; these are not listed yet. They are supposed to be quite round, so may satisfy someone who wants the metallic luster and roundness of akoyas.

    Ask yourself this: how often do you envision yourself wearing the pearls? The nacre of akoyas will wear out eventually with regular daily wear, while solid-nacre (no bead nucleus) freshwaters will go on being lovely and wearable. But if you really want akoyas, you may prefer to save up for them. Sometimes we just want what we want.

    As far as sources for pre-owned pearls, check the usual suspects: Ruby Lane, eBay, thrift shops, consignment shops, estate jewelry in your local jewelry shops.
    Pricescope has a section (viewable only by members) for pre-owned jewelry (the items are actually sold on Diamond Bistro, but a link can be posted on Pricescope) but I don't know how often pearls show up there. As far as eBay, vast quantities of freshwaters are listed as akoyas, so beware.

    Finally, if you don't care about roundness at all and can tolerate some surface flaws, you can get some lustrous baroque and keshi shapes of fwp on eBay for much less than similarly lustrous rounds. Sometimes the baroques have wonderful luster.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 10-08-2013 at 09:49 PM. Reason: typos

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa c View Post
    Welcome, Recordaras!

    Since I don't have any 'Significant' pearls yet (and may never, at the rate I'm saving - NO! I take that back! I will succeed!!!) I consider myself to be on training wheels. I'm aiming for a CFW White Metallic suite. Those are my "I'd Better Not Die Before I Get Them, or I'm Coming Back To Haunt Someone!" pearls.
    Thank you, Lisa! And I trust you will get those White Metallic babies not only before you die, but while you are still young enough to enjoy them!!

  5. #5

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    Thank you, PearlDreams!

    Size in my case thankfully isn't an issue - I actually prefer the smaller diameters with "classic" white pearls, and larger ones with baroques (same thing with shape - I would like the white ones as perfectly round as possible, while baroques as not-round as possible). In fact, my perfect strand would look something like this:
    Name:  eva-marie-saint-and-north-by-northwest-gallery.jpg
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    And thank you for your input. I think the best thing to do will be to wait till I can afford the akoya set, and in the meantime buy some inexpensive strand of baroques. In fact, I just pushed the button on a preowned 17" strand of Catherine Cardellinis, these ones: http://www.catherinecardellinipearls...reInfo&id=1946, hopefully that will help with the itch as I wait!
    Even though I do want to get as much wear as possible out of the pearls and maybe fwp would have been a more rational purchase, I have a feeling that if I get those, I will just end up having to pay twice, as I just won't be satisfied without the akoyas.

    Speaking of color, what would you say is the "whitest" of the akoya color options?.. Unfortunately the natural white hanadamas are so far out of my budget I will probably never be able to afford those!

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    A 9-10mm gem quality CFWP with silver overtone, with cage/basket clasp and suitable findings etc., so that I can vary the length of the necklace from 18in to 20in, and to wear it larriet style if the mood takes me.

    DK
    Treat every life situation like a dog: if you can't play with it, eat it, or hump it, p1$$ on it and walk away

  7. #7
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Oh, you sweet thing! I'm way past young, but I'll never get too old to appreciate pearls, and probably want more.

    I hope your Cardellini strand brings you much pleasure
    . Smart, to know yourself and what'll suit you!

  8. #8
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recordaras View Post
    ...
    Speaking of color, what would you say is the "whitest" of the akoya color options?.. Unfortunately the natural white hanadamas are so far out of my budget I will probably never be able to afford those!
    Consult with your vendor, but I would think silver overtones would appear whiter than rose or ivory overtones.

    I like the look of the CC strand you bought! I'm sure you will enjoy wearing it. White pearls are not necessarily the best color for every outfit.

  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome,

    I think where we most 'waste' our money is when we buy something that 'really is good enough'. Thinking you can make do is a big alarm - as you already know from your musings about freshwater pearls and akoyas. As I see it, everytime we buy something because it's okay we're one step further away from what we really love because we just spent money we could have saved towards our goal. On the other hand, I have things on my list I would love to have but I'm not saving towards them as there are things more important to me right now.

    - Karin

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkan 168 View Post
    A 9-10mm gem quality CFWP with silver overtone, with cage/basket clasp and suitable findings etc., so that I can vary the length of the necklace from 18in to 20in, and to wear it larriet style if the mood takes me.

    DK
    Thank you, DK! And what is "larriet style"?

  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    That's when the basket clasp is closed around a pearl that is not on the end, so that the tail end of the strand can hang down in front. Like this:

    http://www.pearlparadise.com/FrostLi...Clasp2376.aspx

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa c View Post
    I'm way past young, but I'll never get too old to appreciate pearls, and probably want more.
    I hope your Cardellini strand brings you much pleasure
    .
    That seems to be the great thing about pearls - they are suitable for all ages, all lifestyles and all income levels. In fact, we'll be getting my fiance's mother a multicolor freshwater bracelet from PP for Christmas, and I'm sure she'll love it! Plus, we can add a pair of earrings for Mother's Day.
    And thank you! The shipping estimate says it should reach me on Friday, so hopefully it will get here before the long weekend.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Consult with your vendor, but I would think silver overtones would appear whiter than rose or ivory overtones.
    I like the look of the CC strand you bought! I'm sure you will enjoy wearing it. White pearls are not necessarily the best color for every outfit.
    Thank you! I definitely will - the folks at PP seem to be incredibly helpful (I had a quick chat with one of the CSRs).
    As for the CC strand, it's a completely different feel and style, but I really love it no less than the classic white. I am however considering taking off two beads and having those made into earrings - do you think something like that would be possible without damaging the existing strand? I understand absolutely nothing about how these things are done.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarinK View Post
    Hi and welcome,

    I think where we most 'waste' our money is when we buy something that 'really is good enough'. Thinking you can make do is a big alarm - as you already know from your musings about freshwater pearls and akoyas. As I see it, everytime we buy something because it's okay we're one step further away from what we really love because we just spent money we could have saved towards our goal. On the other hand, I have things on my list I would love to have but I'm not saving towards them as there are things more important to me right now.

    - Karin
    Thank you, Karin!
    I'm very glad I came here for advice. Half of me was all set on waiting it out, but the other half obviously wants instant gratification and "well, this strand will do till I can afford the one I really want." I now realize that the best thing to do is to wait for the akoyas.

  13. #13
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    We cross posted, see my earlier reply to your question about lariat style.
    Here's another basket type clasp-- you can see that it can enclose any pearl, not just the end pearl:

    http://store.thepearloutlet.com/sing...lasp-p157.aspx

  14. #14

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    Thank you, Pearl Dreams! That is absolutely lovely.

  15. #15
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recordaras View Post
    As for the CC strand, it's a completely different feel and style, but I really love it no less than the classic white. I am however considering taking off two beads and having those made into earrings - do you think something like that would be possible without damaging the existing strand? I understand absolutely nothing about how these things are done.
    That can certainly be done but you will lose about an inch of length, given the size of the pearls and the spacers. Will this be comfortable for you if it's only 16 inches long?

    When buying larger pearls, one needs to allow more length to compensate for the diameter of the pearls, which takes up space so that the interior diameter of the strand is smaller (less room for your neck!) So, a 16 inch strand of 6mm pearls may be comfortable but the same length strand of 11mm pearls may feel tight.

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