I want to buy a nice strand of pearls for my wife. I finally understand that Blue Lagoon and Sea Majic are lower quality lines of the high-end Mikimoto pearls that are only sold at authorized stores. By the way, my definition of high quality is Mikimoto's lowest "A" grade pearl. I am prepared to spend up to $3k for an 18" strand that is of "high quality". I have seen original line Mikimoto pearls, other high quality brands, and the Sea Majic (Blue Lagoon) line. I have a few questions:
1.) I haven't seen Sea Majic pearls layed next to the high-end Mikimoto's (only by themselves). Has anyone compared Sea Majic and Mikimoto high-end strands side by side? Is their an obvious difference?
2.) I have looked at similar sized Mikimoto and Imperial brand pearl strands that were both around $3000. They both looked great. Tell me if this makes sense. I am leaning toward buying the Mikimoto strand since I have confidence that I am buying quality. I am sure that I am paying for the name but at least I know that I am not buying poor quality. I agree that you pay for a name, but I would rather pay for a name and receive the assurance of quality than pay less and get poor quality.
You have to ask the question of what's worse; buying the Mikimoto name or buying unsubstantiated claims by others. I realize that their are other great options from reputable jewelers, but when I see people comparing their pearls to Mikimoto's for a fraction of the price without any standardized grading I become skeptical of their claims.
All I know is that I was stunned and impressed when I saw the Mikimoto strand. The strand was selling itself with education from the sales associate. Other strands I have seen required the sales associates to convince me of quality and elegance.