Hello, I am new to this forum, and I have some questions on pearls. I am hoping some of you can provide some advice.
WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR: I am looking for a pair of 10mm pearl stud earrings. I am looking for the top quality.
WHAT RESEARCH I HAVE ALREADY DONE: I looked at Mikimoto's best - hanadama (http://www.mikimoto.com.hk/en/about_...arls/index.htm). They only had 8mms in the store, and I compared all their qualities. The AAA is beautiful. I asked for pricing on the 10mm, and it is quite expensive. The woman also said their 10mm is Akoya studs, not South Sea. I have also been told that for a 10mm size, I should go with South Sea Pearls. I then searched the web and found two companies, American Pearl and Pearl Paradise that seem to also sell very good quality pearls.
MY PREFERENCE: My preference is to buy a top quality, 10mm pearl stud earrings, Akoya or South Sea. I am also hung up on the Mikimoto name, so I might consider going to a lower grade or, purchasing a 8mm AAA Mikimoto instead of a 10mm. However, I am told that for larger pearls (10mm), I should go with South Sea pearls and Mikimoto only carries Akoya for their stud earrings.
1) Given my preference for a 10mm pearl, should I go with Akoya or South Sea?
2) If South sea, are there some companies who sell top quality South Seas? I cannot seem to find any "branded" South Sea pearl names. Any thoughts on American Pearl or Pearl Paradise? What about Tiffany's?
3) What do you think of the Mikimoto brand? Do you consider there is a big difference in the grading quality of Mikimoto rom A+ to AA? I could tell the difference from A to A+, but after that, the pearl only looked more "pinker" to me going from A+ to AAA. But ofcourse, I'm no pearl expert.
4) If I decide to buy Mikimoto, would anything less than AAA look inferior (ie. A, A+, or AA). Said another way, what is the lowest grade of Mikimoto you would recommend?
Thank you very much for any help you can provide.