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  1. #1
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    Default Newbie in search of pearls for a girlfriend

    Hey folks, first post here. I'm looking my lady's first string of pearls. From what I've read I think a string of 7-7.5 Akoyas is the way to go. Maybe like this one?----
    http://www.pearlparadise.com/detail.aspx?ID=92

    Is there anything I should look for in particular? She's age 30 and has a very very fair complexion with red hair. Thanks

  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member callire's Avatar
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    Wow! How thoughtful!

    Personally though, if you're going to be spending close to $600, I'd consider buying her Freshadamas instead. While I love akoyas, Freshadamas are absolutely stunning in person! You could buy her 8.5-9mm Freshadamas for $720, or even just some 7-8mm for $280. You might even be able to get this full set and have them add 6" and still be under $600.


    Is there any reason you chose 22"? I'm just wondering because it's a less common length. You could contact Pearl Paradise and have them string up a 7-8mm freshadama strand for 22" and have enough $$ left over for a nicer clasp, or earrings, or matching bracelet, etc!

    But, if your heart is set on Akoyas, then go for them! Pearl Paradise is fab! IMO- I'd make sure to go for AAA, so you might want to size down on the mm so that you can afford the increase in quality. All imo, but I think AAA compared to AA+ makes a big difference.
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  3. #3
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Raisondetre's Avatar
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    I got ahead of myself and read "Newbie in search of girlfriend" ... ok, I'm hallucinating. Another vote for freshadama, hands down. I started with those and never looked back, and you'd be hardpressed to find someone as picky as I am. Any of the gem lines from the vendors here would be fabulous. If you like graduated TPO has some gemfresh, which is a look simulating the natural pearls of tradition.

    Akoyas are great, shiny and all, but if you want something to last and mean something, I'd go all nacre freshwater. I would probably still opt for Akoyas for my wedding if I ever got married though.
    Aspiring ninja. Go Storm Shadow!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info. The length is something that I'm not sure about. I like the idea of a long string for the "wow factor" but I want it to still be versatile so maybe I should go shorter. So the AAA vs AA makes a big difference huh? I'll have to factor that in too. What's this about overtone? They say that fair women should wear rose?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raisondetre View Post
    I got ahead of myself and read "Newbie in search of girlfriend" ... ok, I'm hallucinating. Another vote for freshadama, hands down. I started with those and never looked back, and you'd be hardpressed to find someone as picky as I am. Any of the gem lines from the vendors here would be fabulous. If you like graduated TPO has some gemfresh, which is a look simulating the natural pearls of tradition.

    Akoyas are great, shiny and all, but if you want something to last and mean something, I'd go all nacre freshwater. I would probably still opt for Akoyas for my wedding if I ever got married though.
    So the freshwater are tougher than Akoyas but the Akoyas are shinier?

  6. #6
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Raisondetre's Avatar
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    Well, in summary, Akoyas are bead-nucleated, and stay in the water for nacre deposition typically 2 years or, in many cases, much less time. The nacre thickness for top of the line Akoyas, known as Hanadamas is only slightly above 0.4mm. They are shiny because of the shell variety, and post harvesting treatment, which also adds the rose overtones that are deemed attractive to most.

    Now, with gem quality freshwaters, they remain tissue nucleated, which means they are all nacre once the tissue nuke decomposes. The new harvests are giving metallic lusters across the board for freshwaters, and quality is only improving for now. There is a picture of a freshadama strand next to a hanadama strand, and most people got it wrong as to which was which.

    Freshwaters are definitely the way to go for luster, surface, roundness, and value for money. Of course, you may still be bent on Akoyas, which boils down to personal preference. I was going to buy Akoyas myself, until the AUD went into freefall. I'd stick with freshwaters for now.
    Last edited by Raisondetre; 10-10-2008 at 04:31 AM.
    Aspiring ninja. Go Storm Shadow!

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member callire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasjack View Post
    Thanks for the info. The length is something that I'm not sure about. I like the idea of a long string for the "wow factor" but I want it to still be versatile so maybe I should go shorter. So the AAA vs AA makes a big difference huh? I'll have to factor that in too. What's this about overtone? They say that fair women should wear rose?
    Ohh... Okay then. I have to say, I think an 18" strand will be much easier to wear. You won't sacrifice the WOW, I promise

    My advice: Buy the 7-8mm full freshadama white set with Rose overtones (they mimic the akoya hanadamas and are universally flattering) and buy some mahogany -here's the cheapest place I've seen them-gift boxes (one for necklace, one for bracelet, one for earrings). That's the best WOW factor! If you still have a little $$ left over, you could upgrade the clasp on the necklace to something a little prettier than the standard polished gold (maybe the saturn clasp if you stuck to white gold for everything).
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by callire View Post
    Ohh... Okay then. I have to say, I think an 18" strand will be much easier to wear. You won't sacrifice the WOW, I promise

    My advice: Buy the 7-8mm full freshadama white set with Rose overtones (they mimic the akoya hanadamas and are universally flattering) and buy some mahogany -here's the cheapest place I've seen them-gift boxes (one for necklace, one for bracelet, one for earrings). That's the best WOW factor! If you still have a little $$ left over, you could upgrade the clasp on the necklace to something a little prettier than the standard polished gold (maybe the saturn clasp if you stuck to white gold for everything).
    Well, she doesn't wear bracelets so I'll save some money there. I like the box idea. It's all about the presentation, huh

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member callire's Avatar
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    Yes! All about the presentation
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  10. #10
    GemGeek
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    Yes on the rose overtone Freshadamas, or their equivalent, and I agree that an 18" strand is the most versatile. Shorter is more formal and slightly longer can reduce the number of tops that will look good with it.

    If you still want a longer necklace, I would go a little longer than 22" and get a nice pair of pearl stud earrings to complete the look. Just call the vendor to add inches if there isn't a selection.

    She's going to look terrific!

    Cheers,
    Blaire

  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Mervione's Avatar
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    Erm, I thought this thread said "Newbie in search of girlfriend", pretty funny start of the day.

    I think you should go for gem quality freshwaters too. You can get a 8-9 mm strand on pearlsofjoy for less than 600.

    As for the lenght of the strand, some people just prefer longer strand. 18 might look great on others but if your girlfriend have a thick neck or like the strand to hang pretty low, then I`d go for a long stand.

    Akoyas are usually shinier but I think the luster of the gem quality freshwaters will be better than any other pearls you´ve seen in real life. They really are top quality.
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  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasjack View Post
    Thanks for the info. The length is something that I'm not sure about. I like the idea of a long string for the "wow factor" but I want it to still be versatile so maybe I should go shorter. So the AAA vs AA makes a big difference huh? I'll have to factor that in too. What's this about overtone? They say that fair women should wear rose?
    There is a type of clasp that works like a basket, closing around a pearl instead of the normal slip tongue end. This allows a longer strand to be made smaller.

    You can see such as 20in strand in the The Pearl Outlets Akoya inventory, the largest size pearl it can accommodate is 8mm.

    I believe it would be possible for you to have a freshwater strand made using this clasp if you ask the online vendors who stock gem quality CFWPs recommended here.

    With this clasp, the 20in strand can be worn as various lengths which makes it very versatile

    Definitely go for gem quality CFWPs as they are much better value for money IMHO

    Overtone is more difficult, as it is personal reference. I read it somewhere that if in doubt, go for silver to be safe

    Good luck, and your GF is a lucky lady

    DK
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  13. #13
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callire View Post
    Yes! All about the presentation
    If that's the case, don't skip the pearl folder. All the most expensive stores use them. http://www.firemountaingems.com/sear...w=pearl+folder
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  14. #14
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    Definitely go for gem quality CFWPs as they are much better value for money IMHO
    I have to agree here, unless you have you heart set on Akoya this is a great option.
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  15. #15
    jerin
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    You should go for either Freshadama quality freshwater pearls or gem quality freshwaterpearls. You can choose overtone as well as with the Akoyas, usually rose or silver on bodycolour white. But I would suggest a little larger size, she is 30 so she should have something a little larger. 7 - 8 mm means in reality most pearls are between 7 and 7,5 mm and only about 25% will reach the 8 mm. You should choose 8-9, then most of the pearls are in the 8,5 mm range.

    Best choice IMO: 18" necklace + a pair of studs. Both Freshadama and Gem quality are the highest within the AAA-grade.
    To sum it up: only tissue nucleated pearls will last for generations when treated right, while Akoyas will not last mor than for 10-20 years (and that would be a really LONG time, as the nacre is only 0,4 mm/radius compared to 100% massive nacre). In general the Luster may be more shiny on Akoyas than on freshwaters but the overall advantages for the latter speak for themselves. CFWP = Cultured freshwater pearls in case you wonder...
    Last edited by jerin; 10-10-2008 at 08:44 PM.

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