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Best value for money?

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  • Best value for money?

    I am looking to buy my fiance a pearl 'strand' necklace for her birthday. My budget is upto $1000 Australian dollars and from my very basic (maybe misguided) understanding, i should be looking at Akoya pearls but just not sure. I think i would like them to be around 8 - 10mm in size.
    Any advice and direction to reputable dealers that can send to australia would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    Welcome to Pearl-Guide! Your fianc?e is a lucky lady!

    You can get a lovely top quality freshwater strand in that range, but good Akoyas would run significantly higher.

    I've bought from Pearl Paradise and loved everything I got from them; take a look at these: I know they ship overseas.

    Freshwaters (most of them, including these) have the great advantage of having no bead inside; Akoyas can wear through over the years with wear.

    However, there is a seller in Australia whose strands you may want to look at:


    • #3

      Thanks for the information. I suppose my next question is, in general terms, are lower quality akoya pearls still better than good quality freshwater pearls? i.e If i am to spend $1000. Would a $1000 Akoya pearl strand necklace be better than a $1000 freshwater pearl strand necklace?

      Thanks again for the help.



      • #4
        $1,000 will buy a really top notch freshwater necklace of some size, compared to an akoya for the same price.

        How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

        My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.


        • #5
          Akoyas have a more metallic luster than freshwaters, generally speaking. It's just a different look-- not better, just different. But you can't get a high end Akoya strand for $1000 so you would have to compromise on size or on surface flaws.

          Compromise on size or flaws if you must, but remember that pearls are all about luster! Don't buy low luster pearls-- they will only disappoint you. As long as a pearl strand is well matched and lustrous, one can overlook some flaws. If she is petite, she may like a smaller size pearl strand anyway.

          My own vote would be for the top grade freshwaters-- at my age I prefer larger pearls-- but you may feel differently.
          Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 08-14-2012, 01:07 PM. Reason: pronouns


          • #6
            Thanks again,
            You guys are being invaluable to this process. However, having looked further and now spoken to a couple of her friends. They think a pendant maybe the better way to go. So, i have been looking at white south sea pearls with a pretty simple setting. From what i understand i need to look at AAA graded pearls. Where i am struggling is visualizing what size pearl would be appropriate. My fiance is about 158cm tall so on the smaller size. If i get something say 13-14mm would that be too big? I realise its a personal choice but would appreciate some opinions.

            Thanks again,



            • #7
              If you want to surprise her (does she like surprises?) then look at the rest of her jewellery. Is it big or delicate? be guided by what she already has and what she wears regularly -because that is what she likes. I wouldn't talk to too many friends. Just use your eyes if you are intent on surprising her
              you will doubtless save on shipping, tax and duty if you buy in Oz rather than importing something - I would contact Nerida who is in Sydney. She does mostly wholesale but could help directly perhaps or point you in the right direction
              Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021


              • #8
                I don't think 13-14 mm would be too ostentatious at 138 cm, although the pearl is on the larger size. For a pair of earrings, this would be a large size difficult for some people to wear, but you have more maneuverability with a pendant. You might consider going down to 12-13 mm to be on the safer side.

                A true AAA is a good way to go with something like a single-pearl piece - something that sets perfectly clean and has sharp luster. You can get away with a lower grade in a strand, but a single pearl would be the focal point of the piece, so quality is definitely important.

                I disagree that you would save money shopping locally. South Sea pearls are more expensive in the local market than abroad, even though they are produced in Australia, and PearlPefection is a wholesale-only site selling to retailers. There generally is no import duty to Australia for goods valued below $1000.
                Jeremy Shepherd
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