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  • freshadama dilemma

    For two months now I have been doing research for a purchase I have been given the responsibility to make, against my own preferrence to be suprized by something someone close to me might have caringly chosen for me - my graduation gift, which now due to chronological overlap is now my birthday present too. My mother insists she knows nothing about jewelry and given of the things I studied at design school jewelry was one of my areas of focus she didn't want to get me something I didn't like. Fair enough. I gave it a lot of thought and a pearl necklace seemed like the obvious answer for a classic and significant item of jewelry.
    So in my research, I found this site - which has been incredibly informative - and these raves for "freshadamas" (forgive me but that is a terribly gimmick-y little name for them, jewel names should carry more gravity than, say, breakfast cereal names. Its too 'clever'.) and the thick nacre vs. "pearl plating" arguement seems hard to argue with, and the rave reviews from people with far more knowledge than myself when it comes to pearls is also a good reflection. After looking over the Pearl Paradise website I was impressed by the design of their items and the relatively low prices, and so i decided to go for it. I ordered two pairs of earrings so that i might compare the rose and ivory overtone in person rather than just trust the 'rose for pale brunettes' rule which turns out to actually be true for me too. They arrived today, in well-made little black leather boxes rather than those velvety ones that always break, and with a DVD about pearls i haven't watched yet but was pleasantly suprized by.
    Then the dilemma. I opened the first box and they were so beautiful and shiny I immediately opened the second, and facing me right on the middle of one of the pearls was a little pimple the size of a large-ish dresspin hole. I realize that completely unblemished would be impossible, but the fact it is right on the part that faces outward, and it seems like anyone could have looked at it and figured out to mount it differently. This kind of thing is why I hate buying things online and not being able to see them in person - you have to trust the seller's judgement, and in this case i did. Yes, i know i can return it, but I am rethinking the necklace now - if there is going to be this kind of blemishing anyways, why not just buy aa+/aaa at a larger size? I am having a hard enough time making the decision, let alone feeling like i have the right to want something so expensive in the face of how much 4 years of college cost, and so now I am feeling incredibly frustrated with trying to make a judgement when I am torn between feeling like I can't believe things for sale online are ever in fact what they are represented to be and the knowledge that it is still a far better deal than any I could get at a retailer i can actually interact with in person! I just am not sure how to make this decision and feel certain I am not being unreasonable and extravagent in what i am selecting - I want to feel sure this is an investment and not a frivolous indulgence, and I want to be confident that I am buying something made with care and attention to details like little surface imperfections, and that I am not just getting caught up in the little frenzy of excitement happening over these 'freshadama' pearls here on this site! If I can't convince myself there is no chance I will be able to convince my mother.

    -Katherine

    I have to add, just to put my complaint in perspective, that the pearls were otherwise incredibly gorgeous with a kind of glowy-ness I have never seen in other pearls, and I am only so upset because everything else was so lovely that the clear and poorly positioned blemish was just such a contrast.

  • #2
    not sure what you are asking...

    what grade are the earrings you received?
    what grade is the necklace you recieved?

    need the specs please.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,
      I've also bought earrings from Pearlparadise (and other sites represented here) in the quest to find the perfect necklace.
      At Pearlparadise I started with the least expensive and have worked up to the 9-10mm AAA. There is a difference... the glow just gets better. I'm sure many other people buy earrings as a starter or comparison so it would be in the seller's best interest to be very careful what gets shipped. The only thing I didn't like about Pearlparadise was the lack of different lengths. 17" is too short for old ladies like me, but I may not be their demographic.
      Some of the other sites offer single pearls which can be returned later for mounting. Nice idea but rather pricey. Some of these sites seem to be easy to communicate with and some are harder to get beyond just what is offered online.
      Good luck. I think your choice of pearls is wonderful.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi ArtemisiaBlue.

        You are apparently applying a Majorica standard to a cultured pearl product. Even Mikimoto's highest line will not be entirely flawless. So, if the position of a blemish disturbs you, I recommend returning the item for one of the same quality, color, and size that does not have a visible blemish. That should be easy enough.

        Zeide

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi AB
          You seem to have done your homework. You are talking about CFWP earrings? As far as the pimple on the earring goes, I remember a similar post a couple of years ago. If there is a blemish on the front center, you can be sure there is a worse on on the back where the mounting is. At least I think that was the jist of the statement. And that blemish may be why it is not a higher grade, too.

          That is exactly why the PP return policy is so liberal....... Maybe you should go up a grade. Though I am not sure I'd like the blemish front and center on an earring, I kind of like those pimples on the necklaces, because they make it obvious to my eye that the pearl is mollusk-grown.

          A freshadama would not have much of that, however. (They acquired that name spontaneaously over here in response to Zeide dubbing them that to refer to their likeness to Hanadamas, but I am sure you read that, but other new folks may not have.

          Freshadama IS a gimmicky name, but it tells you that these pearls are unlike any CFWP yet seen in the US, except for the elusive AAAA grade which was previously reserved for earrings only and not collected into strands.

          What Jermey did at Zeide's behest was provide her with a gem quality pearl necklace like has not been seen since the 19th century. It took a natural pearl Connoisseur and a forward thinking Entrepreneur with a can do attitude to come up with that one and I saw it all happen right here on the Pearl Guide.

          Maybe we could have a poll for picking a better name....Any suggestions? On second thought, I doubt there is a better name....




          Now that this post has Jeremy's attention, let him pick out the necklace. I'll bet they took the earrings off a labeled shelf and did not look through the boxes first=- why would they. That is one advantage of being there.
          Last edited by Caitlin; 09-10-2006, 04:59 PM.
          Caitlin

          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArtemisiaBlue
            I just am not sure how to make this decision and feel certain I am not being unreasonable and extravagent in what i am selecting - I want to feel sure this is an investment and not a frivolous indulgence, and I want to be confident that I am buying something made with care and attention to details like little surface imperfections, and that I am not just getting caught up in the little frenzy of excitement happening over these 'freshadama' pearls here on this site! If I can't convince myself there is no chance I will be able to convince my mother.

            -Katherine

            I have to add, just to put my complaint in perspective, that the pearls were otherwise incredibly gorgeous with a kind of glowy-ness I have never seen in other pearls, and I am only so upset because everything else was so lovely that the clear and poorly positioned blemish was just such a contrast.

            ArtemisiaBlue,

            I am certain this was just an accident as they occasionally do happen. Believe me, I have ordered many necklaces from PP and I personally have three Freshadamas (Do You know how the name came about? The finest Akoyas are graded "Hanadama" and so Zeide "christended" the Freshwater pearls simply "Freshadama" - You see the connection?) which are beautiful and with no surface blemishes visible to the eye. I would not let this regrettable but still human factor keep me from buying online - especially as all the Forum members who are selling pearls are really trying to give us customers the highest quality possible for the least money.

            Let us know how You have decided.
            P.S. I ordered two more strands of Freshadama for my sister and my niece and they are excited about their beautyand they adore them. D.S.
            Last edited by jerin; 09-10-2006, 03:53 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Some of us older posters take our mutual history on this board as a given. We either have said or read much of it before and so we do not sometimes state the obvious.

              In this case "investment" really is the operative word. In that case, you must go Freshwater (CFWP) and the best of the Freshwater are the Freshadamas. Compare the price to Hanadama strands certified in Japan and you will see that they are a really good investment at the buy price alone.
              The CFWP are also the better choice for an investment that will last a few generations (or a few hundred years) of wearing and restringing. Solid nacre pearls willl have proved their worth over and over! (Bead cultured pearls will not last that long unless they are never worn.)
              Another investment fact is that in the CFWP, finally, there is a cultured pearl that natural pearl buffs will accept. Pearls based on a large prosthetic device providing most of the substance are really a cheap trick! Finally, after one hundred years of prosthetic devices, there is an alternative.

              My final fact to mention in this post is that excellent quality solid nacre pearls are indistinguishable from the wild, natural pearls of yore. The quality is not based in extrinsic factors such as a brand name, with a clasp and box- to stand behind the product. The quality is is intrinsic. the CFWP can be judged by the same standards as the old fashioned wild grown pearls.

              And that is my ZESPA soapbox for the day! (Zeide Erskine School of Pearl Appreciation)
              Last edited by Caitlin; 09-10-2006, 04:49 PM.
              Caitlin

              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                If there is a blemish on the earrings they are not freshadama. This should not be a dilemma, you should send back the pair. The freshadama earrings are perfectly gem, and if there is a blemish on one of the pearls, a mistake was made and I will deal with it.

                Regarding the name, you have to understand the history of cultured pearls to understand that name. It has worked out very well for us (you bought, didn't you), so it simply comes down to personal preference. But as the name is becoming more and more accepted, soon it will be as commonplace as the Hanadama to the market.
                Jeremy Shepherd
                President and Founder
                PearlParadise.com, Inc.
                The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
                PearlParadise.com on Flickr
                PearlParadise.com on Facebook
                Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello All-

                  I personally like the term "Freshadama", and look forward to choosing some in the near future, awaiting the size and color, which PP is out of right now. Taylor, I also like a longer necklace, and in my inquiries at PP felt they would be happy to accommodate the longer length as long as they had pearls of a proper match. So I am saving my "free" SW Airlines ticket for a trip south, hopefully this fall, to pick up some Freshadamas.

                  Pattye Saab

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Pattye,
                    I did buy a necklace for my daughter in the AAA, 17", 7mm size and since she also wanted a longer length, I bought the bracelet too and had the pearls from the bracelet strung on the necklace. It is really a bit too long now. So, as soon as I get good at beading and stringing or give up and find a pro I like, I'm going to have about 4 pearls taken off and put away just in case one on the necklace gets lost or broken. I think being able to string my own would give me the chance to add extras for the few occasions when I want opera length, too.
                    I'm still considering a few other options for my perfect necklace. But my daughter loves hers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Taylor,

                      How terrific for the whole family to have highest quality pearls! It's great to have the versatility. I, too, am just starting to learn pearl knotting, there is some good info here on the forum, I also took a class at my local bead store. The rain will start here very soon, and I can be beading instead of so much gardening! I want to work up to some long ropes.

                      Pattye

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Taylor,
                        The lenghth of 17" is too short for many women. You can also ask the company if they offer different lengths than advertised. I feel there is never a one size fits all so we always try to accomodate our customers with the size of their choice. Our Freshwater Elite Collection only shows the standard 18" length but we often take orders for 16", 22", 36" and so forth. I personally like to wear many different lengths.

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