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Best pearl size for Opera length?

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  • #31
    PPB is not popular slang. It is a local poster's abbreviation for pearl plated beads. Now some do consider it a pearl slur, but technically the term is correct. There is a tiny minority of natural pearl lovers who do not think pearl plated beads should be considered as pearls, but they actuall lost a court battle over the issue in the 20's.

    However, if the die hard PPB guys had their way, no one could afford any pearls except cultured freshwater because they would be priced for only the biggest billionaires on the planet. Bead culturing is the only way found so far that allows ordinary people to own pearls. I would love to see the "pearl platers" do a small % of harvest with tissue only cultivation, but that is science fiction right now.

    Meanwhile I would beware cheap akoyas as you get what you pay for. They are the trash of the pearl industry and really make the term pearl plated meaningful. I have been known to complain about bad akoyas, but I keep my mouth shut about SSP's, white and black ,because the culturing standards are much higher for them. I have not heard of any SSP's that have worn down to the bead, yet.

    Our favorite PPB trasher put up many posts. so it sounds like the term is everywhere, but please notice, it comes from mostly one person. Many of us are for full disclosure and an honest pearl education, which includes taking the blindfolds off when it comes to cheap pearl culturing.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 05-30-2007, 06:42 PM.

    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.


    • #32
      Hi Caitlin,

      Thanks for that reply and similar others you have posted. I rather dislike electronic messages because sometimes(often)nuance can be lost. When I first came to this site, I felt a little shattered that my akoyas were so lowly thought of. They were a present from my husband before we married and my breath catches everytime I open the box. Sometimes I do it just as a "pick-me-up" when I feel down about something. I couldn't imagine anyone referring to them as PPB's. Even if it is technically true, it sounds like comparing them to glass beads with nail polish splashed on them. Not very flattering. However, we did shop around for them and could see different grades. I am even been to Mikimoto Island and the pricey Ginza shops. Nothng has compared to me. But, obviously, emotion is involved and what is more lovely than a gift of love? I guess to me, PPB's depends on the rest of the post.

      And to that 1500+ poster, Z, I tip my hat to you. I have learned a great deal by reading your posts. As far as hat tipping goes...I guess I should include Jeremy and Caitlin in that too. I placed my first PP order last night(2am). Can't wait for the shipment to arrive. Hope it isn'T in customs too long.


      • #33
        Hi Salem
        Even if it is technically true, it sounds like comparing them to glass beads with nail polish splashed on them. Not very flattering.
        It probably already has been!

        Think of it like baseball teams. There are Yankee lovers and there are those who will cheer for whomever plays against the Yankees, so deep is their investment in Yankee-hating. Don't take it personally; this is a FORUM and all points of view are welcomed.

        People are free to critique any aspect of pearl farming, processing, and marketing and buying. We especially welcome the mythbusting statements about the extreme amount of processing the bead cultured pearls (even your heart-stoppingly beautiful akoyas) undergo.

        Apparently even many of the SSP's also undergo treatments- especially if they visit Japan in their journey to the customer. That is exactly what Strack's lecture at the AGTA show in Tucson was about. Artificial treatments and colors in cultured pearls.... It was a revelation to most of the attendees -judging from the crowd around her and how long people were willing to wait to talk to her-and many of her statements caused a sensation at the show.

        Akoyas are still the Number One Selling Pearl and their bling is their best point. But people are no longer limited to owning just one strand of pearls and this is where cultured freshwater pearls come in. Now that Jeremy is sourcing the loose matched strands, I am sure his contacts will do everything they can to accomodate his preferences and we are going to continue to see the best quality CFWP around at the best possible prices because of big buying power.

        I don't work for Jeremy. I came here as a customer, but I stayed here at this forum because I was learning so much. The longer I stay the more I realize this young man (he is my kid's age) has integrity, is a genuine pearl scholar, and a born linguist and bargainer. He has goals and plans and a good track record in carrying suchlike out.

        You can safely buy akoyas from him or any of his affiliates, but please check out the gem quality freshwaters and remember these are the same kind of pearls royalty has worn for thousands of years and solid nacre pearls can last 4 hundred years with no diminishment in luster ( witness the Queen Mary pearl collier that the Dukes of Norfolk have been tending for 4 hundred years. We have it mentioned in several places on this site.
        Last edited by Caitlin; 02-21-2007, 09:27 PM.

        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.


        • #34
          These two links thoroughly cover all these points and more. They are very eye opening, especially for those who believe the Mikimoto Mystique.
          PPB"S thread-- and the compare and contrast posts

          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.


          • #35
            I share the same sentiment with Caitlin.

            I think the term pearl plated bead is technically correct (especially to thin nacred akoyas) but nobody ofcourse will sell pearls with a slogan -"We've got the finest pearl-plated beads!" Bad marketing.

            It is good to educate people though that they should expect a bead inside when they buy south seas, tahitians, and akoyas because outside this forum, a lot are not aware about bead nucleation. People should at least know what they are buying.

            Different strokes for different folks. People in Bahrain still do not consider even solid nacre cultured pearls as pearls, only naturals are pearls!

            Living in a south sea pearl country, I do have south seas.. but akoyas do not catch my eye, that is because of a bad experience. Also, I tend to imagine a .25mm nacre thickness when I see akoyas! But I see too that a lot of sentimental value is placed when purchasing pearls and that include akoyas.
            Last edited by perlas; 02-22-2007, 01:01 AM.


            • #36
              Hi Caitlin and all,

              I especially agree with the whole Mikimoto mystique thing. I never really understood the whole branding thing anyway. Or rather, I understood it but didn't care. Whenever I go to Tiffany's to similar ilk, I always think "You want HOW much for that?". lol But in Japan, name brand is HUGE, so much more than in the US. It just amazes me. When I went to Mikimoto Island, there were some rather incredible pieces there, but somehow most of the process left me cold.

              As far as the processing of pearls, I have learned a lot on this site. I knew some before, but not to the extent I do now. And I like CFWP's too. I like them all actually. I am looking forward to getting my shipment from PP. I ordered the AAA dyed black freshwaters. I saw all the rave reviews on this site and decided to try them out. Can't wait for that box. So no aversion or snobbery here. I have seen a lot of dull, flawed Akoyas too. So I am no particular fan of any one kind, as long as I can find beauty in them. And occassionally money to buy them.


              • #37
                Hi All,

                I can't agree more.I come from the Philippines and am extremely proud of the quality of ssp's coming out of production here (my beloved golden's ). I do think it a bit "elitist" to judge only complete naturals as real pearls-at least that's what i think as a woman who wasn't born to royalty. From a commercial stand-point, a whole industry exists and a world market is out there sustaining the demand for the production of pearls of every kind that it would be hypocrytical to say one variety is more valuable than another(of course we need to do this to a standardized degree when judging quality) but the point is to bring the pearl to the masses, commend human evolution and intelligence. The last thing i want to feel is terrible about the jewelry wardrobe i covet. Everyone who cultures with or without nuclei are trying to best nature and put one over it with human intervention and scientific innovation. Not by abusing the ecological balance, nature or the technology involved in the process of creating pearls but by helping it along. Man still cannot make a pearl, only a mollusk can.

                Anastacia Casta?eda Aoki