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What are these?

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  • What are these?


    I am beginner, eager to learn about pearls. I bought two pairs of earrings, the one on the left is 11mm and the one on the right 12mm. I got them from different dealers, who said they are South Sea from Australia. I can not see any real difference between them, so I think they have the same origin. What would you think, these are?

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:44 AM.

  • #2
    Just wondering, do you have any reason to think they are anything other than what the vendors said they were?

    Was the price too low for SSP, or are the findings not karat gold, or what?


    • #3
      Thanks for answer

      Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
      Just wondering, do you have any reason to think they are anything other than what the vendors said they were?

      Was the price too low for SSP, or are the findings not karat gold, or what?
      I bought the pearls without the gold hangers, those I selected separately. The price was around XXX USD, which I think is ok for SSP. I was told these are SSP from Australia. For sure, it is impossible to say whether they are from Australia or Philippines or some other place where SSP pearls come from. The sizes are 11 mm for smaller, and 12 for larger. They are very round, judging how they rolled on a surface.
      Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:54 AM.


      • #4
        If they are perfectly round and perfectly clean, that wouldn't be a decent price, that would be an impossible price. Is there any surface blemeshing at all. The luster seems very high, so I would almost suspect shell.
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        • #5
          I'm with Jeremy - the surface quality and luster of these pearls is way too nice for the price. I'd be suspecting shell pearls too. Have you tried the tooth test?
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          • #6
            Try this: rub the pearls gently against each other. If they glide freely, they are probably "shell pearls" (imitation.) Genuine nacre would offer just a little resistance -- very slight grittiness-- when the pearls are rubbed together or rubbed against the edge of your front tooth.


            • #7
              Thanks to all of you for the answer!

              I bought the 11m pair from a seller in China, who has been praised very highly on this forum. But I dont want to say any names.

              I asked to see individual pearls, since I wanted to compose my own earrings. Seller showed me some that she said are from
              South Sea, Australia more specifically. They were, according to the seller, their top quality.
              Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:54 AM.


              • #8
                My iPhone does not focus well on the surface. The photo was taken inside my room, in natural light; you see the reflection of window in both. The difference in color of pearl is due to difference in the
                color of the background; the pearl seems to capture the background color quite strongly.
                Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:47 AM.


                • #9
                  Did you pay 200 for each or 200 for both?
                  They look like freshwater pearls to me.


                  • #10
                    It was around XXX USD per pearl for the 11mm ones and little more for the 12mm ones. Including the hangers close to XXX USD per each, in average, on current exchange rate. I bought them from a dealer who seems to have a very high reputation on this site. I can not tell difference myself, so I ask for help. I have so much to learn about pearls!
                    Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:55 AM.


                    • #11
                      I didn't realize that there was a particular store in China that has been mentioned here.. don't remember one. It's certainly hard to know what you are getting as a novice...even when you know a bit it's still hard to know if the price is fair. So you did the right thing and didn't risk a lot of money...so glad you didn't pay the original price at 5x ! You did end up with pretty earrings .. just not pretty SS earrings... hopefully they are very good freshwater.


                      • #12
                        Here is what is puzzling: if they are freshwaters, would they be bead nucleated ones, given their roundness?
                        But if they are without flaws, would they not be more expensive than that?

                        I'm still not sure they are even freshwaters.

                        But shell pearls should not be gritty.

                        I don't see how they could be SSP.
                        Also don't have a clue which vendor you are referencing.


                        • #13
                          Thanks a lot for the answers! I am learning about pearls, thanks to all of you! I bought these two pairs from the Hongqiao, the first 11mm pair I bought from Ling Ling who has been described here as an honest place to buy. I did not talk directly with her, but with another lady. But Ling Ling came, and had to approve the price we had negotiated. I also looked at a pair of 12-13 mm, but there the price was stuck at a level I felt is too much for me to invest - given my lack of understanding pearls. The service and attention I received was excellent, I should say. After Ling Ling, I decided to study a little more, and went to Li Mei, where I first had a hard negotiation about a pair. The first pair of pearls she showed, we simply could not agree on the price. I were not really interested in buying, just to find what the price is. Then, there was another pair of 12mm and those are the ones I bought; the detailed photos I posted show one of these two. I could not see any difference in color, quality, roundness etc to the ones I bought from Ling Ling so I thought if the ones I got from Ling Ling are SSP then the other pair is as well. I decided to buy, since the price was better than at Ling Ling so I thought the deal should be good. Provided, of course, the pearls are what LingLing/Li Mei told me they are i.e. SSP.

                          I have done both tooth test, and moved the pearls against each other with gentle pressure; I do observe grittiness, they dont move smoothly against each other. But then, maybe I dont have enoug experience to determine exactly what to expect.

                          I hope this information helps to find out what these are: SSP, Freshwater, something else, or not pearls at all.
                          If SSP, I know where to go next time in Beijing - and if so, I am eagerly waiting for my next trip! If not pearls, at least I know what to avoid - and one always has to pay something, for a lesson! Whatever, it is my first learning experience in pearls, and I value all the insight and help you all provide!!
                          Last edited by antti; 03-30-2015, 05:56 AM.


                          • #14
                            I bought two items from Ling Ling in 2006, one of them a pair of Tahitian earrings, and I can only say good things about her (I did have to negotiate hard -- I remember sweating like crazy!). I know appraisal value is not market value, but just for reference, my earrings were appraised at ten times what I paid for them.
                            My husband bought me a strand from her store last year and he also had a very good experience. He bought freshwaters, though.


                            • #15
                              Hi Tucs,

                              Thanks for the comment! I wonder, how did you conclude that your earrings were really Tahitian? I have only good to say about the service I received, and yes the negotiation made me sweat but it was friendly! However, as you can see from the replies, it is not so clear I got what I was told I bought i.e. SSP. As I stated, I am eager to learn how to recognize pearls, so this is a very interesting exercise for me!!