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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    Default Hong Kong Street Market Pearls

    I just returned from Hong Kong. This was the starting point for our cruise to Vietnam, Thailand and Bangkok. Our first tour in Hong Kong was to the flower market, bird market and a brief stop at a small indoor jade market. As we were getting off the tour bus for shopping at the jade market, we were advised by our guide that we had a whole 15 minutes and not to expect anything of great value, and oh yes, to bargain hard. It is amazing what I can do in 15 minutes of shopping! I immediately spotted PEARLS at one booths. The pictures are of the strands I was able to buy. The pearls are 40 inch long fresh water strands, knotted as an endless strand. Pearls are about 12mm in size, and the pearls are all the same size. Luster is amazing on almost all the pearls except some of the pinks. I bought another strand that is very similar but more colorful less of the white pearls and more pinks. I it is the bottom picture. The pearls that look grey in the jpeg are deep lavender. I would have bought more but my husband was already tapping his foot as we were going to hold up the bus. I paid so little for these "street market" pearls I would have bought many more had I had the time. I think I will always think of this pearl opportunity as not what I bought but what got away!
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  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    Wow! Congrats on your pearl purchase!

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl nnguye20's Avatar
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    Luvglitz that's beautiful pearls you bought! I found it was strange that you had so little time for shopping, because that is when the tour guide gain extra money from bringing customers to shops.

  4. #4
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    I agree with you Luvglitz. I spent the winter in Bkk and picked up some amazing bargains for GSS and Tahitians from reputable vendors such as Rio, and others at the Gem Fair. I had the help of someone int the business who knew who had the natural GSS.
    And the great thing is that you get to see the pearls live, before buying.
    Enjoy your trip.

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Yowza! That is some strand!!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I hate to post this, but those look like shell pearls, not freshwater pearls.

  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Ooh, did you happen to perform the tooth test? Or examine with a loupe?

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    The pearls pass the tooth test. These pearls are very similar to pearls that I bought from a reputable dealer at the gem show a few months ago at a significantly higher price. I’ll look more closely.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Simply adorned's Avatar
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    Are they heavy pearls? Do they weigh more than your gem show strand?

  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Luvglitz, none of my imitation pearls pass the tooth test, but I do not have any "shell pearls", by which I mean imitation pearls whose coating is made of ground-up MOP. I could see where shell pearl might pass the tooth test. Please look at them with a loupe ASAP.

    It is troubling that they are all the same size and round, and that the colors are so similar. I wasn't thinking when I first posted but now that I am really looking at the photos, I have to agree with Jeremy that they really do look like imitations.

    It is so easy to let down one's guard when on vacation. I once bought a strand at T. J. Maxx marked freshwater pearls that were clearly imitations when I examined them closer. I felt a bit foolish then, and that I ought to have known, but I was able to get a refund. Returning items bought when traveling is another thing.

    The coating would come off if wiped with acetone-- then you'd know for sure-- but you'd damage what might be an enjoyable strand of fashion jewelry. (As you probably know, I sometimes enjoy wearing nice imitation pearls.)

    I just want to add that the tooth test is not 100% guaranteed. Real pearls can feel fake if coated, and fake pearls can feel real if grimy or maybe if the coating is made such that it feels rough. I also saw a $35 silver SSP-like pearl ring at T J Maxx last year that actually looked smooth under my loupe-- that was a first. But finding a real, huge, flawless SSP ring for $35? Not happening.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 05-05-2018 at 02:36 AM.

  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I showed this thread to my husband, and he said the fact that you only had 15 minutes made it more likely to make a mistake, because you didn't really have time to evaluate what you were looking at. I think he's right.

  12. #12
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Well the top photo did make me wonder.. the others are a bit fuzzy. In the end if they are fake and you didn't overpay..then you have some fun traveling pearls that you don't need to worry about.

  13. #13
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Look at the flaws and the drill holes. they are the real give-aways usually. But the pearls do seem to be unusually large, round and homogeneous in colour for cheapies

  14. #14
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Ditto what Pearlescence says. Check the drill holes. If authentic the edge will be sharp, if imitation, you will likely see a more rounded edge.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  15. #15
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    The problem is the pearls are knotted, so I can’t see into the drill hole. I am reluctant to use acetone to really determine “real or fake” as that will mar what is a really pretty necklace. What is the old adage - “you get what you pay for”. I will eventually take one of the necklaces apart to shorten or wire. I will do further testing at that time and using acetone on one pearl for the real tell.

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