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  1. #1

    Default Comparison: Gem grade Pearls of Joy vs. AAAA grade Pearl Source

    I spent a few hours here reading about each of these sellers. They both had positive reviews and easy return policies posted online. Then I thought, why not just buy both and compare in real life? So I did.

    From Pearls of Joy I purchased the following for $470:

    White Gem Grade Freshwater Pearl Necklace: 7.5-8.0mm; 18"
    White Gem Grade Freshwater Pearl Earrings: 7-8mm

    From The Pearl Source I purchased the following for $330:

    8-9mm Freshwater Pearl Necklace & Earrings: AAAA Quality; 18"


    The PS was significantly cheaper so I was able to buy up to the next size, this should not be a comparison of size. However, if people would like to comment on "value," I'm very interested since I will be returning one of these sets.

    My initial impressions were that the PJ set were better matched and had fewer imperfections. The PS set has several bumps, slight marks, some size differences, and a few that are not as round as the others. Given that, I like the size for cost and the color of the PS ones a bit better. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking and would appreciate your thoughts on which set I should keep. I am happy spending the amounts I did and think both represent a much better value than what I would have received from a physical store. I'm glad to post more close ups if that is desired.

    PJ= Black box, whiter set
    PS = White box










  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I personally prefer the whiter color and rounder shapes of the smaller strand. How do the two strands look against your skin tone? The warmer toned strand would disappear against my skin.

    That said, generally I prefer a larger strand than 7.5-8mm. My first gem freshwater strand was 7-8mm and I'm afraid it just sits in the drawer these days. I can understand your preference for the larger strand. If you really prefer a larger strand but want a higher quality than that strand, you could wait for sales. Get on the mailing lists of the various vendors to get notification of sales codes. With Mother's Day coming up I expect some good deals could be had.

    Pearl grades are not standardized, unlike diamond grading, but the custom is A-AAA. It is obvious to me that the gem grade are better quality than the so-called AAAA.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    How do the two strands look against your skin tone?
    They will be a surprise for my wife on our anniversary so I'll just have to guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    That said, generally I prefer a larger strand than 7.5-8mm.
    Me too. I was a bit surprised at how much smaller they looked. I'll get my calipers out and follow up with some measurements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    If you really prefer a larger strand but want a higher quality than that strand, you could wait for sales.
    Our anniversary is in a week. So I probably don't have much time to wait. Surprised they didn't have a sale already. Blue Nile had their mothers day sale going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Pearl grades are not standardized, unlike diamond grading, but the custom is A-AAA. It is obvious to me that the gem grade are better quality than the so-called AAAA.
    My goal was to compare the best they each offered at that price point. But I agree, in my novice opinion the gem grade is superior.

  4. #4

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    I pulled out the calipers and got some precise measurements.

    Pearls of Joy:
    Studs were 7.75mm
    Necklace - 7.5 mm at the clasp to 7.95mm at center bottom

    Pears Source:
    Studs - 8.5mm
    Necklace - 8mm near clasp to 8.45mm at center bottom

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamison View Post
    ...
    I was a bit surprised at how much smaller they looked.
    I posted a thread about the difference 1mm makes in the size of a pearl. It's simple math; a pearl is sphere, not a flat disk as it appears in photos. It is three-dimensional; it has volume. A larger pearl has more volume than a smaller pearl. As the diameter increases a little, the volume increases a lot more.
    An 8mm pearl is one and a half times as large as a 7mm pearl (49% larger.)

    If interested here is the thread:
    Comparative pearl sizes-- how much difference does 1mm larger really make?

    Here's a thought: How about letting your wife choose which strand she prefers?

  6. #6
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    I posted a thread about the difference 1mm makes in the size of a pearl. It's simple math; a pearl is sphere, not a flat disk as it appears in photos. It is three-dimensional; it has volume. A larger pearl has more volume than a smaller pearl. As the diameter increases a little, the volume increases a lot more.
    An 8mm pearl is one and a half times as large as a 7mm pearl (49% larger.)

    If interested here is the thread:
    Comparative pearl sizes-- how much difference does 1mm larger really make?

    Here's a thought: How about letting your wife choose which strand she prefers?
    Doing this will show how much you care about getting something she loves!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    An 8mm pearl is one and a half times as large as a 7mm pearl (49% larger.)

    If interested here is the thread:
    Comparative pearl sizes-- how much difference does 1mm larger really make?

    Here's a thought: How about letting your wife choose which strand she prefers?
    Thanks that is helpful. I think I'm leaning towards giving the PJ set and then showing her the PS set. She'll have a strong attachment to the set I choose to give first though.

  8. #8
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I hope you'll let us know which she chooses!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    This is the second time we've seen something similar posted just recently and it played out the same way.

    Edit: It was a comparison thread about Joy and Pearl Source about a year ago.

    The Set from pearls of Joy is a 7.5-8 mm set. The set from Pearl Source is an 8-8.5 mm set, not 8-9 mm.

    The biggest difference is in the pearls. The Pearls of Joy set is made of loose grade and the Pearl Source isn't. The value difference between the two is significant. From a wholesale standpoint, if purchased from the same source, the smaller strand would cost more than twice the larger strand.

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    This is the second time we've seen something similar posted just recently and it played out the same way.

    Edit: It was a comparison thread about Joy and Pearl Source about a year ago.

    The Set from pearls of Joy is a 7.5-8 mm set. The set from Pearl Source is an 8-8.5 mm set, not 8-9 mm.

    The biggest difference is in the pearls. The Pearls of Joy set is made of loose grade and the Pearl Source isn't. The value difference between the two is significant. From a wholesale standpoint, if purchased from the same source, the smaller strand would cost more than twice the larger strand.
    Excellent comment! I know which one I would choose.
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  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl mrsadm's Avatar
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    When shopping for pearl jewelry, is it “polite” to ask a seller if a particular piece is “loose grade”?
    Thank you.
    Linda

  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It's your money, and IMO you can ask any vendor whatever you need to know before buying!

  13. #13
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Yes, Linda. It is perfectly acceptable to ask questions of a seller. Whether you get an honest answer depends on who that seller is at the core!

  14. #14
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsadm View Post
    When shopping for pearl jewelry, is it “polite” to ask a seller if a particular piece is “loose grade”?
    Thank you.
    Linda
    Linda, you should ask any questions you deem appropriate! Any vendor who is insulted by a question is probably not someone with whom you'd wish to do business.
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  15. #15
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    What does "loose grade" mean?

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