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  1. #1
    New Member Zowie's Avatar
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    Default SSP offered by Costco

    Hello forum experts,

    Do you have any experience with the SSP that are sold in Costco? Could anyone tell something about the peals quality?

    I am considering these in order to be part in my custom jewelry project. Not just to wear the studs, but to disassemble them, so the gold setting will be wasted.

    The price that Costco offers is very attractive in comparison to the esteemed pearl sellers for loose pearls. I understand that I can return the studs if the quality is no good. But I still would like to find out if anyone has an opinion to share.

    Thank you all!
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  2. #2
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Gosh, Zowie, have you contacted directly any of the vendors who sell here about a pair of loose pearls? It's always a big risk removing the backs from valuable pearls. Most will have pearls not listed on their websites and will be able to drill to your specs.

    Please tell us more about your custom jewelry project ~ sounds very exciting! How much time do you have? Others will surely chime in with ideas for you!

    Just yesterday was at Costco and spotted a pretty strand of SS, but couldn't find anyone to open the case for a closer look and check price.
    Last edited by pattye; 05-23-2019 at 05:32 PM.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    It seems a shame to pay for gold that you don't need or want, because even than tiny amount of gold is part of the price.

    I have some Akoya studs purchased from Costco several years ago. They are fine and I wear them frequently, but I have seen better quality Akoya studs at higher prices.

    I vaguely recall Jeremy once using a phrase like "commercial grade"(?) to describe pearls sold at mass retailers. Hopefully he can chime in on this.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
    New Member Zowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Gosh, Zowie, have you contacted directly any of the vendors who sell here about a pair of loose pearls? It's always a big risk removing the backs from valuable pearls. Most will have pearls not listed on their websites and will be able to drill to your specs.

    Please tell us more about your custom jewelry project ~ sounds very exciting! How much time do you have? Others will surely chime in with ideas for you!

    Just yesterday was at Costco and spotted a pretty strand of SS, but couldn't find anyone to open the case for a closer look and check price.
    Thanks Patty! Yes I have reviewed several websites and sellers who I know. Their prices are still high, especially given that I am in Canada and the exchange rate is no good. Buying from Canada looks better.

    If it is risky to get the backs out of the pearl, then it is a good point, thanks again!

    @ ennui, exactly, even with the gold piece the Costco price is better than that on loose pearls...

  5. #5
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    .
    Have you checked with Margaret at SimplyAdorned4U on Etsy; she's in Canada and a member here. Sorry if I'm not recalling others ~

    I've removed pearls maybe 6 or 7 times, ones I didn't care about saving, from their karat gold backings. Boil them in water in a microwave, repeated times until the epoxy/super glue loosens. Or soak them in ATTACK, a solvent, until the glue releases. Freshly glued earrings will be extremely secure! There's always a risk of breaking the post off in the drill hole, even twisting gently. Damaging the luster would be awful.
    I tend to be conservative with high value pearls. Looking forward to others success stories! I can imagine how much you want the perfect pearls!
    Pattye


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  6. #6
    New Member Zowie's Avatar
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    Thanks again Patty for that contact, will check out!

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl mrsadm's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Akoya earrings inherited from my mother, which had the old fashioned screw-back setting. I wouldn't think of trying to change that myself - but my local jeweler did a great job of replacing them with backs for pierced ears.

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    I've removed pearls maybe 6 or 7 times, ones I didn't care about saving, from their karat gold backings. Boil them in water in a microwave, repeated times until the epoxy/super glue loosens. Or soak them in ATTACK, a solvent, until the glue releases.
    I have a single GSS pearl stud (lost the mate) that I cannot release from the post. It is on to stay! Something for Zowie to consider.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennui View Post
    I have a single GSS pearl stud (lost the mate) that I cannot release from the post. It is on to stay! Something for Zowie to consider.
    Ennui,

    Oh my! That's sad, but perhaps you could easily make a mismatched set! Just find a dark pearl, like Tahitian, in approximately the same size and wear them together!

    It takes me 3-4 days minimum to get the backings loose.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Ennui,

    Oh my! That's sad, but perhaps you could easily make a mismatched set! Just find a dark pearl, like Tahitian, in approximately the same size and wear them together!

    It takes me 3-4 days minimum to get the backings loose.
    I've been thinking about a mismatched set -- pairing with a white pearl doesn't look right, so it would have to be a Tahitian. My current T studs are too small, though.

    I've also toyed with the idea of sending it to PP to see if they could match it; a cousin, more or less.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CricketBug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    It takes me 3-4 days minimum to get the backings loose.
    Ooooh! Three or four days?! Like repeatedly in the microwave over the course of those days? No wonder I couldn't budge the earring back in one I tried to get loose. I put it in boiling water for just a few short minutes. It kind of freaked me out, so I stopped the process, LOL! Perhaps I'll try again.

  12. #12
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Yep! Zap it a couple of times a day and let it sit as the water cools between times. Test, GENTLY twist, using pliers close to the cup. You don't want to force it at all. If the cup is large it will probably take longer to loosen.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CricketBug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Yep! Zap it a couple of times a day and let it sit as the water cools between times. Test, GENTLY twist, using pliers close to the cup. You don't want to force it at all. If the cup is large it will probably take longer to loosen.
    Thanks, Pattye. I know you've posted this in another thread somewhere (because I read that thread with beady-eyed interest), and I'm wondering how long you let the pearl "cook" in the microwave each time? I don't recall that part at the moment, nor which thread it was in.

    I confess that boiling a pearl, or soaking it in acetone, etc., just seems wrong! It kind of creeps me out, heehee! But I am willing to give it a "go", creeped-out or not!

  14. #14
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Sorry, CricketBug, forgot that part, usually use about 3/4 cup water, and set the amount of time to bring the water to a full boil, then let it cool down slowly, once it is just cool enough to handle, you can test the post to see if it's loosened at all. Good Luck and let us know if you have success!
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  15. #15
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CricketBug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Sorry, CricketBug, forgot that part, usually use about 3/4 cup water, and set the amount of time to bring the water to a full boil, then let it cool down slowly, once it is just cool enough to handle, you can test the post to see if it's loosened at all. Good Luck and let us know if you have success!
    Thanks so much, Pattye. I will certainly report back with success or lack thereof.

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