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  1. #1
    pierrettedE
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    Default question about fwp per kilo pricing

    Hello there, my name is Pierrette d'Entremont. This will be my first post (edited because i reread it and i didn't get my point right) though I bumped into the forum a couple of months ago and it's GREAT!

    I have a question about what to expect when buying wholesale pearl /kilo. I buy my pearls in Hong Kong, from a manufacturer whose pearls are supposedly from a farm co-op in Lake Tai. Their prices seem high, but other places quote completely different prices (higher and lower). I've stayed with this company because they've always come through and their pearls are much higher quality than most I see in my competitors collections (I am a Canadian jewelry designer and have a passion for pearls, researching pearls, collecting pearls .... )

    I guess I'm looking for feedback since I have no one to bounce information from. So many things are in play.

    *The fact that there is no concrete grading system, obviously puts the onus on me to know what I'm talking about. I've been learning about pearls since about '96, I also have my Pearls certificate and AJP from GIA and as much independant information I can find and read about. I am limited to companies with internet access and I always like to have scans or pictures before I buy. Is there anything else I can do.

    *Though one day I would love to take the trip, I am not financially able right now. My next questions is: who to buy from. I've been approached by various companies and found others myself. I'm not sure if I'm safer buying from a manufacturing/processing company based in Hong Kong, or if I should try the smaller farms or co-ops that manufacture themselves and are ready to export. Is there a rule of thumb for people like me,... far far away and vulnerable.

    I hope I'm clearer, any comments would be appreciated

    Pierrette d'Entremont
    Last edited by pierrettedE; 08-20-2005 at 12:10 PM. Reason: better explanation

  2. #2
    PearlsAndJade.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierrettedE
    Hello there, my name is Pierrette d'Entremont...


    ...The fact that there is no concrete grading system, obviously puts the onus on me to know what I'm talking about. I've been learning about pearls since about '96, I also have my Pearls certificate and AJP from GIA and as much independant information I can find and read about. I am limited to companies with internet access and I always like to have scans or pictures before I buy. Is there anything else I can do...
    You've taken the GIA course so you know how to examine pearls, so now you have to learn to grade them yourself, and to determine the price for each grade. Learning to price them is the most difficult part because within each grade that you set up, there will be a wide spread of quality and price.

    Unless one is going to China and buying in large quantities, sometimes it is more economical to buy from an importer in Canada or the US because they deal in large quantities and can buy at a better price.

    You may want to take a look at my grading system, which is a combination of the GIA system and one that one of my suppliers uses. With this system I am able to communicate what I am selling, and what I want to purchase when I'm in China, without any misunderstanding. http://pearlsandjade.zoovy.com/c=tsU...rgradingsystem

    I don't know what type or quality pearls you're looking for, but if you would like to send me an email we can discuss what you need and we may be able to help you.

    Good luck,

    Bill

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    What size and quality of freshwater are you purchasing? Describe the shape, luster, and surface quality and I should be able to give you are pretty good estimate of a good per kilo price.
    Typically you will always pay more in Hong Kong than you will in China. Even companies that have offices in HK and the Mainland will charge a premium if you are buying in HK.

  4. #4
    pierrettedE
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    Thank you for your replies. In this province of mine that's 900 miles long, I haven't found anyone with whom I can pearl talk yet! I've got a few decent pictures of strands that I use. My website shows many pieces using pearls. the nicest ones being the newest (freshwater pearls. *I use akoya, South Sea and Tahitians only in custom pieces).

    I find it difficult to guage any prices at all because I seem to have no base. Visiting local/national and chain jewellers I find extreemly high prices for very low quality freshwater pearls. Wholesalers in Canada have some crazy high prices also it seems AND limited knowledge on their pearls (That's another story). I usually get South Sea, akoya and Tahitians from US importers (I buy too little of these to make it worth anyone's while otherwise).

    Since I'm pretty much limited to the internet I get a lot of variation in pricing from manufacturers in Hong Kong. I also find a gap in descriptions. I try to use GIA terms so we can be grounded but often I find that i should be the one getting their terms right. ie colors, shapes. Like "send 6-7mm AAA rice/oval, multi natural (oranges, purples, whites), smooth, AA-AAA symetrical..." or "8mm round bluish-green irradiated, top quality please send pictures first"...

    gee, if I had a penny for each time I wished just to BE there, ... I'd be there

    But, yes i need a system of grading, a base for pricing and I need to get a grip on what the market is doing. Things change so quickly!

  5. #5
    PearlsAndJade.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierrettedE

    ...I try to use GIA terms so we can be grounded but often I find that i should be the one getting their terms right. ie colors, shapes. Like "send 6-7mm AAA rice/oval, multi natural (oranges, purples, whites), smooth, AA-AAA symetrical..." or "8mm round bluish-green irradiated, top quality please send pictures first"...
    You will do better to have them understand your description. Using the GIA description, or my modified description explains exactly what you want.

    Every one of those dealers will have a different meaning for A, AA, or AAA, so using those grades doesn't work for you unless you know exactly what they mean by those grades. Colors are a separate issue, but the GIA color descriptions are a start.

    Bill

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    This is a good basis for white pearls in Hong Kong. The prices will be similar in Zhejiang if you are purchasing small lots. These are for high-end pieces - round, clean, with excellent luster:
    7.5----8mm USD 1300 - 1500/KILO

    8----8.5mm USD 2000 - 2200/KILO

    8.5----9mm USD 2500 - 2700/KILO

    9----9.5mm USD 3400 - 4000/KILO

    9.5---10mm USD 4500 - 5500/KILO

  7. #7
    pierrettedE
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd
    This is a good basis for white pearls in Hong Kong. The prices will be similar in Zhejiang if you are purchasing small lots. These are for high-end pieces - round, clean, with excellent luster:
    7.5----8mm USD 1300 - 1500/KILO

    8----8.5mm USD 2000 - 2200/KILO

    8.5----9mm USD 2500 - 2700/KILO

    9----9.5mm USD 3400 - 4000/KILO

    9.5---10mm USD 4500 - 5500/KILO
    Hello Jeremy Shepherd, thanks for the info. I'm going to try to attach a picture here of a strand of my highest quality 8-8.5mm round whites. These would be what i use for my knotted strands or silk stations. I don't know if I can post more pictures but I'll also try my 8-9mm multi. (Just, white, peach, lilac. These were usually not so cleanly mixed before. The last batch I paid more, but this is what I got. They are better quality and there's no graduation in the shades like most multi-pastels. I'm not quite sure why they did it that way..). Lastly, my 8-9 near-round white.

    Ok, here goes. ..oh gee only 39K pictures (..this is time passing as i size..)

    Voila,

    Pierrette d'Entremont

    Bijoux Pierrette d'Entremont
    www.pierrettedentremont.com
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  8. #8
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    Hello Jeremy Shepherd, I have heard of a story years ago that an employee of an airline found out pearls are so cheap in China when he was in Beijing, so he decided to start his business. It is a famous story in my hometown, I didn't know it turns out to be you! Amazing!

    Ps. Nice pearls and the prices you mentioned above is very close to the prices my dad told me last year in terms of the same quality and size, though now it's much lower. I can't believe it's in 2005! I was still in high school.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl
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    Are the prices lower because culturing the pearls has become more efficient?

  10. #10
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    I think that's because of the financial crisis. People do not want luxury as they do, so some farmers can't make ends meet. That's why some farmers give up cultivating pearls, but a few big farmers still keep cultivating. I think the price would go up again when the economy is better.
    A1401-1405 China Pearls&Jewelry City
    Living for pearls

  11. #11

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    I am very familiar with prices in Asia when it comes to pearls. I have great connections with pearl farmers in the Philippines, although it can be extremely dangerous when traveling to some parts, but as long as you know the area, and know the people then you are fine. I can get freshwater for extremely cheap, although my advice is to NOT but it in bulk or buy the Kilo. You want to get the best pearls for you money's worth. and you can get more designs if you buy 30 pieces at a time. To answer your question : who to buy from? ... ebay is a great place to look into because you can find many wholesalers from all around Asia. They also have ratings from other sellers. I purchase necklaces for under a dollar and sell them for about $30. wholesale and i also have high end Tahitian necklaces that i sell for wholesale. If you have any more questions ASK AWAY! I hope some of this helps.

  12. #12
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    What makes you think it will help? Did you know we are experts on eBay over here? We even have a forum for Q&A on eBay items. We have found a couple of Chinese eBayers that people here say have been honest, but most of them are really bad and give eBay pearls a bod reputation.

    We literally have thousands of posts on these subjects.
    Instead of parading your "knowledge", dig in and read what has gone before.

    My questions have to do with who you are and what you are up to. Why are you coming on like you can advise us? I mean someone who thinks a GIA cert is an Appraisal, raises my eyebrows.

    Calm down, take a deep breath and find out what we already know, so you can add something new and correct. So far, your posts are not very accurate, and they don't tell us something we don't know. We are serious pearl scholars over here, even though our goal is purchasing, wearing and caring for pearls. You need to become one of us, ask some questions and quit promoting yourself.

    I want us to get to know you and you us, before we jump into the what a great salesman you are, thing. I'll tell you, no one who has studied this site has ever, ever, ever, bought a $50 necklace for $850. We study before we buy and we buy from friends, people we know well from their daily/weekly presence here or from the top online sellers. How do you prices compare with theirs?



    Have you read what Jeremy has to say about Tahitians? I didn't think so.
    Caitlin

    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.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    What makes you think it will help? Did you know we are experts on eBay over here? We even have a forum for Q&A on eBay items. We have found a couple of Chinese eBayers that people here say have been honest, but most of them are really bad and give eBay pearls a bod reputation.

    We literally have thousands of posts on these subjects.
    Instead of parading your "knowledge", dig in and read what has gone before.

    My questions have to do with who you are and what you are up to. Why are you coming on like you can advise us? I mean someone who thinks a GIA cert is an Appraisal, raises my eyebrows.

    Calm down, take a deep breath and find out what we already know, so you can add something new and correct. So far, your posts are not very accurate, and they don't tell us something we don't know. We are serious pearl scholars over here, even though our goal is purchasing, wearing and caring for pearls. You need to become one of us, ask some questions and quit promoting yourself.

    I want us to get to know you and you us, before we jump into the what a great salesman you are, thing. I'll tell you, no one who has studied this site has ever, ever, ever, bought a $50 necklace for $850. We study before we buy and we buy from friends, people we know well from their daily/weekly presence here or from the top online sellers. How do you prices compare with theirs?



    Have you read what Jeremy has to say about Tahitians? I didn't think so.
    Again, Sorry for the miss understanding because i didnt say this correctly before.... I mean to say it was appraised by a GIA certified appraiser. I have been studying pearl's for 4 years now, (obviously i need to study more) and will be taking the GIA Pearl Lab course and go from there. I never "studied this site" before buying anything and I am not promoting myself or trying or sell. i just want to tell my amazing experiences with pearls and how i fell in love with them. I am sorry i can't explain myself to well, i am new to forums. I am here to get to know others, share my experience and hear other people's story about how they fell in love with pearls. Again, i apologize for the inconvenience. I hope we can get a fresh start.

  14. #14
    Administrator Senior Member
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    Hi Sharon
    I think a fresh start is a great idea.

    Do you have Pearls by Elisabeth Strack?
    It is a 700 something page book on Pearls. It is the closest thing to a textbook around.
    It's about $130.00 including shipping. The contact info is in our books and resources section.

    The Pearl course is a good idea. I think a lot of people here have done it. Maybe you could start a new thread asking about it, and get feedback from people who have taken it. I think there is a new version of the course coming out, but I don't know if it is ready yet. BTW Jeremy was the pearl-go to guy for the GIA guy who was working on the new courses, including the pearl course. Jeremy escorted him around China a bit, translated for him (J speaks Mandarin), took him to the people who could give them good information.
    I'm telling ya, that you have hit the motherlode of pearl info by joining this forum!
    So Welcome and Happy Posting!
    Caitlin

  15. #15

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    So, may I ask those who buy p/kilo...

    Do the farms grade them for you in the baskets in mm lots or do you have to buy the basket as whole on agreement and grade/sort later? I've always wondered...

    Thanks!