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  1. #1
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    Smile Heading to Greenhills in Manila in a few hours for pearls. Suggestions?

    Hi all,

    I posted previously in the long (and very useful) thread in this forum Helping hand in the Philippines. I realized, belatedly, in that long of a thread it is easy to get lost so I thought I would try one more to the point.

    Background: My wife is in Manila this week for the first time for business. She was told by one of her staff who is traveling with her that Manila is a nice place to buy pearls, in particular at Greenhills. A client of hers also suggested a wholesaler (I do not know the name yet) as a good source. So I started doing my homework and I learned a lot from this site about Greenhills and Manila/Philippines pearls:

    * The pearls for sale at Greenhill are almost all imported cultivated freshwater pearls from China.
    * If a vendor says they are selling South Seas Pearls, especially golden, they are very likely dyed Chinese pearls.
    * If a vendor says the pearls are Baby South Seas Pearls they are likely fine quality fresh water pearls.

    To prepare her a bit for her first purchase I bought her the book The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide : How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Pearls, which we both read. I also sent along with her a loupe with its own light.

    For right now my wife just wants to be able to buy something nice for herself that we would not have bought at it's US price stateside. She has a budget of $300 US. Small potatoes by many of your standards from the sounds of it, but it's a start :-)

    So my questions are:

    * Should she just avoid Greenhills and go to the wholesaler?
    * If she does buy from Greenhills, are all of the pearls "rejects" from China, or are there actually some nice ones.
    * Can anything nice be purchased for $300? (And does anyone have a reference price from their experiences there that might help us know if she is getting a decent deal).
    * In your experience is there a suggested target % of price to go for when negotiating? I saw on another thread that one person recommended (in China) to offer 10% of the asking price with the goal being to pay 30% of the initial asking price. I have not heard, or used, such a precise bartering methodology before, but if there is a general trend for a price range to meet at in the Philippines which is good for both parties I would love to hear it!

    Thanks in advance! She is heading over there in about six hours so if you have any advice that would be wonderful. They will have a male escort/driver accompanying them if that helps with bartering?

    Thanks!

    Joe
    Last edited by AlumCreek3; 10-22-2009 at 01:19 AM. Reason: typo correction

  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jerin's Avatar
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    Hi Alum Creek3 and welcome to the forum!
    When it comes to buying South Sea Pearls you should have a native with you who knows a lot about pearls. I hade the luck that one of our PGuiders lives there (Perlas) and through her I got my GSS and some lovely Freshwater pearl strands. Price for FWPS about 100 $, the pearls are near round with very fine luster and almost without surface blemishes. As I said when buying GSS this becomes something else. Anyway for 300 dollars your wife should be able to get 1-2 nice frehswater strands.
    Inge

  3. #3
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    Hi Jerin,

    My wife's trip to Greenhills seemed to go well. A couple of her clients came along, one of them said that he used to be in the wholesale business and actually had GIA accreditation (not sure if I am referencing that properly, or how current his accreditation is). She ended up with what he said was a genuine strand of Mikimoto pearls for about US$275, though I thought Mikimoto was a brand not a type of pearl? Because of her meeting schedule she has been up for nearly 24hrs so I did not want to ask her to many questions :-) He suggested we bring them to have them appraised here in the states and to have a different clasp put on them because he did not like the quality of the one currently on it.

    I will post some pictures of the pearls next week and any more information she has about them.

    Thanks again for this great forum!

    Joe

  4. #4
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Mikimoto is indeed a brand
    Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021
    www.pearlsapractical.guide

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Yep. Mikimoto is a brand. She didn't get a Mikimoto necklace. I think the GIA accredited companion failed the pearls course miserably

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Hanaleimom's Avatar
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    Isn't the Mikimoto clasp valuable too? It seems what I've read here is that you don't want to change a genuine Miki clasp.
    Cathy

  7. #7
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Heidi's Avatar
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    I sure wondered - the clasp is the identifying feature of a Mikimoto necklace if I understand correctly. Hopefully the pearls themselves are reasonably nice.

  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Hopefully what she bought are good quality akoya pearls similar to a Mikimoto strand. Obviously if the clasp isn't nice or karat gold it isn't a real Miki.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of these pearls!
    Pattye


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  9. #9
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    The only value a Mikimoto has is in the clasp. No Miki clasp, not Miki pearls. No clasp and they are just akoya pearls, though they may be better quality than are. some Miki strands are. The Miki strands often have less than perfect pearls, depending what was paid.

    We have a Mikimoto person who just joined this forum. I sure would like to see their opinion on this!
    Caitlin

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    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  10. #10
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    I double checked (I was also hoping they said "like Mikimoto"), but she said they told her they are "Mikimoto". Since most of this is via SMS I really don't have much detail, so I will be *very* curious to see what she ended up with! They do sound like they look nice on her, which was the goal :-) She will arrive late tomorrow, on my birthday, so I probably won't be posting any pics tomorrow night ;-)

    Joe

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jerin's Avatar
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    A Happy Birthday to You AlumCreek3! Look forward to your report and hopefully pictures of the strand and a close-up of the clasp!
    Inge

  12. #12
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    What is it you pro's like to see in pictures? One of the strand, and a close up of one or two of the pearls? Do you like the photos against a neutral background, or is there a recommended color? I will throw something in for scale too.

  13. #13
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    A nice sharp close up would be awesome. You can put a few pearls in there!

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Amrita's Avatar
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    And a white background works well for pearl photos.

  15. #15
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    A white paper towel or white napkin is a good background------------thanks!
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----