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  1. #1
    New Friend
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    Nov 2011
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    Australia
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    Red face First Pearls - Advice appreciated!

    Hi everyone! I have been trawling through this forums giving me an absolute wealth of knowledge. To think I almost bought a strand of 8mm baroque freshwater pearls for $500 in my Jewellery store a few weeks ago!! How disappointment I would've been!

    Let me structure this so it's easy to read and understand why I'm after advice.

    Why pearls - I sold my wedding dress and have been wanting to buy a piece of Jewellery in its significance. A keepsake as such.

    What am I after - I tend to wear 'real' Jewellery all the time for one main reason. I am afraid to loose it (i am a scatterbrain!) currently I wear a sterling silver chain and pendant my husband gave me on our wedding day. It is hand stamped with the names of each other and our children and has Swarovski crystals in the center in the shades of our birthstones. It's very sentimental. Originally I was all set for a diamond tennis bracelet but considering my wedding dress was 1/10th the price of a 'good' bracelet I've abandoned the idea. I asked friends for suggestions and many suggested a strand of pearls.

    Specifics - White pearls, budget conscious, must have hard nacre for everyday wear, would like to pass on to my daughter in years and years to come (she is 3 now). So heirloom quality!

    Why I need help - Necklace, bracelet, earrings, set of 3, bracelet and earrings or necklace and earrings? What is a good start? Would a pearl necklace look alright with a silver chain and pendant? Can I put my pendant on my pearl necklace? Is it possible to custom make a 3 strand bracelet with 2 strands white and 1 strand black (this was a friends suggestion as my wedding dress was white with a black band under the bust). Do you get better quality and smaller pearls (Freshadama or elite) or do you go for a AAA grade with larger pearls???

    I have already decided for a Freshadama or equivalent quality. My budget however is around the $300 Give or take. I would love a 7-9mm bead but if it's a multistrand bracelet then 3-4mm would be fine. I would've loved south sea pearls... But thats not happening! (you'd think living in Australia would mean prices a better but nope...)

    I know this is a lot of questions which is why I joined up. I hope someone out there is able to offer some insight!

    Thanks in advance!! When I get onto my computer (on iPad now) I can upload a pic of me wearing the Jewellery baroque ones with my pendant underneath.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9&l=793b96e6b4
    Last edited by MrsLlante; 11-24-2011 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Added link to photo

  2. #2
    New Friend
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    Australia
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    Default

    I see lots of views so thanks for having a read. I re-ream what I wrote and realized I may have confused a bit with my budget. If I was to get just a necklace $300ish or bracelet and earrings for around the same. If it is really a good idea to get the 3 as a set then I could wait a bit longer and get the extra $200 or so extra to upgrade.

    My main concern is my other pendant, everyday wear and tear and AAA vs Freshadama/Elite/Presidential. I've seen pics side by side and notice there is a difference in lustre and shape but does one need the very best or is AAA still just as good??

  3. #3
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Europe
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    Hi
    I see you are in Australia. Contact Nerida at Pearl Perfection (http://www.pearlperfection.com.au) she is my good friend in pearls and a member here and her pearls and pearl design skills are superb. And she is a huge bracelet fan too!
    Best
    Wendy
    Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021
    www.pearlsapractical.guide

  4. #4
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
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    Hi and welcome,

    I can't help you with the issue about the luster of the pearls, as I have seen neither frashadama or AAA in real life. Also, you have already done a lot of really good research and know that you are looking for fresh water pearls. But I have few other things to contribute with.

    As for putting your pendat on the pearl necklace, you would need to have it on an 'enhancer'. It is a kind of bail that you can open and close. An enhancer does not, in my opinion, work quite so well hanging from a regular chain. I would suggest that you stick to layering with the silver chain and the pearls.

    Personally I would recommend spending the money on great quality. I know the feeling of wanting it all at once, but I have learned by experience that, at least for me, what happens is that I buy something less than the best - and then a little later I end up spending even more money to get the best. Get the piece you want the most (what does your heart tell you when you look at the pictures?). There'll be plenty of time for pearls presents later and as long as we are talking about white pearls, you should not have a problem matching them later on.

    - Karin

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    Marina del Rey, CA
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    For heirloom, pass-to-your-daughter quality, South Sea would be your best choice. But it is difficult to stay within a budget like that when shopping for South Sea pearls - even so in Australia. Freshwater and akoya can both be beautiful, but they are both more delicate. The solid nacre of a freshwater is stronger than that of an akoya, but the nacre is also more porous. I definitely agree with your assessment, though. Go for quality over size.

    The three-piece is a good starter set, but if you don't see yourself wearing the bracelet that often, skipping this piece gives you more budget to shop with. Most people get the most wear out of the necklace and earrings. Then again, your other idea was the black and white bracelet. That idea is totally doable, but for the most part, black pearls are truly "black," just as white pearls aren't stark white. So the look wouldn't be identical, but more inspired.

    You can wear a chain with a strand of pearls. This isn't the most common thing, but the ladies do it all the time in our office. The chain tends to hang straight down while the strand follows the slope of your neck and chest, so usually it is clear that there are two pieces. Karin is right, though, an enhancer would work best.

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