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  1. #1

    Wink Pearls from Greenhills Manila

    Hi All,

    My husband has on two occassions purchased pearls from the Greenhills market in Manila. I'm not sure both trips were from the same vendor - but the second vendor was Raquel's. I don't know much other than what I've read hear but I'm trying to nail down a rough worth of the pearls. I think I know what they are - but just looking for conformation without spending a lot for appraisers (first two sets are mine, and the 100" mention in the second set is mine - the rest are gifts for family and friends for mother's day) so... we don't need GIA appraisals - just estimates...

    The first sets purchased were these:
    Deep black 17" 8mm
    simple silvertone clasp (no markings)
    very dark in color w/multicolor overtones (blues, green, gold, mauve)
    a lot are smooth with little to no surface flaws? I think?
    mix luster - some are really clear - some cloudy
    ---- earrings are 8 x 10 mm button shape?(flat) deep black with purple tones
    ---- slightly orage peel looking? and one has an odd striation about 1/3 of the way down from the top (outer) edge... it circles about 3/4 the way around the pearl

    Pink/Rose 8mm
    simple silvertone clasp (no markings)
    pink/rose with gold overtones
    mix luster - again some very clear
    again majority seem pretty smooth
    ---- earrings are 9 x 8mm and more rounded

    Second trip - notes: my friend specifically asked for a black pearl necklace like mine above (very black) - but what our corporate negotiator and my husband ended up bringing home was what my husband said THEY said were "natural" black pearls. The sellers said these weren't as dark as mine because mine were injected and these were naturally black. These are described more below, but I wante to make mention of this because I'm not sure if it is true.

    All of these pearls were bought at the same place and my husband described the process as he would tell them how long and they had a huge strand of pearls - different prices and his were "upgrades" to most there. They would measure the right length and remove the pearls from the much longer strands - then create the necklace on the spot. They also made all of the earrings on the spot right in front of my husband. And a side note on the earrings - most he brought back this trip had residue on the back around the attached area. It is like glue and comes off.

    So - this being said - it is safe to say all of the group of whites are of the same quality and the group of blacks are similar in quality, except some clasp differences and of course length.

    Black 60" 8mm
    these are lighter than my previous black strands. more blue/grey/purplish tones with a few having gold tones and a few having a blueish tone. I would would say first impression was more of a purplish/bue metallic grey I guess? not "black"... the blues are a nassua blue too - not a deep blue

    Black 20" 8mm
    silvertone ball clasp (no markings)

    Black 18" 8mm
    S filigree look clasp with "SP" stamp
    only black set to have WHITE rope knots?

    White 100" 8mm
    maybe the slightest pink overtone if i had to choose one - really uniform white

    White 60"
    for some reason these seem a tad bigger and better qaulity than my 100"... I don't know why if they were from the same bulk strand... maybe because these are destined for my mother and not me! ha!

    there are several sets of earrings both black and white
    some have little round blemishes on top - I'm not sure what that is...
    and as mentioned one has an odd striation that goes around the pearl.
    some are dark with purple or mauve overtones, some are brighter blue
    the white ones range from white to deep golden colors...

    I will also like to add I tried taking several pictures with an HD camera I have and the camera is just awful. 90% of the photos were blury and I just don't have the umph to try taking them all again on my phone (only other camera). I will post what pictures I can - but none of my zooms came out. And the colors are a bit darker in my pictures. I noticed the new black strands photograph much darker than their true color. and the white strands look a bit golden - they do not seem like this in better light. I need a new camera!

    Basically - just want confirmation of fresh vs salt --- and any idea of quality. I will be honest - my husband paid either $75 or $150 for my deek black and pink strands and earrings the first trip. And $465 for all the other pearls and earrings second trip (100", 2 x 60", 1 x 20", 1 x 18" and matching earrings)
    His boss said hers were appraised at 3 x her cost... just wondering if we might be in the same ball park. I don't know appraisal fees and didn't want to spend a lot on these pearls unless it was worth the money....

    Thanks all!!!
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    The value isn't too far off, especially considering the labor of the stringing.

    The pearls are all freshwater and are all from China. The vendor lied about the black pearls, unfortunately. The color is not natural. They are dyed.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Jeremy... I was pretty sure the "natural black" was lie... I feel bad because my husband was to purchase a set of "black" pearls just like mine (I knew mine were dyed) and came home with some that are much much lighter (more evident in the group photo at bottom) and not "Black" like our neighbor wanted. He was lied too and took it hook line and sinker.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    He shouldn't feel too bad about it. It happens to people every day there and at the pearl markets in Beijing and Shanghai, unfortunately. For what it's worth, he didn't get a bad deal.

  5. #5
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    Looks like someone else was taken in The Philippines too ...

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant...885124520.html

    It's sad. They probably really think that they have South Sea pearls when what they really have are low-grade Chinese freshwater
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant...885124520.html

  6. #6

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    yeah - but the bad thing is he had a negotiator working for him as a corporate recomendation... this guy negotiatied deals for my husbands boss before... *he* should know better.....

  7. #7

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    Okay - just heard back from the fellow who negotiated. He did confirm they are using the same vendor that corporate has used for years... his two strands he paid $30 us were sent to an appraiser in NY that xrayed and used refraction (?) to grade them and they came back worth $1.5k --- now how is it possible I get a set from the same vendor and my local appraiser appraised them at $100 less than we paid for them? (ie $360 for the $465 we paid)... I said I would send them off to the same appraiser to compare apples to apples... I have a gut feeling I will be paying a lot of money for xrays and such and get the same results. The negotiator said no one would grade his pearls because they thought they were imitation. My appraiser knew right away ours were real - besides.. they are noticebly off round - who would make an off round fake? I don't know.... would you guys send them off for another appraisel? I don't want a feel good appraisel at this point - I want the "I told you so" appraisel. The corporate office offered to send them back so we could get our money back (and I would prefer to have them exchanged for upgrades!) What gets me isn't the cheap clasps - but the fact they said the black pearls were natural and more valuable... that was an out right lie... and my hubby didn't know it....

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    The first clue that either the negotiator or the appraiser is fibbing would be the X-rays. There would never be a reason to X-ray freshwater pearls. Also, that is something a lab like GIA would do with marine pearls, but a value wouldn't be assigned.

    To be honest, I don't think I believe the negotiator based on what you've been told. That being said, $365 for all those others pearls is not a fair appraisal either. The appraisal should be based on retail replacement value, and you would be very hard-pressed to find a retailer that would sell those strands, especially considering the length on several of them, for that price. The labor alone would be more than half.

    If you want a fair assessment of their worth, visit a couple of stores and see what similar pieces are selling for.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 03-26-2012 at 01:41 PM.

  9. #9

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    Would it be possible these are 8mm salt waters? I am going to borrow a much better camera this morning and take some tighter shots. Even on my white counter top the photos I'm getting are still dullish.... Some do have a really good luster on them - my original pinks and the new whites.... I never considered them anything but fresh because of the size....

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    They look off round on my monitor. If they are all round or just slightly oval, they could be dyed saltwater. The color still wouldn't be natural, but they would even be worth more. Can you take a photo of just a couple inches from straight above? Try using a different color background as well. Black on white is a strong contrast and the shadowing could skew the shape.

  11. #11

    Default New Photos!!!

    Sorry - didn't get the different color background note until just now... I did take a few shots more - I think these are much better but not exactly what I hoped! I will have several of each strand - my original pink set (well worn!) - the new black set (and one with a macro shot that shows the real color better - finaly!) and the white set. I will tell you - the white set was the hardest for me to photograph close up - I just couldn't get the focus right for some reason. I took these in my largest window that faces north - at noon... unfortunately I do have some skylights too! so lots of light --- sorry! best natural light in my house..... but I will say this... it was FUN shooting these with a better camera... the angles and stuff... looked just like out of a magazine!

    I would say my pink set is all round to slightly off round.. the blacks too... the whites do have more that are more oval I guess? more of those scattered in there... I noticed the appraiser spinning them and there was a wabble when they rotated - where I would expect a perfect round to not wabble... my terms of course ha!

    PS
    Thanks for all the feedback with this... I'm learning a LOT about pearls!
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  12. #12

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    Talked with negotiator - says these were purchased as freshwater... so that means the natural black comment was a lie from the vendor... maybe they meant more natural in color? but they did say no dye... Oh this mess is confusing...

  13. #13
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Wow! You did yourself proud with the last set of photos, especially since your counter-top probably has a very smooth, reflective surface!

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjledford
    maybe they meant more natural in color? but they did say no dye...
    Rest assured, there is nothing natural or black about freshwater pearls.

  15. #15
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Amanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjledford View Post
    yeah - but the bad thing is he had a negotiator working for him as a corporate recomendation... this guy negotiatied deals for my husbands boss before... *he* should know better.....
    I'm probably being thick, but where does the negotiator come into the picture? Is he a local supposed pearl expert, or something?

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