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  1. #1
    ransbo2004
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    Default Too good to be true Tahitian?

    I adore baroque south sea pearls, and am ready to buy a strand, but have hit a (maybe big?) bump in the road. After having read through so much of this great site and learned a lot, I have decided that the South Sea pearl is still what I want and in the silver grey tones. Don't hate me, but I did wander e-bay and found the Allure Collection of Tahitian pearls from what I have come to find out is from the dreaded Pearl Society in China. My question is, I am going for a "look" as I can't (yet!) afford several thousand dollars for these pearls. I understand that you do get what you pay for, but when paying on the order of $300-500 dollars for a 17-18 inch baroque strand, does it matter if the pearls come from Tahiti or another location producing a "Tahitian" south sea pearl? I certainly don't what to pay for fakes, and from some of the threads, it sounds like there are some good ones out there. However, it seems that most of the fakes are freshwater pearls being passed for Tahitian rather that simply fake baroque Tahitian pearls?? From these posts, it sounds like the darker Chinese pearls are likely altered for the color - is that true for the pale grey ones as well? Here are a couple of examples from this seller:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

    Is there any way to tell on line if these are too good to be true? Thank you so much for any information!
    Last edited by Admin; 05-20-2006 at 04:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Nope, those are real Tahitians and they are fairly priced. I guess they are not all bad But you can definitely find similar strands in the US for very similar prices:

    http://www.pearlparadise.com/baroque...-necklaces.htm

    http://www.purepearls.com/SearchResu...?CategoryID=39

    http://www.treasureislandpearls.com/...=category&id=8

    http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/index.asp...TS&Category=22

  3. #3
    ransbo2004
    Guest

    Default Thank you for the reply

    Thanks so much for responding so quickly and the web sites. It looks like a nice long afternoon of shopping.

  4. #4
    crystalfly
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    Default Tahitian Pearls at Beijing Pearl Market

    Hi,

    I recently visited a store (Sharon's) at the Pearl Market in Beijing and saw a beautiful Tahitian pearl ring set in white gold (18K) and some pave diamonds. The pearl was about 15mm. We were negotiating price and of course the original price was over-inflated. I got the price down to $2200 USD and I wanted her to go lower. My offer was $1000 USD (I know it's ridiculous, but I was fearing it was not real). I knew she would go lower a little if I budged a little.

    My question is, I know how rare big Tahitian pearls are, particularly 15mm ones, do you think:

    1) it is a real Tahitian pearl (it was a nice jeweler which I guess had sold to the Bush family, and some others - photos everywhere and some letters)?

    2) what would a fair price be if it is a Tahitian and what would a fair price be if it's not??

    Little confused...
    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Well Sharon (Yong Hong) does sell real pearls. I have seen her Tahitians (albeit 5 or more years ago - about the last time I went to Beijing) and she does have nice pieces. She also purchases in lots, which makes a big difference.

    If the pearl is of nice quality (round with good color) you are asking a good price if she purchased the pearl in a lot. If she purchased the pearl by selection she likely paid up to $2000. For a lot price she paid anywhere from $500 - $1200 per pearl. Factors would include when she purchased, how big the lot was, and from whom she purchased. Knowing Sharon I would lean toward the lower $500 figure.

    That being said, the size is also extremely important. When purchasing by lots, a pearl that is 14.95mm is going to cost about half that of a pearl that is 15.05mm. So if the pearl is smaller than 15mm, be sure to point that out.

    So just discussing the pearl, your offer is fair. I would want to know about the setting, however, as it may be quite large and have cost Sharon quite a bit.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 06-07-2006 at 04:57 PM.

  6. #6
    crystalfly
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    Default Thanks

    Jeremy - thanks for your response. I ended up buying the ring... the pearl was 15.1mm in an 18K white gold setting with <1ct pave diamonds. The setting was quite large, i.e. large enough to hold a 15.1mm pearl. I ended up getting the ring for $1500 USD - which was definitely a challenge as they genuinely were reluctant to sell it at that price. The color and quality (AAA - although I understand this is a little judgmental!) of the pearl is lovely.

    I also bought a loose tahitian pearl - 14mm - graded AAA and a lovely color. This pearl was easier to judge in terms of quality as I could see the whole pearl. It was priced at $3000 USD... but of course it was over-inflated. I got it for $700. It was by far the best pearl in quality and color/lustre for it's size.

    So at the end of the day, I ended up walking away with a gorgeous ring AND a loose pearl for $2200 USD. I was quite happy.

    p.s. any thoughts on the prices I ended up paying for each item??

    Again, much thanks in advance.

    Crystalfly

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I would say just a little high yet on the loose pearl, but overall you did a really good job with her if everything is as described.