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  1. #1
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Here is a Blue Lagoon by Miki

    0 bids and a Buy it Now price of $450- Auction ends May-24-06 07:52:52 PDT

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MIKIMOTO-18-DOUB...QQcmdZViewItem
    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.

  2. #2
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Apparently, no one was impressed by a Miki "second" for $450- Maybe some buyers really do have a modicum of brains.......... If you must buy Mystique, at least let it be the Brand with the Name!
    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.

  3. #3
    Lyra
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    ??? Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that Mikimoto pearls are all mystique? Or Just Blue Lagoons?

    Maybe I haven't looked at the all the right places in person but I haven't seen better akoyas than Mikimoto. Plus, I really like their design.

  4. #4
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Lyra
    Spend some time reading here and you will see there are 2 contingents. One is perfectly satisfied with akoyas and Mikimoto is their ideal cultured pearl, bead and all. The other contingent eschews pearl plating as an inferior product preferring the tissue only nucleation which produces a solid, cultured pearl indistinguishable from the original, natural, wild, pearls of old.

    Some prefer the Mystique of the brand name even if the product is inferior and will wear out; some prefer the romance of wearing an actual pearl solid to the core in its integrity, even if it is a little less round than the shape the bead implant gives to the pearl plated akoyas. Make no mistake, your Mikis are just a thin pearl plating over a MoP bead, no matter what brand name Mystique or how much the original purchase price.

    We are all agreed that Mr Mikimoto had a handle on Mystique matched only by the De Beers consortium- and that he chose the pearl plating technique over the tissue-only nucleation which would have produced solid nacre pearls, in order to shorten the growing time in the mollusk and increase the profits.

    Most Mikimotos are not Hanadama quality, in fact even the flagship labeled mikis are often of varying quality and priced accordingly. Blue Lagoon is strictly 2nd rate miki. Mikis are only valuable in resale if they have the clasp, the box, and the certificate. That does not make them good pearls, it makes them good collectors items.

    Sellers on this forum with Hanadama strands have pearls that are better than mikis, though both contingents agree that if worn, both the mikis and the Hanadamas will lose their top quality luster over time. For durability and wearability, there is no bead-nuked akoya comparable to top quality freshwater pearls.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 02-14-2007 at 08:39 PM.
    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.

  5. #5
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Caitlin,

    That's true you are absolutely right.

    Zeide

  6. #6
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Yes. I had a strong bias for natural pearls and therefore, freshwater pearls, before I came here, and a real "pee-you!" <holds nose> attitude about pearls with a bead inside, learned at my mother's knee, but thanks to paying attention to the ZESPA lessons, I found the courage of my convictions.

    That is not to say that faux pearls do not have a place. They always will. Faux pearls are usually glass or plastic covered with pearlized paint, and akoyas are one step up in quality from that.

    Akoya pearls have a very sweet MoP bead obtained by decimating the mussels of the Mississippi river for the last 100 years, sent overseas and cut up and shaped into beads. (I have posted a number of stories of the illegal trade in American mussels shells which is devastating populations of mussels in American rivers, because the legally bought shells are so high priced) Yet, they are simply the only MoP beads the akoyas can tolerate, as bead nucleating is already very traumatic with high death rates. If resin beads worked, they would be used or wood or even other shells, but nothing so far has been an adequate subitute for the unio shells - the freshwater , pearl-producing American pearl mussels.

    Instead of cultivating freshwater mussels, en masse over here, (we used to have more FW pearls in American than anywhere else in the world, and we still have the largest variety of pearl producing mussels) we let a few companies dredge and sell, this now dead, natural resource to akoya pearl producers. The companies reap any natural pearls found and recyle the innards and wash the shells. Tons of mussels leave the Missisppi river basin each year to this day for the MoP and Akoya nuckeating markets.

    The akoya farmer dips the beads in akoya oysters for about ------- days, until a very thin layer is accrued, .25mm is allowable on a 7mm pearl. That is about as thick as a couple of coats of nail polish. Then another bead is implanted and the oyster gets to coat that for its ever shrinking allotment of days. That has to rank somewhere about the level of the caged chickens with their bills cut of for top egg production in using live critters to mass produce a popular item.

    Honest put the entire picture together. as I did in my researches on this very forum. The facts are all here.
    Here is a picture of the unio I want o cultivate in my backyard pond: (I have gotten so I LOVE these critters! They have personality and readable behaviors. They are really cute! This one is potamilus purpurea and makes pearls the color of the inside of the shell! Would not anyone prefer to see pearls grown in this gorgeous natural color by a (relatively) simple small cut and a pice of mantle tissue inserted with no bead? In America. In our rivers, in our ponds, in our drainage ditches? Why do we think the Miki-mos are onto something better than that? We have been brainwashed for 100 years.

    Some of us are waking up.
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    Last edited by Caitlin; 09-07-2006 at 11:13 PM.
    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.

  7. #7
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Nothing like a Sunday AM to reflect on the BIG Picture. And on this forum the BIG picture is the incredible critter-grown jewel, the pearl.

    And on this thread, I have been examining the mikimos phenomena from angles Lyra and so many others, under the mystique of the Miki probably did not think about previous to visiting this forum.

    Besides being the major beneficiaries of the exploitation of a resource that belongs to all Americans by a few private companies, the bead cultured akoya industry in Japan virtually created the necessity of not only a new pearl standard that emphasizes roundness and shininess, it began to bleach, tint, and otherwise process their pearl plated products to make them look more like the brand newly created standards. Now metal vapor depositions, waxing, and other luster enhancing techniques are standard practice. They do improve luster, but they wear off.

    The tinting after the bleaching is supposed to imitate overtone which is lost when the product is bleached. Unfortunately, the product is too thin skinned to exhibit "orient", which even though it is the true benchmark of a real pearl, has rarely, if ever been seen in a pearl plated akoya (and thus was written out of the new standard. Akoyas can not be judged by the ancient pearl standards any more than plastic painted beads can.)
    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.

  8. #8
    Slraep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin Williams

    Honest put the entire picture together. as I did in my researches on this very forum. The facts are all here.
    Here is a picture of the unio I want o cultivate in my backyard pond: (I have gotten so I LOVE these critters! They have personality and readable behaviors. They are really cute! This one is potamilus purpurea and makes pearls the color of the inside of the shell! Would not anyone prefer to see pearls grown in this gorgeous natural color by a (relatively) simple small cut and a pice of mantle tissue inserted with no bead? In America. In our rivers, in our ponds, in our drainage ditches? Why do we think the Miki-mos are onto something better than that? We have been brainwashed for 100 years.

    Some of us are waking up.
    Hi Caitlin,

    That waking up period has been quite a journey for me. The deconstruction of what big business tells me is a valueable pearl, and the reconstruction of what I alone now think is a proper pearl has been a difficult, yet at the same time, wonderous realization.

    And how charming would a necklace be that is made up of native pearls! Unique and different. That mussel pic you've posted has the most beautiful MOP nacre.

    Slraep

  9. #9
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Caitlin,

    Actually, the GIA considers 0.25mm a thick nacre. What you find in your average department and jewelry store has less than that. Until recently, 0.35mm was the "Mikimoto standard" under which they would not market a pearl as Mikimoto brand (those were sold as Blue Lagoon brands). However, the GIA standard lowering coincided with the Mikimoto Endowment of the GIA pearl scholarship and Mikimoto's own lowering of its minimum to the same limit. Also please note that 0.25mm is only equivalent to one layer of fingernail polish not two. And 9 months have somewhat more than 90 days (around 275, as if that made much of a difference).

    Zeide

  10. #10
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Slraep
    Yes, I remember your first posts. But, are you not one of the ones who got a freshadama? Frankly, there is no comparison. Once you have seen the Freshadama compared to a Hanadma.
    Remember the quiz?

    Which oine is which?
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    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.

  11. #11
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Zeide
    Thanks for the corrections.I was waiting for them, rather than break my flow by looking up mere factoids. I tend to be sloppy with details, even as I get the big picture so well. 9 months it is.

    Hmm, I wonder if they could add a hormone and some steroids to hurry it up- 90 days seems to be much better for profits than 9 months!
    Last edited by Caitlin; 08-20-2006 at 04:06 PM.
    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.

  12. #12
    Lyra
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    Dont' know much about mystique and such, but being born in Japan, I was told early on that Mikimoto was the king of pearls. My first gift as a teen was a Mikimoto ring. I still have my mother's first graduated pearl necklace from the late 40's and frankly I can't find anything yet that compares to it. It's very reflective and deep looking. Yes, the color has mellowed with age, but I just have't seen one better in person yet. I've purchaed quite a bit of pearls since then, but I find Mikimoto to be the best in my price range. No doubt there are better pearls out there, but in my price range I have not seen it. I currently own two contemporary Mikimoto pearl necklaces too, but they do not compare with the one from the late 40's. I would love to see a pearl necklace that would take my breath away in person. Pictures don't work because anyone can enhance the pictures.

    I do love pearls.

  13. #13
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi lyra,

    If you think Mikomotos from the 40s are great, try Freshadamas. I inherited my mother in law's graduated Mikimoto strand that she got in 1940 for her graduation and it is in terribly worn condition even though it was a AAA at the time she got it. However my Mikis from 1909 are still gleaming almost as gorgeous as freshadamas. They are akoya beige, though. Thankfully they lack the sickly green tone typical for Ago Bay akoyas since the tissue-only nucleated Miki's of the early 20th century (up to 1920) were not bleached.

    Zeide

  14. #14
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    but being born in Japan, I was told early on that Mikimoto was the king of pearls
    .

    Pictures don't work because anyone can enhance the pictures.
    I do love pearls.

    You were brain washed. Your 1940s and all your other akoyas WILL WEAR OUT.

    Having Grandparents who lived in Bahrain, I was told that only solid nacre pearls were real pearls and that the Japanese ones were fake. My natural Bahraini pearls , some of which are at least 200 years old have shown no signs of wear. They get dirty and I wash them. They sometimes peal a little shred, but guess what! There is MORE nacre underneath and a wash in salt slurry cleans them right up. Real Pearls can be worn for generations and generations.

    My mother-in-law and her mother, had lots of mikis. Ropes of them. Lots of ropes. (They were laughably snotty SF wannabee royal, nouveau riches.) They did not know pearls. Ropes and ropes of them got passed down when they died. They are all worn out! All of them! The women of my hubb?s family wore pearls everyday and lots of them, but they did not know about quality. They bought Mikis and not one strand was wearable without replacement of the ?pearls?. I actually call them ?beads?, because if it were not for some slick politics, and a lack of comepetition, no Japanese bead-nuked pearls would be called a ?pearl?. They are high quality faux pearls, even if their self-created standard says otherwise.

    In the picture above, Jeremy says he took it in natural light with no enhancements. I believe him. You dismiss that picture out of hand? Then,I suggest you order a Freshadama and compare it with your Mikis. It is in a BETTER price range and you can send it back when you are done comparing, if you still think mikis are pearls!

    Be the first in your family to recognize the Chinese have taken over production of Mikis, but the Chinese top quality fw pearls are better than mikis can ever dream of being.

    Welcome to the Pearl Guide Forum. May you actually learn something about pearls more accurate than "MIKi is king".

    Now, if you still think Miki is King, buy some Hanadama from Amanda or Jeremy. These online dealers blow Miki's Mystiquery prices out of the water. And as we KNOW the pearls were mostly bought in the Chinese market before Miki staped them wit their Clasp and Box - you are paying a lot more for the Mystique.
    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.

  15. #15
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Pearl Guide Forum