Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Default Newbie needing help buying pearls for the lady!

    Hey everyone!

    First off, some background:
    So I have been here in Japan for almost 6 months now, and having not seen my girlfriend for so long, I wanted to get her something special. I was looking for jewelry with a bit of a Japanese twist, and someone recommended Mikimoto to me. I know I'm aiming kind of high (still in college, but currently working), but honestly a gift from Mikimoto is pretty much what I have been searching for (something that can be worn daily/special occasions with a rich Japanese tradition). And while I am here in Japan, I can go to the flagship store and get her something myself.

    So to my knowledge, my girlfriend has never worn pearls before, but I think she would be absolutely stunning in them. I think it would be really nice to take her out on a nice date and seeing her in a radiant pair of pearl earrings.

    And so what I have been looking at recently are a pair of Mikimoto Akoya stud earrings. Outside of that, I honestly have no idea what I am doing.

    She is fairly young (20), mixed-Hispanic with olive skin, and perhaps average in ear-size (I honestly don't know how to tell). I would like to get her a pair of earrings that she can wear every now and then for daily purposes, but also somewhat stand out (for other occasions).

    My questions are:
    1. What is an appropriate size and grade? Is there a drastic difference between say A, A+ and AA? I am currently looking at 7mm AA from Mikimoto ($630).
    2. Should I be looking at other colors? Could the rose overtones go completely wrong? I am planning on going to the store and taking a look at the pearls myself, but what are your recommendations color-wise? She remains tan throughout the year (olive with a hint of yellow) and has dark brown hair.
    3. Am I going in the right direction? Is this a bad idea? I know a ton of other sites sell pearls at a much more reasonable price, but I like the cultural aspect of buying from Mikimoto (knowing that they came from right here in Japan) and having such a reputation doesn't hurt either What are your thoughts?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    10,582

    Default

    mhoang,

    Welcome, I think you are choosing a lovely gift your girlfriend will treasure!

    The sales person at the Mikimoto store should be able to show you the difference in luster in the earring grades. AA is a good choice. I assume you have been reading here and realize you can purchase high quality Akoya earrings for much less than Mikimoto sells them for, but you seem set on buying the Mikimoto, as respectful of Japanese tradition.

    So just make certain your girl saves the boxs and warranty and all paper work as provenance. Seven (7) mm is a good classic size for earrings. Might be fun to have your photo taken at the store while choosing the earrings!

    I'll let others suggest whether rose overtones would be better than silver. Do let us know the details of your shopping experience and what your special lady feels about her beautiful gift!
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  3. #3
    Baroque Pearl Senior Guide Member imanit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    458

    Default

    http://www.pearlparadise.com/8590-mm...rings3119.aspx

    Hi,
    Personally, I would be reluctant to pay this price for 7mm Akoya pearls. I Mikimoto case, 75% of the price is for the name and box.

    Check the link I attached. Hanadama pearls will have a Japanise made certificate... showing that they are quality and Japanese origin and tradition.
    8.59-9mm might be a bit too big if your GF likes small earrings. Go for 7-7.5mm.... For your ~$600 you will have earrings and pendant....

    ...my humble opinion.
    Ivona

  4. #4

    Smile

    1. 7mm AA Akoya studs from Mikimoto will always be appreciated. Within your budget you may able to get larger pearls from a different vendor. Mikimoto is very much the original, and very japanese. Those pearls have a story to tell.

    2. The Japanese highly value a rose overtone. Americans tend to prefer a lighter silver/rose tone. Pearl-paradise has a comparison photo. There is also a more specialized interest in natural dove grey/blue-grey akoyas and "natural white". IMHO find something that matches the Miki studs.

    3. You may want to check out Tasaki (www.tasaki.co.jp) or Yokota Pearl (www.yokota-pearl.co.jp) as well. Jeweljunke has ordered high dollar pearls from Yokota and was very impressed with them.

    Earrings from Yokota

    http://store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/yo...a4a5e4a54.html

    800,000 JPY Akoya Strand.

    http://store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/yo...akn-gem80.html
    Last edited by Honey_and_Lemon; 08-12-2012 at 07:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Amanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey_and_Lemon View Post
    1. 7mm AA Akoya studs from Mikimoto will always be appreciated. Within your budget you may able to get larger pearls from a different vendor. Mikimoto is very much the original, and very japanese. Those pearls have a story to tell.
    I'd dispute the "always" myself

    I'd be a bit irritated if my dearly beloved (or anyone else) spent ?600 on Mikimoto pearls for me. Because I'd see it as shoving handfuls of bank notes down the nearest drain.

  6. #6
    Member Bacca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    86

    Default

    You're in Japan, you want to buy something with cultural ties to that country and you want to buy it there. That makes sense and I can respect your thinking. If you're comfortable and happy doing that, then it's a good decision for you, regardless of what others would do. Your girlfriend will have a lovely and special gift from a very thoughtful boyfriend.

    I'd say you're spot on with the size and quality you're considering. I wouldn't worry too much about color. Clothing in the wrong color near her face would be less than flattering, but earrings aren't going to have such a big impact. I have dark brown hair and an olive complexion. According to my color analysis, I'm supposed to wear white pearls and white metal. I wear off-white pearls and gold metal all the time and they look fine. Look at different pairs of earrings; you're almost sure to find some you like better than others. Buy the ones you like the best.

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Alex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    482

    Default

    These might help - they're from the PP site

    how about 8.5 and silver-rose ?

    good luck and let us know how you get on - and how they're received
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Alex

  8. #8
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    3,751

    Default

    The examples from online sites will give you a good benchmark for what sort of quality is possible for what price. Armed with that you can shop with more confidence in Japan. I'm sure there are online sellers in Japan - is there anyone you know who could help you look through them.
    Top quality Mikimoto pearls are just about the best available, but you will be paying a huge premium mark up for the brand name. Other sellers will have pearls which are just as top quality. I recommend you track them down

  9. #9
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    near Tucson AZ
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    HI!
    I agree with Wendy- unless you really, really want that brand name. I must admit "Mikimoto Pearls" sounds like one to be extra proud of, unless you don't care about brand names and a great, highest quality Japanese akoya would be a better choice. Very few can afford miki's best, so for the same money you can get a more flawless pearl necklace if you look elsewhere, so the dichotomy is : Brand name with more visible flaws or a AAA quality from another trusted Japanese source.

    If you do research this, I hope you will share with us, because a record of finding a great alternative pearl seller would be excellent to have on this forum. We do have one Japanese seller with whom people have had satisfaction, but his pearls seem quite overpriced compared to what you can get from Pearl Paradise here in California!!!

    Check out the PP prices and qualities, then look for something equivalent instead of someone who elevates the prices to more than one would pay for exported top quality pearls!
    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.

  10. #10

    Default Select Quality over Brand Name!

    I second Wendy.

    I'm obsessed with quality and will never pay a premium just for a box and brand name. However, I would throw every cent into getting a quality item. Why don't you purchase hanadama/gem quality studs for her? I'd suggest white pearls with pink, green and/or blue overtones. Make sure you can see your reflection clearly in the pearl (no fuzzy outlines of your reflection) and purchase the largest size, best quality you can afford.

    Good Luck!
    P.S. For her age, don't go beyond 9mm.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacca View Post
    You're in Japan, you want to buy something with cultural ties to that country and you want to buy it there. That makes sense and I can respect your thinking. If you're comfortable and happy doing that, then it's a good decision for you, regardless of what others would do. Your girlfriend will have a lovely and special gift from a very thoughtful boyfriend.
    I have to agree, a set of Mikimoto pearls from the flagship store in Ginza, is quintessentially Tokyo, almost like the flagship Tiffany on 5th Ave. It's an intangible thing, but IMHO worth it.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thank you to all of you for your help! All the feedback has been incredibly helpful, and I think I have found a more reasonable way to go about this. I found this necklace from the Ginza store called the Blooming Ever, and it is actually at a much more reasonable price than the studs. The girlfriend also seems to prefer necklaces much more than earrings, and I think this piece is right down her alley. With your recommendations, I think I will also buy her a pair of pearl studs elsewhere to go with the necklace, but definitely at a much more reasonable price. Maybe one day when I return to Japan, I can replace those with a pair of Mikimoto studs.

    Anyways, I will definitely keep all of your advice in mind when I visit the store. I feel so much more informed about pearls now, and thats making this decision A LOT easier! Thank you all so much! This is an incredible community!

  13. #13

    Default

    A quick note. Most pearls including (I'm not sure this is true of Mikimoto) Japanese brands are actually cultured in China. The Japanese are great at color, and luster matching after getting them from China.

Similar Threads

  1. Lady O!
    By jshepherd in forum Pearling Industry News
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 06-15-2012, 09:21 PM
  2. Lady Gaga
    By Lagoon Island Pearls in forum Pearl Fashion & Style
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 01-24-2011, 06:43 PM
  3. newbie needs advice on buying CFWP
    By msLondon in forum Freshwater Pearls
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-16-2008, 07:58 PM
  4. Needing help comming up with a value for Cascadia
    By J Marcus in forum Natural Pearls
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-22-2008, 03:02 AM
  5. Needing honesty in search of supplier :)
    By pierrettedE in forum Freshwater Pearls
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-14-2007, 01:27 PM