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  1. #1

    Default Freshwater cultured versus saltwater cultured pearls

    Hi. I'm a newbie with pearls. I generally used regular-cut semi-precious stones. I have a small home-based jewelry business. I'm planning to make some nice pearl stud earrings with 14 kt. gold posts. I have a Quebec tax number so I can purchase wholesale. There are few suppliers in Canada. I want good lustre and a round shape. I need half-drilled pearls of ~8 or more mm in diameter. Grade A would be great.Should I go freshwater or saltwater? I don't want to spend a lot. I won't make any profit. Also, I don't know what sort of duty I'll have to pay when I bring the pearls in. Canada Customs was not very upfront with info when I contacted them. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Also is hypo-cement the best for gluing the pearls to the posts?
    Thank-you

  2. #2
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome
    You probably want AAA if you are planning 14ct as A are low grade.
    You should be able to check the duty and any purchase tax rates with the proper code, which for temp strung and loose pearls is 717101.

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    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome. I would go with freshwater pearls because you can get better quality for the same $$$. AAA will get you very round ones. However, I personally like the button shapes very much and they don't usually make the AAA grade because of their shape, even though the luster can be as excellent. IMO, the slightly flattened shape will allow a larger diameter pearl without sticking out too far or weighing down the earlobe as much as the equivalent round.

    And yes, hypo cement is good. I use something called GS hypo (the brand name is GS), which is often used by the pros.
    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.

  4. #4
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Hi again...I knew I had missed something|! I would not use GS Hypo - it stays flexible. We use clear expoxy and haven't lost an earring yet
    As an aside, made in China studs sometimes use really kack adhesives, I've sometimes been able to twist the pearl off with my fingers!

  5. #5
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Freshwaters don't seem to maintain their luster the way Akoyas do. Depending on your clientele, they may only respond to the name Akoya. Lots to think about.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

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    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Simply adorned's Avatar
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    Hello wnorm,
    I am in Canada, I have had these questions myself in the past. Please see the 2 sites below, near as I can figure and have found, pearls are duty free. However, I have been charged taxes and processing fees.
    Hope this helps,
    Margaret
    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-com...5/ch71-eng.pdf
    http://tradelawyersblog.com/blog/arc...ash=8333e1ccea
    Last edited by Simply adorned; 07-24-2013 at 08:59 PM.

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    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I don't agree about freshwater luster. If you buy lustrous pearls in the first place, they keep their luster. It is rarely as strong a luster as akoyas, but it does last as long - longer under many circumstances, without losing luster. I am restringing my first lavender freshadamas from Jeremy- (when was that, any way? 2005-6, maybe) and they still look like freshadamas. And I have even sweated in them, but I wash them as needed. I just won't let them sit out in the sun all day long, they will lose color under too much sun, but not luster. My metallic white freshwaters have a luster as bright as akoyas, and have not lust a shred of luster either.

    If this boosts your confidence in freshwaters, I am remembering the time I wore a freshwater bracelet of beading quality but great luster, to test out Power Pro beading thread for a year never taking it off. I wore it in the shower, for doing dishes, laundry, gardening, everything, for 24/7 for a year. It came out more lustrous after a year. The photos are somewhere on the forum.

    Start with good luster and you'll keep good luster. Heck, if luster wore off, (under ordinary circumstances) the big time sellers here and like Honora would be in a heap of trouble after a few years. Probably not too many people ever wear freshwaters as intensely as I wore that bracelet, so do not making losing luster a factor in your decision.
    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.

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    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    If this boosts your confidence in freshwaters, I am remembering the time I wore a freshwater bracelet of beading quality but great luster, to test out Power Pro beading thread for a year never taking it off. I wore it in the shower, for doing dishes, laundry, gardening, everything, for 24/7 for a year. It came out more lustrous after a year. The photos are somewhere on the forum.
    I found the thread, Caitlin-- it's "The Silk Challenge" with before-and-after photos of your bracelet. Very convincing!

    Link to that thread: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2336

  9. #9
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Wondering if the idea that "luster of freshwater pearls fades after a few years" isn't a myth promoted by those that sell Akoya. Seems I've heard it now and then over the years. My experience with freshwater pearls, has been that there is no loss of luster with proper care.
    Pattye


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    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    About the only loss of luster I have seen is that every year the newly cultured freshwaters get more lustrous than the year before-and that makes the old ones look less lustrous, (LOL)! I mentioned a white 62" rope in that thread. I still have it and it looks identical. Well, you know I can get cranky- and I would certainly get cranky about it if my freshwaters faded. I would be sure to let people know about it -along with those thin-nacred akoyas, I sometimes mention....
    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 Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    This article says that Maeshori-enhanced luster fades over time:

    http://www.jewellerytechnology.com/e...on_Pearls.html

    Edit: The article does not suggest that freshwaters lose luster faster than (or more than) other Maeshori-treated pearls.

    Personally I have not seen any fading of luster in my freshwater pearls.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 07-25-2013 at 04:26 AM.

  12. #12
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    A few years ago, a lot of freshwaters were over-treated and lost what little luster they had in a short time. These days I don't see so much over-treatment.

  13. #13
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Do freshwaters go through maeshori? I thought that was just in Japan for akoyas....
    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.

  14. #14
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Yes, Caitlin, Jeremy posted this about it:

    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd View Post
    Maeshori has a lot of meanings now. It is a Japanese word that literally means before (mae) treatment (shori). It is a treatment used on all akoya, freshwater and some South Sea. Maeshori treatments vary from factory to factory, but Karin is more or less correct in what it does. It tightens the nacre and pulls moisture out, which will enhance the luster but also make the nacre more brittle. In freshwater, pearls that have been over-treated will turn chalky in short order.

    Maeshori with South Sea pearls is a very common treatment in Japan. It makes the pearls whiter, brighter, and more salable. It isn't a necessary treatment, in my opinion. Joseph Taylor from Atlas does sell his treated, and his pearls are beautiful. Other producers, like Kakuda growing in Indonesia, universally treat their South Sea, but they also disclose the maeshori.

    (link for the above post: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/sh...7304#post77304)

  15. #15

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    Thank-you everyone for your helpful hints. I'm going to look for high quality Freshwater button pearls to make the studs.I'm going to try clear epoxy. What brand is best? Is most epoxy a 2 step glue? Also, I need to find a good trust-worthy wholesale supplier.Any names would be appreciated. Since there supposedly is no duty I can buy from anywhere. Do you suggest buying from the U.S. or the Orient. I really don't know anything about importing pearls. Thank-you again.
    Best wishes

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