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AAA or Freshadama / Freshwater Elite etc.

pandaexpress

New member
Sooooooo...as you know been spending ENDLESS time reading everything on this forum - like seriously check out the time I'm typing this. Anyway, I so enjoy it - love the passion all of you have!!!!! I think I am turning into a pearl junkie - he he he...

So I have a specific question for those of you who actually have AAA CFWP AND the Freshadama or Freshwater elite - can you really tell a very discernible difference
a) when you view it from at least an arm's length away - are the AAA that much notably different than a Freshadama / Freshwater Elite strand?
b) On closer inspection are the AAA that much lower in quality (i.e. cleaniness, discernible lack of roundness compared to your Freshadama / Freshwater Elite, less luster - I get that it will have less orient but is that significantly discernible?)

I ask because the price difference on a 8-9mm, 18" AAA CFWP necklace vs. a similar Freshadama is that the Freshadama costs 2.5X more and hey let's be honest - anyone check the stock market or housing market lately?

So big question - for those of you who OWN AAA & Freshdama / Freshwater Elite - do you think a novice person will be able to discern a BIG difference and do you personally feel it is worth 2.5X more money?

Does anyone have any pics to compare AAA vs. these new level of elite pearls side by side? I haven't been able to find any but maybe I missed it.

THANK YOU ALL! Ok I need to get some sleep - talk to you all tomorrow - or I guess later today :)
 

Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
In November I was asking myself the same question-- because I preferred to buy an 8-9mm size strand, but could not afford the 8-9mm Freshadama. It had to be either the 8-9mm AAA or the 7-8mm Freshadamas.

So I asked Jeremy to post side by side photos of the 8-9mm AAA versus Freshadamas. He suggested I email Kirsten (at) PearlParadise.com and request this photo-- and she took the comparison photo and emailed it to me.

The photo showed the two strands side by side and larger than real life, and yes-- there was a marked difference in luster. I bought the 7-8mm.

I figured: I may still buy the 8-9 Freshadama later. If so, I will have 2 top quality strands. Or maybe I'll pass the 7-8mm one down to my daughter then.

One thing to consider: I wonder if Freshadama quality are now being bought by mom and pop stores. Two days ago my husband and I were in another town browsing the shops and galleries and we stopped into a jeweler we'd never visited. I was stunned to see a strand of 7-7.5mm freshwater pearls that were dead ringers for the Freshadamas I was wearing, except that they were more uniform in size-- they lacked the few larger pearls in the center of the strand that PP's have, so they were 7-7.5mm rather than 7-8mm. I laid them side by side and I literally couldn't tell the difference. Luster and overtones matched exactly. Price was $285 in the local shop. They also had 8-9mm that cost the same as PP's strand.


So-- don't rule out your local shops as a source.
 

E Curley

New member
Comparing a AAA Freshwater strand and a Freshadama strand...

1) At arm's length: Is there an overall difference to me? Yes. Is it glaring? Absolutely not. I'd guess that the only other person who'd notice might be my jeweler but I wouldn't dare wear them around him anyway since I didn't buy them from him.

2) On close inspection: The difference (between my strands anyway) lies mostly in discernable roundness, luster, and orient. There are not noticeable blemishes on either strand. I will say that the less round AAA pearls lie near the back of the strand, adjacent to the clasp. Perhaps the people in the church pew behind me notice, but not anyone else.

The differences are there but are subtle enough that I wear both strands together and one outshines the other by a little, but not by a mile. I really, really like my 36" AAA freshwater, but I LOVE my Freshadama. I must admit that this is not entirely quality-related, as the Freshadamas are 8-9mm and the CFW AAA's are 6.5 -7.5mm. And I prefer the coloring of the Freshadamas because I selected Ivory Rose instead of silver rose. The ivory suits my tone better. You've inspired me to take some photos which I will attempt to put up in another post.
 

E Curley

New member
Comparison Photos: 36" 6.5 - 7.5mm AAA Freshwaters and 18" 8-9mm Freshadamas. Both from Pearl Paradise. When viewing photos, please keep in mind that I selected a darker body color on the Freshadamas than many of you might prefer because I feel it better complements my skin tone. Taken indoors in natural light.
 

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Caitlin

New member
I have an 8mm white strand from Jeremy that I use to compare when I go shopping. It is virtually perfect, but does not have much orient-the iridescent sheen you usually see in baroques and keshis. I have 2 strands of freshadamas in lavender and 2-3 in special colors like shades of copper. The lavenders especially have a lot of orient. The coppers are so evenly coloroed and brilliant they look painted.

I saw a large handful of Freshadama strands, in white, that Jeremy brought to the Strack lecture last year at the Gem Show. Strack was impressed. So was a GIA guy my daugther showed one to. My daughter did a brilliant job of describing the orient she saw in that strand in the darkish meeting room to the GIA guy and to me. I couldn't see it until I got it in better light. Then it is WOW! I didn't know round white preals can look like that! Those were truly gem quality pearls, more like the old fashioned natural pearls than any other cultured pearl I have seen. I think they are probably underpriced for what they are.

So, young folks with great eyesight can see a lot more than those of us who wear reading glasses, even with them on.
 
J

jerin

Guest
Sooooooo...as you know been spending ENDLESS time reading everything on this forum - like seriously check out the time I'm typing this. Anyway, I so enjoy it - love the passion all of you have!!!!! I think I am turning into a pearl junkie - he he he...

So I have a specific question for those of you who actually have AAA CFWP AND the Freshadama or Freshwater elite - can you really tell a very discernible difference
a) when you view it from at least an arm's length away - are the AAA that much notably different than a Freshadama / Freshwater Elite strand?
b) On closer inspection are the AAA that much lower in quality (i.e. cleaniness, discernible lack of roundness compared to your Freshadama / Freshwater Elite, less luster - I get that it will have less orient but is that significantly discernible?)

I ask because the price difference on a 8-9mm, 18" AAA CFWP necklace vs. a similar Freshadama is that the Freshadama costs 2.5X more and hey let's be honest - anyone check the stock market or housing market lately?

So big question - for those of you who OWN AAA & Freshdama / Freshwater Elite - do you think a novice person will be able to discern a BIG difference and do you personally feel it is worth 2.5X more money?

Does anyone have any pics to compare AAA vs. these new level of elite pearls side by side? I haven't been able to find any but maybe I missed it.

THANK YOU ALL! Ok I need to get some sleep - talk to you all tomorrow - or I guess later today :)


The biggest differences are:
a) luster
b) shape

Otherwise AAA is very nice too, for a layman it would probably be the luster that she/he can see, many people wouldn?t see much difference - but remember that the Freshadamas often also have visible orient and here we are talking loose grade pearls, in a strand with AAA-grade the pearls are pre-stringed from the very beginning.

And a difference in size of 1 mm makes a great difference in price - but for all others the AAA-grade is fully acceptable even though the pearls are not quite as round as the Freshadamas or Elite or Presidental....
 
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