Buying pearls in New Delhi

Kathleen Conway

Pearls, passionately
Nov 25, 2006
New to the Forum and grateful for your knowledge, passion & wit!

I'll be in New Delhi in march and hope to find some pearls. Anyone know sellers you would recommend?

My love is for baroques, orient and colours... life begins at 12mm; character trumps perfection.

Also, if any of you are or know online dealers, pls advise. I've looked at links many of you recommend; however pearls I'd like are usually absent from their sites.

Many thanks!

Hi Kathleen,

You will find plenty of Chinese cultured and fake pearls offered as varying types of pearls from local production. High quality cost the same as in the rest of the world and low quality tends to be cheaper. Natural pearls cost more in India than anywhere else in world (except Brunei) but are more available and fine cultured pearls also rather come at a premium than a discount. The best place to shop for pearls in India is Haiderabad but you have to be extremely well educated in pearls to find a bargain. The best place to find exceptional jewelry (with or without pearls) in India is Jaipur. In Jaipur the focus is on design and in Haiderabad on the pearls.

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Hi Zeide and/or Jeremy
My love is for baroques, orient and colours... life begins at 12mm; character trumps perfection.

I SO agree with Kathleen. How can I obtain pearls like this (regularly) without leaving my home? I will even settle for less than perfect skins, if they have at least some orient and colors, dyed or not.
Hi Caitlin,

You know my answer to that: First you dig a pond and then you start culturing your own. Otherwise, it is just a gamble. As long as the current practice of the "faux standard" of pearl pricing prevails, though, we baroque lovers are in luck and have fairly good pickings at great prices from gem shows and even on eBay. Same goes for scenic opals that have not yet been discovered by the mainstram yet. Where you have real problems finding heart-stoppingly-gorgeous baroques is in retail world. I enjoy going there for breakfast, but that's about it.

And I second that! So succinctly and poetically put Kathleen! Thank you!:)
I would save my pearl dollars in New Delhi and purchase something locally produced - there are a lot of great deals to be had there, but not so on pearls (at least I found none). What I saw was a lot of Chinese freshwater and not a lot of quality.

I am strongly considering delving into high-end freshwater baroques in the coming year. We have had a lot of success with South Sea baroques, and a lot of people have been requesting the freshwater, so we are going to make it happen. Here are a couple of pieces that I put together last week (just as samples):
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I was in India last spring and I was shocked at how high pearls prices were. They apparently know the worth of their pearls and don't sell them for less! I was totally unable to buy any there because I coulds not justify the high cost, when I can do better at home.