Do pearls absorb moisture?

Why not ask for comparison photos - Pearl Paradise has a great photo studio and can do stills and video.
(pearls absorb more than water. They soak up perfumes. We still remember with horror a necklace which came back for re-stringing and reeked of a particularly pungent scent)
Have a think about what your pearl priority is - size, metal of clasp, can you live with a few surface flaws? What about colour matching? And, of course, luster. Contact them with this info and I'm sure they will fine two or three alternatives for you to look at.
And can I suggest you do this after Christmas when we're a bit less hectic?
Great advice!
Sorry for blowing this thread up! And I appreciate all of your responses in advance.

Could the nice fellow from Pearl Paradise chime in on their policy about buying two pairs in order to comparison shop.... and then sending one back? Is that allowed, Jshepard?

Yes, it happens every day. I'd also suggest setting up a virtual appointment to see a few different strands of each compared side by side. You can see subtle differences in color and luster well under the macro lens.

Up close akoya strands.JPG