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Join the "Gift for Mom" Discussion - Tahitian version.

Andrew M

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Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
303
Hi all. It's bad news for my wallet, being here. :D

For those who aren't following in the Akoya section, have been scoping out ahead of time some birthday/Christmas shopping for Mom. I think Dad will be pitching in on something Tahitian, and I've got the other things.

But, we need your help! (Only YOU can prevent decision-lock).

The situation is this -- we had decided on something through PP, but through some unforeseen circumstances that have no real fault or blame, the strand we'd had on hold was sold through the website before we could purchase it. :( - C'est la vie.

The very amazing folks at PP have been generous and offered us a couple of other options. Here is what we are currently considering. I've done my best in Photoshop to color match the glamour shots:

toporbottom.jpg


The top strand, PP has kindly offered to price match to the original strand we'd had on hold. So, monetarily/percentage speaking, it is the better deal. It is also 11.0-11.6mm in size, which I think for my mom's first and very nice strand of Tahitians, she might appreciate a bit more - she's not petite and being in her 50's she'd appreciate some substantial pearls. :) The subject herself is no help on this decision, because she has flip flopped back and forth through our roundabout questioning!

The bottom strand is slightly less in price than our original choice, and is 9.2-9.7mm in size. The colors in it, however, are simply amazing and in the folks at PP who are helping us words, "It is a little bit smaller, but the luster, cleanliness, and color is unbelievably sharp." Our original choice was "gem grade," but PP has assured us that both of these are in the upper-AAA range.

The thought is that if I purchase my mother some Akoyas at some point (which I will), I would get them in the ~9mm range, so bigger Tahitians might be nicer! But... I just can't say I'm entirely in love with the color scheme of the top one... I am concerned, especially in the side by side photos, that the colors might be not as deep? But, maybe I am simply uninformed. Irony being that Mom probably cares the least and will be overjoyed with either, but in stereotypical male fashion, we've got full on paralysis by analysis. :D

Sadly, ordering and paying for both and returning one is not an option at this time. We already have the earrings, 12-13mm studs. Also thought is, with these studs, the smaller strand would look out of place. Thoughts, suggestions, comments, etc. would all be much appreciated.

Help us Pearl-Guide members; you're our only hope. :)
 

Pearl Dreams

Pearl Enthusiast
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Sep 24, 2007
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8,947
I'm 62 and not petite, either. I'd go for the larger strand!

I am posting a photo of 2 Tahitian strands I own that are roughly similar in size to the 2 strands you are considering. This photo shows what a large difference an increase of about 2mm in diameter makes in the size of pearls. (More on that below the photo).Tahitians in 2 sizes, forum size.jpeg

In that size range, a 2mm increase in diameter makes the pearls nearly twice as large! See my explanation here:
Comparative pearl sizes-- how much difference does 1mm larger really make?
 

Marianne

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Nov 1, 2008
Messages
2,308
The second strand is just gorgeous. I have loved wearing my multicolored 9-9.5mm strand for nearly 10 years now. I do not see them as small. They are comfortable and can be worn with any color outfit. Good luck!
 

CBPearllover

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Sep 15, 2018
Messages
77
Both are gorgeous, that's a tough call! She would most likely appreciate either, and you're a good son for investigating this for her :D

I recently put together a ripple pearl necklace for my mom, size of pearls was ~11-13mm on an 18in strand. For HER, it was a great size! I ransacked my mom's jewelry chest before, though, and got a feel for the necklaces/pendants she seems to prefer. In her 60's, she seems to own mostly chuncky, "big bling" in all of her pendants. For me, I'm more of a tomboy and got myself a strand of smaller tahitians (not as nice as the ones you're getting!) in ~8-10.5mm size. For me, I appreciate the luster and color over size, but I don't own/prefer large chuncky jewelry or wear very dressy clothes. I'm a metal shirt with jeans, with a little pearl necklace for flair kind of girl!

Wise women on here have valid arguments both ways. Pearl-shrinkage syndrome becomes a thing, and the larger strand would look stunning! But a smaller strand of high-luster, saturated color would draw everyone's eye. Unfortunately it comes down to preference, can you raid her closet or jewelry box? Is there one you immediately favored for her, for any reason?
 

BWeaves

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May 13, 2015
Messages
6,424
I like my earrings to NOT be the same size as my necklace pearls.

Both necklaces are gorgeous and both have their pros, and no cons. The smaller pearls will be lighter and easier to wear on the neck. Big pearls get heavy. The smaller the Tahitian pearl, the better the color. When it comes to Tahitians, I always go for color and shine rather than size. Both necklaces are a good size.

Here's how I pick when I can't make up my mind. I flip a coin. If the coin lands a certain way, and it's the necklace I really wanted, then that's the necklace I pick. BUT, if the coin lands a certain way, and I'm disappointed in the coin's choice, I choose the opposite necklace. I know it sounds weird, but having the coin choose, really helps ME realize which necklace I really wanted. Anyway, it won't hurt to try that method. If it doesn't work for you, just ignore my advice.
 

Bcm21mk

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Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
215
Since mom seems to be aware of the impending purchase, I suggest you show her the two finalists. Do not involve her with any purchase prices for obvious reasons. Mothers will always choose the lower cost strand. This way your guaranteed to give her the one she will adore. All of us have our preferences regarding size and color, luster etc. Let her be the one to decide the winner.
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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Haha, I'm not sure we made your decision any easier! ;)
I think what it means is that you can't really go wrong, no matter which one you give her.

However here are two more photos, of an 8.0-9.7mm multicolor strand I got for my daughter's 21st birthday, so you can see how it hangs. (A larger strand will fit a bit snugger than a smaller strand of the same length.) Daughter is also not petite. She decided it didn't suit her so I shortened it for my husband, who loves it.
 

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CathyKeshi

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Mar 16, 2014
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4,473
Hi Andrew! Your mom is a lucky lady :) Here are a few random thoughts for you:

Keep in mind Tahitians are changeable pearls; notorious for changing colors in different lighting; difficult to judge from photos, yet a large part of their mystery and charm! Don’t hesitate to ask your helpers at PP to take a couple of casual photos in natural lighting rather than in a light box. Also with someone wearing each strand and both for comparison; that can be incredibly helpful. May not be perfect “model shots” as the strands don’t have clasps yet, but will still help with color and size between the 2. Also maybe take a look at Mom’s clothing closet ... does she mainly choose elegant neutrals such as tans, greys, blacks, white, ivory etc. ? If so, the top necklace of larger pearls may suit her better as it’s a bit more subtle and uniform. Or is her closet a garden of glorious colors? Then maybe the smaller but more intensely colored pearls, which will still have a great visual impact because of their colors and luster.

Both necklaces will be gorgeous, a treasured gift, and I’m sure she’ll love whichever you choose :)!
 

KaySD

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Jun 29, 2014
Messages
692
They are both beautiful strands. For me personally, under 10mm in round, dark pearls would be too small. I actually prefer smooth oval pearls -- the cost is lower than perfect rounds, and an 11mm diameter oval is longer (and therefore looks more substantial) than an 11mm round.


Since you are trying to decide between two strands, rather than trying to compare them in 2 different photos, ask PP to photograph the 2 strands side by side, in both the light box and natural light.
 

Parrot Lady

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Dec 24, 2017
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369
I'm in my 60s, although the tail-end of them. As more pearls have come into my life I've come to feel that anything under 10mm is small, although I agree that smaller Tahitians often have the best color. It appears that both strands have good colors. Tahitian color is enhanced by what you're wearing -- they just sing against come colors and die against others. Like any Mom, I would be thrilled if my daughter bought me either one. Your Mom is lucky to have such a thoughtful a d generous son.
 

ennui

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Oct 15, 2009
Messages
232
Both necklaces are gorgeous and both have their pros, and no cons. The smaller pearls will be lighter and easier to wear on the neck. Big pearls get heavy. The smaller the Tahitian pearl, the better the color. When it comes to Tahitians, I always go for color and shine rather than size. Both necklaces are a good size.

Here's how I pick when I can't make up my mind. I flip a coin. If the coin lands a certain way, and it's the necklace I really wanted, then that's the necklace I pick. BUT, if the coin lands a certain way, and I'm disappointed in the coin's choice, I choose the opposite necklace.

LOL! I've done that coin toss, too. I'll either agree with the coin, or not. :D

Speaking for myself, I would wear the smaller mm strand more often. Whenever I'm making a considered purchase, I ask myself how often I will wear it. However, my lifestyle is very casual, and my Tahitian strand is graduated (8.6 - 11).

ETA, meant to endorse BWeaves comment about weight. If a strand is heavy, I take it off as soon as I get home.
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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Another thing-- if pearls are on the smaller side, I like a shorter necklace-- 17" rather than 18". They look larger when worn closer to the neck.

I've done the coin toss trick, too. :D
 

JerseyPearl

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Apr 25, 2014
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I'm in my 60s, although the tail-end of them. As more pearls have come into my life I've come to feel that anything under 10mm is small, although I agree that smaller Tahitians often have the best color. It appears that both strands have good colors. Tahitian color is enhanced by what you're wearing -- they just sing against come colors and die against others. Like any Mom, I would be thrilled if my daughter bought me either one. Your Mom is lucky to have such a thoughtful a d generous son.
Ah, pearl shrinkage syndrome does tend to be an affliction that develops with age. But I don't know anything about that....slinks away to hide in a corner with mood lighting and no mirrors.
 

Andrew M

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Oct 18, 2018
Messages
303
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the information.

Mom wears lots of neutral, not bright colors. Still, she may indeed appreciate something more easily worn every day/not fatiguing. She tends to not wear "big bling," but that's not to say that the pearls are ridiculously large. Still, she has said in the past regarding any jewelry, "as long as I don't look like Wilma Flintstone!" which pushes me a little more towards the smaller strand, and I remind myself that it's smallER, not small! Plus, if we go with the 9.5~ strand, we can still have extra budget left over for, what else? -- more pearls! :)
 

CathyKeshi

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Mar 16, 2014
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I think you have your own answer Andrew! And that slightly smaller strand will look stunning against a backdrop of neutrals!
 

linda.wald

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Aug 13, 2016
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I've done the 'flip a coin' decision making, too! It really does help to clarify vague feelings.

As my personal preference, I love high luster and color, and would choose them over size.
 

GemGeek

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Sep 20, 2006
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Since you are trying to decide between two strands, rather than trying to compare them in 2 different photos, ask PP to photograph the 2 strands side by side, in both the light box and natural light.

I agree that seeing them side by side in both lights should immediately help with the decision. :)
 
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