Lake Biwa Pearls

I haven't received mine yet either but I agree that they look great with an enhancer! Very pretty.
I'm back-- thanks for all the compliments!

You know I didn't even measure them (so eager to get them on my neck!) I'll do that now:

Oh my! 18 1/2 inches with the clasp!

I thought they hung a bit low for 17 1/2 inches....
I purchased a white strand and a "lavender" strand. The white one is lovely but I am disappointed with what was supposed to be "lavender". Mine is a dull gray. I was hoping for a strand that looks like the one in the picture.


Try it with a silver pendant/enhancer and see if you like it better.

Seriously, I 'm about 50% gray now, and I wouldn't have selected gray pearls-- who needs to look more gray, right? But these look great on me. Go figure.

Meanwhile, I would advise Terry to modify his description to indicate silver/gray as the color.
I ordered the first day it was on sale and have not received mine yet. You, East Coasters, got them already; and I am in CST zone. :confused:

I ordered white and lavender. And was hoping for lavender :(
Ok, Terry,

What is the scoop on the color of the Biwa pearls? Were there some strands more lavender? Did you over photoshop to get the color? Seems like some of us at least, agree that the photo was very different in tone than what we received, although we are over all very pleased with the pearls.

Same question here on color.

I love the orient mine display but they are definitely more silver than lavender in color.
I purchased a white strand and a "lavender" strand. The white one is lovely but I am disappointed with what was supposed to be "lavender". Mine is a dull gray. I was hoping for a strand that looks like the one in the picture.


Hi Gail -

Have you gotten a chance to see your strand in different light? Mine does look grey or silver but it really picks up some amazing orient depending on the light and take on colors around them in interesting ways.
And for the record, I didn't photoshop at taken in front of a south-facing window on a cloudy day-- so, indirect diffuse daylight.
Hi Pearl_dreams and Heidi,

Thanks for your replies. Tomorrow I will look at the strand again and see if I feel differently about it. I hope I do because I don't have a silver pendent! ;) I could send them back..... but between the shipping cost (from NYC) and that 12% restocking charge :mad: (which I think is not right under the circumstances), it's not worth it.

If you truly dislike it even after looking at it again tomorrow, I would be surprised if Terry didn't waive the fee since the color isn't really as pictured or described. Maybe he could even reimburse your return shipping (I would.)

On the other hand, this is a perfect excuse to shop for a nice pendant! *hee hee*
I actually took a photo earlier of the pendant on a single strand-- I liked it better with the 2 strands, but here is the single strand photo for what it's worth:


  • Biwa single strand with mabe pendant.jpg
    Biwa single strand with mabe pendant.jpg
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... They come from a long-time source of mine that I trust. Their family was in the business back when Lake Biwa was producing. These are from a very old lot and they've guaranteed they are indeed Biwa pearls and have the paperwork to prove it as well....

Terry-- Does the paperwork specify natural color as well? I'm wondering because the certificate I received doesn't specify these are natural color.

I've been reading the section on Biwa pearls in Strack's book, Pearls, and I see that gray colors could be either natural or artificial in Biwa pearls.

She says that:

"The colours range from white, cream, silver white and grey to light pink, pinkish violet, violet, red, yellow, orange, gold, brown and to bluish and greenish hues." (page 416, bolding mine)

but also that:

"Pearls from Lake Biwa were only in exceptional cases dyed artificially. The process used metal oxides, which gave either a bronze, brown or black colour. Gamma rays were used to produce grey colours." (p. 417, bolding mine).

There is a photo of gray pearls that she thinks were irradiated, on page 411.

(I realize these are listed as lavender but several of us think they look silvery gray.)

So-- my question is: do you know for sure the color is natural?
If so, it would be nice if our certificates said so....
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I think my biwa's are chameleons! They were sliver gray when I put them on in daylight, but when I took them off at night under my regular lamp they were a lovely silvery lavender! This morning when I looked at them again in daylight they were back to gray! The picture below is in daylight, I didn't take one under the lamp light.

Pearl_dreams, your mabe pendant is totally RAD!!! So creative to include the surrounding flat area as a design element. Something about the shape and design reminds me of that solid gold face mask from antiquity of Alexander the Great. Beyond cool!

I agree, it looks best with two Biwa strands and (my two cents), I like the Biwas best *with* the pendant.

Those Biwas definitely are chameleons. Pearlkrazy's singleton strand looks positively sweet and delicate--bold in its delicacy, if that makes any sense!

I never would have thought to combine Biwas with a pendant.

What a great forum!!! It's hard to save forra pearl goal. Too many temptations to derail one.

***FIGHTING*** the urge to buy a Biwa strand,
Thanks, CarolK!

I wore them today with the pendant when I visited one of my old favorite shops today, a place that sells everything from handcrafted jewelry, to china and linen antiques, to Inuit art to Navajo-made turquoise jewelry. I asked the seller what color my pearls were-- she immediately said, "Gray!" But she did comment on their luster and how they reflect other colors, so the color isn't a flat gray at all.

I've looked at mine in all kinds of lighting and they don't look anything but gray to my eyes, but it's a nice change from my other pearls.
Silver or lavender, for me the pearls speak a bit about history. It seems an honor to have the opportunity to get them. They look lovely and thanks for sharing the pictures!
......... for me the pearls speak a bit about history

I agree totally and that was why I bought them (white & "lavender"). However, a major concern that is frequently discussed on this forum is the inaccurate way pearls are described by online companies. The pearls should have been advertised as gray/silver.
Pearl_dreams raised an important question in post # 72 as to why "natural color" was not specified on the certificate as it was in the email we received. Thanks for noticing this.

I hope Terry responds to the issues we've raised.

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It is a nightmare trying to describe colours peach is your apricot, shades of red, blues....even shades of peacock blacks. And photos don't really help because what leaves my monitor may be nothing like what arrives at yours.
There is a system of british standard colours (thousands) used for paints, dyes, etc etc. I think perhaps one is needed for shades of pearls
At present I am trying to communicate to China for example, that a customer of mine wants creamy/ very pale gold/ not white white. This has entailed emails, comparison photos and much back and forth. We are now at the stage of photos of pearls to go to her - but it aint at all easy!
Well I got my white biwas today and I must say they're unlike any other pearls I own in my (small) collection. Pictures will be forthcoming, of course ;) I also purchased a fun new FW pendant that's green in color and it's really very vibrant, large and beautiful.

I thought about getting a lavender strand but all my pearls beside two pendants are white so I figured I'd get something different. They definitely have nice luster to them and I can see a light pink reflect in the light. I hope to be able to capture them on camera!

I don't want to say it's unfortunate that the other biwas were different than what some were expecting or hoped for, but l think it's been said before about how such pearls can look or be perceived as colored different. These pearls are quite unique despite the issues about their color being disputed right? And of course you can always return them if you don't see yourself wearing them or using them at all :)