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Looking to purchase ss golden pearl necklace

est190

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
114
Art:

I understand your reluctance to make a huge purchase like this online. It is nice to be able to see what you're buying and handle it in person before making the purchase--especially when it comes to jewelry. That said, I strongly suggest you consider buying online. When it comes to an item like ss pearls, they not easy to find--even harder to find good quality and value. Although price obviously matters, it's not like a TV where the product is readily available and all that matters is price. When it comes to Pearls, it's been my experience most local jewelers don't know a darn thing about them. Maybe they have a few strands and read the lit provided by Imperial or Mastrolini or one of the established old school vendors, but pearls make up a very small part of their business.

If you're lucky to find a B&M that even carries golden SS's, maybe they have one or two strands in the store (if you're lucky). My wife and I stop in to Tiffany's every couple of months to look around. They have had the same strand of 10-12MM Golden SS sitting in the case for the past year (asking ~$17,000 for it). That's the only one they have in the store--and that's Tiffany's!! Check out Pearl Paradise, Pearl Source, American Pearl etc--they have between 10 and 20 golden SS strands at any time. If you don't like a particular strand for whatever reason (color is too light, too dark, a blemish bothers you etc), you can get a replacement.

In addition, this vendors only deal in pearls. They know their business. Jeremy and I may have had tiny disagreement int the past <wink>, but there are maybe a handful of people on earth that know more about pearls than he does. He not going to risk his reputation by selling you a product that isn't perfect--and if it's not perfect, he's going to make sure you know about it in advance. He's not the only one like that---I have had great experiences with several other vendors in the past as well.

In addition, the reputable sites generally market each strand individually--so that the strand you see in the picture is the strand you're buying. It can be hard to tell color, tone and surface defects from photos, so, if you are uncertain, ask for more pictures in different types of lighting conditions. I have never heard of a vendor that wouldn't take the time out of his or her day to take some pictures of a $6,000 strand of pearls at a customer's request (if they don't do it--or take a year and a day--don't buy from them). They'll even gladly photograph flaws and blemishes on the strand. While they want their pearls to look good in photos, most of the reputable vendors aren't like Burger King that publishes pictures where the whopper in the photo doesn't look like any whopper you've ever seen at one of their stores.

If photos aren't giving you enough comfort, most reputable vendors also have liberal return policies. For example, Pearl Paradise, have 90 day return policy (other companies have 30, 60 and 90 day return policies as well) . You're not really taking a huge risk if you buy a strand and aren't satisfied for some reason. They will take it back--no questions asked (just like Costco or Amazon).

Practically, it's truly in their best interest to make you happy. Online business can only operate if they have their customer's trust. That means no hassles. At a minimum, they know that a person with $6,000 in disposable income to spend on a luxury item like pearls likely has friends they can refer or, if we assume the worst about vendors, that bad vendor also knows that if he tries to stick you with a $6000 strand of pearls, you have the resources to hire a lawyer and make their lives miserable.

I said my peace. :) Looking forward to hearing what happens!!
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Hi Alex,

Again, thank you for great advice. I will continue to do my research both in store and on-line. In store to actually handle and try on pearls (colour test to see if the colour suits and size to make sure that I get the right look -not too big as I find them to look like Wilma Flintsone's necklace, etc). On line to get valuable information and sourcing. Price, qaulity and value is very much part of the equation.

You are right, it will be a once in a life time purchase. I will definately take my time to find them and make sure that the vendor is reputable and knowledgeable with "full cash back return". I am looking for something special but cost is an issue. It needs to be special but still has to be something that I can wear every day.

I'll keep you posted.

Hi again Artpearl

I am not familiar with the alternate grading system that you posted, although at first glance the pearls look fabulous (but perhaps not surprisingly with a price tag to match)

Clearly this will be a 'once in a lifetime' puchase for you, so it must be right (for you)

My advice would be to keep researching, and keep on asking questions

Ultimately, if you decide to purchase on-line, you are likely to come up with a short-list of vendors

At that point you are probably going to start asking those vendors some very specific questions, based on what you want - don't be shy - at which point you should get back some very specific answers, if you don't, beware......

Obviously one of those questions should be do they have a 100% cash returns policy (not exchange)

Then if you are up for it, (can be a bit scary - I know 'cause I have done it with Hanadamas....) and you have the cash-flow to support it, you can have the best of both worlds, e.g on-line prices, pearls to try on, handle, and see in the flesh, and then return if you don't like them, or you find they are not as described. You can do this, one-vendor-at-a-time, as it were

Obviously this is not for everyone, and some folk do prefer the 'safety' of purchasing from a 'bricks and mortar' store - but you are likely to pay a premium for that. Horses for courses really.....

Ultimately, it will be your choice, which is as it should be. But you are obviously looking for some really special (and expensive) pearls - which is GREAT

Take your time, do your homework (as you are doing !!) and then .... well, then comes that deep breath moment, but if you follow the advice here on P-G, and your own heart's desire, I reckon you're going to get those pearls...... :)

Very best of luck with it
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Hello est 190,

I'm slowly gaining confidence in considering a purchase on line. The more I read on this site, the more I'm reassured.


Yes, are absolutely right about retail stores that carry pearls, they have a very limited selection and staff that has a limited knowledge. I aked to see a ssgolden pearl necklace at a high end retail store only to see that it was visably pitted. The saleswoman explained to me that this is how I know that they are real. I didn't even want to try them on, the asking price was a whopping $7,000-yikes. Honestly, I would not have paid more than 500-1000 for them and not sure I would have ever worn them.

I will continue to ask and get information. I will definately start contacting the various sites to see waht they carry and the prices, plus policies.

I'll keep you informed.

Art:

I understand your reluctance to make a huge purchase like this online. It is nice to be able to see what you're buying and handle it in person before making the purchase--especially when it comes to jewelry. That said, I strongly suggest you consider buying online. When it comes to an item like ss pearls, they not easy to find--even harder to find good quality and value. Although price obviously matters, it's not like a TV where the product is readily available and all that matters is price. When it comes to Pearls, it's been my experience most local jewelers don't know a darn thing about them. Maybe they have a few strands and read the lit provided by Imperial or Mastrolini or one of the established old school vendors, but pearls make up a very small part of their business.

If you're lucky to find a B&M that even carries golden SS's, maybe they have one or two strands in the store (if you're lucky). My wife and I stop in to Tiffany's every couple of months to look around. They have had the same strand of 10-12MM Golden SS sitting in the case for the past year (asking ~$17,000 for it). That's the only one they have in the store--and that's Tiffany's!! Check out Pearl Paradise, Pearl Source, American Pearl etc--they have between 10 and 20 golden SS strands at any time. If you don't like a particular strand for whatever reason (color is too light, too dark, a blemish bothers you etc), you can get a replacement.

In addition, this vendors only deal in pearls. They know their business. Jeremy and I may have had tiny disagreement int the past <wink>, but there are maybe a handful of people on earth that know more about pearls than he does. He not going to risk his reputation by selling you a product that isn't perfect--and if it's not perfect, he's going to make sure you know about it in advance. He's not the only one like that---I have had great experiences with several other vendors in the past as well.

In addition, the reputable sites generally market each strand individually--so that the strand you see in the picture is the strand you're buying. It can be hard to tell color, tone and surface defects from photos, so, if you are uncertain, ask for more pictures in different types of lighting conditions. I have never heard of a vendor that wouldn't take the time out of his or her day to take some pictures of a $6,000 strand of pearls at a customer's request (if they don't do it--or take a year and a day--don't buy from them). They'll even gladly photograph flaws and blemishes on the strand. While they want their pearls to look good in photos, most of the reputable vendors aren't like Burger King that publishes pictures where the whopper in the photo doesn't look like any whopper you've ever seen at one of their stores.

If photos aren't giving you enough comfort, most reputable vendors also have liberal return policies. For example, Pearl Paradise, have 90 day return policy (other companies have 30, 60 and 90 day return policies as well) . You're not really taking a huge risk if you buy a strand and aren't satisfied for some reason. They will take it back--no questions asked (just like Costco or Amazon).

Practically, it's truly in their best interest to make you happy. Online business can only operate if they have their customer's trust. That means no hassles. At a minimum, they know that a person with $6,000 in disposable income to spend on a luxury item like pearls likely has friends they can refer or, if we assume the worst about vendors, that bad vendor also knows that if he tries to stick you with a $6000 strand of pearls, you have the resources to hire a lawyer and make their lives miserable.

I said my peace. :) Looking forward to hearing what happens!!
 

pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
3,841
Artpearl
You may be in the UK or commonwealth somewhere since I spot a U in your colour. Can I just point out that you are somewhat protected in any part of Europe as by law a vendor must refund for goods bought online and then returned within 14 days under the Distance Selling Regulations. It isn't voluntary.
 

jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,661
I believe Artpearl mentioned being from Canada, not the UK. Consumers' best protection comes from the credit card companies. If a company does not abide by its own terms of service, the credit card companies refund their money and the vendors' accounts are deducted.
 

est190

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
114
I believe Artpearl mentioned being from Canada, not the UK. Consumers' best protection comes from the credit card companies. If a company does not abide by its own terms of service, the credit card companies refund their money and the vendors' accounts are deducted.

Excellent point. I am not sure what mastercard and visa offer, but American Express has a reputation for being the best card for consumer purchase protection. Every AMEX card provides users with: (1) a 90 day return policy on any purchase they make using the card; (2) automatically extends any warranty for five years or less for up to one year (if it's a 90 day warranty, it doubles to 180, a one year warranty becomes 2 years etc, a two year warranty becomes 3 years, etc.); (3) insurance for purchase theft or loss for 90 days from date of purchase (great for jewelry purchase). I spilled coffee into my 1.5 year old macbook pro earlier this year (that was a bad moment) and, even though I probably shouldn't have been covered (since it was clearly my fault), I put in a claim just for the heck of it and AMEX gave me an $1100 credit towards the repair of my computer or the purchase of a new computer (yay!). I assume they offer the same or a similar program in Canada. Here's a link to their explanation of the program: https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/int/pages/returnprotectiondetails.do?vgnextoid=57ebbc0508bdf210VgnVCM40000037b3ad94RCRD
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Hi Wendy,

Close, I live in Canada, originally from Montreal, now living in Toronto. I do have two sisters living in the UK, so it's good to know for them..or me when I visit.



Artpearl
You may be in the UK or commonwealth somewhere since I spot a U in your colour. Can I just point out that you are somewhat protected in any part of Europe as by law a vendor must refund for goods bought online and then returned within 14 days under the Distance Selling Regulations. It isn't voluntary.
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Great info. Did not know that AmEx had such a good plan. Time to investigate this again.

Excellent point. I am not sure what mastercard and visa offer, but American Express has a reputation for being the best card for consumer purchase protection. Every AMEX card provides users with: (1) a 90 day return policy on any purchase they make using the card; (2) automatically extends any warranty for five years or less for up to one year (if it's a 90 day warranty, it doubles to 180, a one year warranty becomes 2 years etc, a two year warranty becomes 3 years, etc.); (3) insurance for purchase theft or loss for 90 days from date of purchase (great for jewelry purchase). I spilled coffee into my 1.5 year old macbook pro earlier this year (that was a bad moment) and, even though I probably shouldn't have been covered (since it was clearly my fault), I put in a claim just for the heck of it and AMEX gave me an $1100 credit towards the repair of my computer or the purchase of a new computer (yay!). I assume they offer the same or a similar program in Canada. Here's a link to their explanation of the program: https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/int/pages/returnprotectiondetails.do?vgnextoid=57ebbc0508bdf210VgnVCM40000037b3ad94RCRD
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Too bad I did not know about you/company while I was living in California (1 year in LA and 5 years in SF) I would loved to have come to visit you in person. I'll likely come in person on my next visit with my AmEx card :).

I believe Artpearl mentioned being from Canada, not the UK. Consumers' best protection comes from the credit card companies. If a company does not abide by its own terms of service, the credit card companies refund their money and the vendors' accounts are deducted.
 

est190

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
114
Art, I hope you don't mind if I jump in with my own question to the group--since I am on the same search myself. I am trying to decide what tone I should be looking for. My wife has an dark hair, dark eyes and an medium-olive complexion. Should I be looking at champagne or deeper gold tones??? This is a surprise, so I don't really want to involve her in this (if possible). Plus, it wouldn't help anyway. It's not like there are too many places around where we can see them in person and try on lots of strands and pick the one we like best. She likes the really deep gold tones, but she's never tried it on and just because it looks gorgeous in the display case doesn't mean that's the right strand or tone for her. Advice from the peanut gallery would be great!

Second question is for Jeremy. I have been looking around and I really like your selection of golden baroque strands. I called PP today and spoke with Chenai. She sent sent me pictures of the $1290 strand. I like the color of this strand, but I am not sure how I feel about the spotting on the two front pearls. I am not as concerned with blemishes further up the strand. In any case, of the baroque strands you presently have in inventory, which would be your personal favorite? I guess I am looking for some recommendations. I have asked chenai to send me a pictures of two other strands (one of them being the champagne tone). Decisons, decisions.
 

est190

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
114
You're right Alex. I happen to like the strand quite a bit, but I would be reluctant to buy it because I am not sure how my wife would feel about the shape. Obviously I could return if she didn't like it, but I prefer not to have to do that if it can be avoided. What color should I be looking at to go with her olive complexion?
 

Alex

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
475
Not sure about that one Est, maybe Rusty and Bron, or Jeremy could help you ?
 
Last edited:

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113
Great question and please know that I am not an expert. I will share some of my observations based on personal experience- limited for sure.

My sisters and I have all have different colouring, The range is a redhead and with reddish skin tones, dark brown hair and fair skin tones and fair hair with fair skin. It would be a dream come true for us all to go out together and try on the various pearl, colours and all. Back to reality, on one trip my sister (brunette) and I tried on some pearls. She tried on the gold pearls and then the white pearls and without a doubt she looked better in the whlte pearls. I actually looked better with the gold set, but I'm not sure about the tone of gold what would best suit me. So if your wife is a brunette, perhaps a lighter tone would be more flattering. What I'm not sure about is how the pearls will look on olive skin tone. Perhaps folks with retail experience would better guide you on the colour issue. If she really loves the deep goldens and has discounted light golds or whites, I would still offer her what her heart desires.

Art, I hope you don't mind if I jump in with my own question to the group--since I am on the same search myself. I am trying to decide what tone I should be looking for. My wife has an dark hair, dark eyes and an medium-olive complexion. Should I be looking at champagne or deeper gold tones??? This is a surprise, so I don't really want to involve her in this (if possible). Plus, it wouldn't help anyway. It's not like there are too many places around where we can see them in person and try on lots of strands and pick the one we like best. She likes the really deep gold tones, but she's never tried it on and just because it looks gorgeous in the display case doesn't mean that's the right strand or tone for her. Advice from the peanut gallery would be great!

Second question is for Jeremy. I have been looking around and I really like your selection of golden baroque strands. I called PP today and spoke with Chenai. She sent sent me pictures of the $1290 strand. I like the color of this strand, but I am not sure how I feel about the spotting on the two front pearls. I am not as concerned with blemishes further up the strand. In any case, of the baroque strands you presently have in inventory, which would be your personal favorite? I guess I am looking for some recommendations. I have asked chenai to send me a pictures of two other strands (one of them being the champagne tone). Decisons, decisions.
 

Artpearl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
113

jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,661
In response to which is my personal favorite, I would have to go through them when back in the office. But that would be easier to discuss by email.
 
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