Need input on two pairs of earrings from pearl source and pearl paradise

Beccbecc

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Nov 29, 2023
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Newbie to pearls and would love some input on two sets of studs!

Left: 13mm SSP AAAA Quality. $3778 from the Pearl Source. It’s pretty, but less lustrous in comparison. One of the pearls has a little noticeable dent. “AAAA” is the highest quality available on their website.

Right: 10.0-11.0 mm SSP AAA quality. $3520 from Pearl Paradise. It’s a cooler white. The luster is pretty but the pearl on the right looks noticeably less blue.

I ordered both to compare because PS is less expensive than PP (taking into account the bigger size). The intention is to only keep one, and im super confused right now!

My questions are:
Do you think each of their prices are fair and reflective of the pearl quality and size?
With one being a neutral white, the other cool white, what color is more desirable in the market? Is bluer = better?
Any suggestions on which one to keep? TIA!
 

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I'm curious as to why you bought studs of such vastly different sizes to choose between. What size do you ideally want?

Pearls are all about luster, so I tend to lean toward more lustrous pearls, rather than size. But that's me.

The little dent in the large pearl will probably not be very noticeable when worn, since it is not in front. But if it bothers you, then you have to consider that. That's a lot to pay if you are not 100% happy.

As to the the slight color mismatch in the 10-11 mm pair, you could contact PP and ask if they have a better matched pair. But consider that earring studs are worn with a face in between, so slight differences will not be so noticeable as when they are seen immediately side by side.

I think you should ask yourself which tone-- cool white vs. neutral white-- is more flattering on you, rather than what other people may want. You will be the one wearing them.
 
I got both to try out different sizes and see what a 4k budget could get me. Both sizes looked great. If money is no issue, ideally I’d like both…lol

This might sound strange but i have no preference on the color either. I can see myself owning a variety of pearls later on. I just thought the pearl with more blue overtone looks more lustrous, and wonder if bluer is better.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is if I got what I paid for and is one of them a better value/buy. Diamonds, for example, are transparently priced but im still trying to figure out how pearls are graded and valued. Like both sets are supposedly ”highest graded” pearls on the websites, but they turn out to be pretty different.
 
That is the problem with pearl grading. Unlike diamonds, there is no standard grading in pearls-- every vendor sets their own standards.
This is because pearls have so many different qualities to compare -- it's much more complicated than the 4 Cs of diamonds.

This is also why matching pearls is really quite challenging. The person doing the matching has to take into account size, luster, surface qualities, color, overtones, shape, and more.

However, I will say that the most common scale is A-AAA. Vendors that use A-AAAA are atypical. (The implication is that their AAAA is better than another vendor's AAA, but that is just marketing.)

Ideally an online vendor will define what they mean by a given grade. For example, this page on PP website: https://www.pearlparadise.com/pages/pearl-grading
I would look for such a page on the website of any vendor I was thinking of buying from.

As to bluer vs. more neutral, neither is objectively better-- it is entirely a matter of personal preference.
Pearl are quite addictive! I never thought, when I first began buying pearls, that I would come to own so many different ones.

My best advice to you is to get the best quality you can afford, and use your own eyes to judge that. You don't need a jeweler's loupe to see if a pearl is beautiful. If you don't think it's gorgeous, why keep it? There are so many other ones to buy instead.

I can't tell you if you got what you paid for. Only you can judge that. Your gut will talk to you. Listen to it.
 
May I suggest you consider taking the CPAA Pearls As One course, to learn more about pearls? There is free code. I'll message you with it.
 
I like the pair from PP because the luster is better.

I have several pairs of very high quality studs from PP (Hanadamas), Kamoka, Kojima, Pearls of Joy. NONE of them are an exact match when held right next to each other and viewed from the side (which will never happen when worn). When worn, they are viewed from the front, where they appear better matched, and my head is in between.

However, if you don't like the particular pair you received, return them and ask to see a different pair. They have multiple pairs in their vaults, usually. They'll tell you if they don't.

Also, I tend to side eye vendors who claim AAAA quality. It's like saying 110%. Even Mikimoto only grades their pearls up to AAA.
 
I like the pair from PP because the luster is better.

I have several pairs of very high quality studs from PP (Hanadamas), Kamoka, Kojima, Pearls of Joy. NONE of them are an exact match when held right next to each other and viewed from the side (which will never happen when worn). When worn, they are viewed from the front, where they appear better matched, and my head is in between.

However, if you don't like the particular pair you received, return them and ask to see a different pair. They have multiple pairs in their vaults, usually. They'll tell you if they don't.

Also, I tend to side eye vendors who claim AAAA quality. It's like saying 110%. Even Mikimoto only grades their pearls up to AAA.

Good to know theres usually not an exact match. I just didn't know what to expect and wondered if I got a defective pair😅
 
Pearls are produced by living molluscs, often one per shell. At some time between the pearl farm and your ears a person has sat down with maybe a few hundred pearls of roughly the same size and tried to pick out ones of the same size, with the same surface quality, the same colour and overtones and the same quality of luster.
Believe me it is not an easy job. There are more shades of white than ever you might think possible!
 
I've reread several times, trying to find out what type of pearls they are and if they are the same but if it's there, I've missed it.

If the large ones are South Sea Pearls and the smaller ones are Akoya, there would almost always be a difference in luster. SSP are known for a softer, satiny luster compared to the more shiny Akoyas. From following this forum I have also learned that finding excellent luster is a lot harder with large pearls than with smaller.
 
Welcome to the forum, Beccbecc! For the amount of $$ you will be spending, I would really want to love what I’m getting. I was wondering if you asked each company what they had available, or if you made a website purchase based on a pair that was listed? They might have more in their inventory to show you. Hard to say these days with pearl scarcity and prices, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. For the pairs you are looking at, I would just ask if you are ok with the differences or will they bother you? No pair will be absolutely perfect, perfect, perfect, so it’s a matter of how close of a match it needs to be for you to really love them. Good luck with your purchase! If you decide to keep one, or both, or another, please share your photos!
 
I've reread several times, trying to find out what type of pearls they are and if they are the same but if it's there, I've missed it.

If the large ones are South Sea Pearls and the smaller ones are Akoya, there would almost always be a difference in luster. SSP are known for a softer, satiny luster compared to the more shiny Akoyas. From following this forum I have also learned that finding excellent luster is a lot harder with large pearls than with smaller.
They are both south sea pearls. (sorry I thought it’s implied by posting in this page for SSP. I’ll edit to clarify. Thanks!)
 
I assumed they were SSP due to size. Akoyas do not tend to be larger than 9.5-10mm, because the oyster is smallish.
If you were fortunate enough to find a pair of AAA over-10mm akoya studs, I would expect them to be very, very expensive, because of rarity.
 
Welcome to the forum, Beccbecc! For the amount of $$ you will be spending, I would really want to love what I’m getting. I was wondering if you asked each company what they had available, or if you made a website purchase based on a pair that was listed? They might have more in their inventory to show you. Hard to say these days with pearl scarcity and prices, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. For the pairs you are looking at, I would just ask if you are ok with the differences or will they bother you? No pair will be absolutely perfect, perfect, perfect, so it’s a matter of how close of a match it needs to be for you to really love them. Good luck with your purchase! If you decide to keep one, or both, or another, please share your photos!
These were website purchases.I’ve reached out to the companies for a virtual appointment to see if they have anything else available🤞
The differences bother me, but I admit I’m a bit of a detail freak. Learning this is the norm in this world helps me recalibrate. Thanks for the warm welcome!
 
Oh, that sounds great, Beccbecc! I hope you’re able to find something you love. Also, since you are doing virtual appointments, maybe you can tell them in advance that you are flexible with the size, if you haven’t mentioned that already. They might be able to find a nice pair in a different mm than what you ordered. You know yourself, so you should wait and find a pair that you’re really going to love. I love studs. I have lots of studs. Some that aren’t the best match, but they also were not big $$ so they are perfect to me for everyday/travel wear. You are looking at a more serious pair, so you need to really be happy with them.
 
Newbie to pearls and would love some input on two sets of studs!

Left: 13mm SSP AAAA Quality. $3778 from the Pearl Source. It’s pretty, but less lustrous in comparison. One of the pearls has a little noticeable dent. “AAAA” is the highest quality available on their website.

Right: 10.0-11.0 mm SSP AAA quality. $3520 from Pearl Paradise. It’s a cooler white. The luster is pretty but the pearl on the right looks noticeably less blue.

I ordered both to compare because PS is less expensive than PP (taking into account the bigger size). The intention is to only keep one, and im super confused right now!

My questions are:
Do you think each of their prices are fair and reflective of the pearl quality and size?
With one being a neutral white, the other cool white, what color is more desirable in the market? Is bluer = better?
Any suggestions on which one to keep? TIA!
Pearl Paradise for me. Looks like have a thicker nacre? More lustrous.
 
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