One or two fabulous piece or many lesser pieces?

Sea Urchin

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2012
I know we talk about this now and then but I was just wondering if I'd *really* have done it differently, if I'd known I'd get bitten by the pearl bug and end up with lots and lots of pearly pieces. Especially since many of my earlier pieces have gone on to ebay or Goodwill through the past few years.

Wow, with the smaller amounts of money I've spent here and there on pearls over time, I could have had a couple of real jaw-droppers that were fit for a queen instead.

But, I'd have to say my answer is "no," definitely not. It's not just the one item, it's the fun of getting and wearing new stuff and having lots to choose from.

I think, to me, it is a little more like going out to dinner. I would much rather get to eat out once a week, even if it was only at a pizza parlor, than get to go to a fabulous five star restaurant but only once a year.

For the most part, I have come to think of my stuff as disposable or temporary anyway. I have very few things of any kind that I've had for many years. I'd say over 95% changes each decade, whether it wears out, goes out of style, my tastes, interests and needs change or whatever.

What say you? Save up for the grand prize or many smaller items along the way?
I try to spend a bit more on nicer pieces. Every time I buy an inexpensive piece I find I never wear it as much as the more expensive pieces.

But I definitely get what you're saying about more less expensive pieces.

At the moment, I have an embarrassment of too much from both my own purchases and my Mom's, and I'm really not complaining.
I find that with every new hobby or passion, I go through a learning curve that takes at least 2-3 years. My earliest purchases are often mistakes, but I learn more with each item (I never spend much in the early phase). I also work to "acquire an eye", meaning that more and more, I can recognize both quality and rarity. I acquire this over time by immersing myself in the field, with things like joining collectors' groups; talking with experts at every opportunity; and pouring over online resources like Pearl-Guide and the CPAA course.

Each field must present beauty that I can truly love. American Brilliant Cut Glass is one much loved field; great classical music has been with me my entire life; and my newest is pearls. Thank you for helping me learn!
Linda, that's a great assessment ... the Learning Curve! I'm borrowing that phrase next time (IF) hubby dares suggest I have too many pearls :). I took up knitting again over a year ago, and was buying yarn everywhere. Last festival, I got out with only 1 yarn, and when looking thru the yarn cabinet at home, wondered just why I had to have a few of those ???
I definitely choose quality over quantity. But I also choose circled or baroque Tahitians over perfect rounds, so price is relative. In the end, I prefer to buy the best quality I can, rather than regret it later.
I definitely choose quality over quantity. But I also choose circled or baroque Tahitians over perfect rounds, so price is relative. In the end, I prefer to buy the best quality I can, rather than regret it later.

Ditto! I don't like the idea of jewellery pieces sitting neglected, unloved and unworn so I would prefer to limit my collection to just a few, high quality, spectacular pieces that make me happy! Like SunSeeker, I LOVE circled Ts so this doesn't necessarily equate to the most expensive pieces.

I also relate to Linda's post - with every new piece I learn more about my pearly preferences and sharpen my eye for colour and quality. But I happily repurpose and gift pieces to family and friends so it's worked out so far!
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Oh, yes to the learning curve.

I'm still kicking myself that when I got my ears pierced in 1980, that I bought the cheapest pearl studs instead of the most expensive ones. It was a case of $89 vs. $150, if I remember correctly. I never wear those studs. If I had bought the nicer pair, I think I'd still be wearing them.
I think quality all the way but I am often living within tight budget so I buy a cheaper diamond pair of earrings & then another small one trying to satisfy myself..then I look back & have a few pairs of smaller diamonds but if I had waited I would have gotten one large pair of diamonds & been happy. So I ended up selling alot of that sort of thing but I still do it with pearls. Buy a cheap pair & another trying to find a nice pair & I have a few similar pairs but nothing heart pounding. Unfortunately for me I have very high quality taste so I am not easy to please.

In the end I;d rather have fewer high quality pieces than lots of average...
Bumping up this thread, maybe there will be other contributors.

For me, it's quality. I prefer limited but ohh-la-laaa options, it makes decision-making at 7am for accessories a lot easier. :p

I am new to pearls, but not so much on other jewelry. And well, for most purchases, from my phone to my jewelry, I am a one-and-done person. Once I have a target, I save like crazy, become manic with research, and once I find what I think is the best item and a good opportunity like a sale comes along, I'd pull the trigger. Then I will forget about buying something similar since I already have what I think is the best at the time.

Examples with pearls. I started with Jewelmer gssps. Hard to follow up that purchase, so I guess no gold pearls for me in the long run. Ok, maybe until the time I luckily win the lottery and will be able to afford their awesome, awesome deep golden opera strand. :p

I was in the market for white pearl studs though. I have been studying them for the longest time, weaving in and out of the B&M shops here. Recently bought my 12.5 mm AU ssp at the Singapore jewelry fair, to be made into stud using 18k rose gold. With some mad woman haggling, I got them at 60% off at the fair (score!!!). Now I'm happy and done with my studs search. :D

I had an 9.0-9.5 Hanadama strand + earrings on my sights, but the shop owners introduced the Tenyo grade strand, so I put my purchase on hold to research a bit more on this, and well, save up. I have a funny feeling I will get one eventually, just not sure what size or length just yet. Unless... a white ssp strand decides to show up with the right price. We'll see... ;)
I don't see it as either-or. I have some wonderful pieces but I also enjoy the lesser ones. I do like having variety.
I overspent on too many inexpensive pieces in the beginning that now all look the same. It also took me a bit to find my style. In hindsight I’d prefer one great example of each style of item. I have a bunch of things I really don’t wear.
I go for what I like and will wear. I have a range, and more often wear pieces that aren’t on the most expensive end of my range because they are fun and I like the look or the style. I enjoy variety!
Very timely post for me as well. The learning curve has been fun! I have just purchased a baroque Tahitian pendant and earrings, which I love, and am looking at several different types of earrings to "try out" other types of pearls. My dream pearls are GSSPs but I don't know if they will be attainable. However, the search is certainly entertaining!
At first I bought all sorts of different pearls, qualities and designs. But I found out that 1) I use very few pieces, 2) I don't wear FW (don't know why), 3) if I have one pair of e.g. Tahitian earrings, I never wear a second pair.

It has made it easier for me but not necessarily less expensive. I know I wouldn't wear a second Tahitian strand (the one I have is Kamoka so hard to beat) but I do want 'one of each' of the salt water pearls. The compromise, I have made, is to go for the offers - GSSP that are not round but look round and have gold as overtone contrary to the more amazing strands in here, baroque akoya, and now drop shaped WSSP. Almost done now as top quality is out of my range and I don't feel pooling them all to a single purchase would have made me more happy. It is very much a 'collector's syndrome' as I don't wear many of them at the moment but I feel I will in time.

On the other hand, I do feel I wasted money early on types of pearls that ended up not appealing to me but it didn't take me too long to tune into my style. Which is full strand, 16'', with a few at 18'' for layering. Layering includes a Tahitian on leather and a couple of cotton threads with Tahiti dangles. I did just wear my GSSP from last year's PP sale for a couple of days and it made me happy to be able to pull them out and not just gaze at website. So I compromise somewhat on prize/quality but on the right side of $1000 and it is that or no pearls to me.

- Karin
So interesting to read all your stories ladies! I will chime in))

When I get some new bug, my first purchase is something with "wow" effect for most people without that bug and dead solid classic for those who are with that bug already. So my first conscious purchase of pearls was a strand of 11-15mm Tahitians. My first louboutins were black patent pigalle plato. I cannot remember my first watch (and, unfortunately, all my collection got destroyed in transit some time ago), but it was also something from that area. And still eventually I find myself not wearing the first purchase as much as it should be worn, even though I still like them all.

From that initial purchase I get the feel of that type of product, I see how people react to it, and from there on I can start buying more stuff because I already know how it will weave into my style. So most of my subsequent purchases are cheaper and/or more daring than my first one, and they show more of my own style and taste. I mostly like things that stand out and different, but I've only learnt to make sure that my style is actually good and style by going through the classics first.

And then the last stage is when I start altering classic designs and doing them my style because I know it will be right. Of course that stage is not possible with all type of products, but with pearls it's working just fine :) I did go a bit wild here though, but never mind :D :D
I have to confess that I can’t stop buying. It’s an addiction... there. Not gonna say how many or what I have... ������