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Pearl size for an opera strand

FuzzySocks

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
11
Have 6.5-7 mm opera strands ever felt too small for anyone, even when they're doubled up? As a side note, how noticeable are the asymmetries in Pearl Paradise's AA+ strands? I can't justify paying for freshadama, but I am curious if people can tell the difference right away between AA+ and AAA. If you had to choose, would you rather upgrade the quality from AA+ to AAA or go up in pearl size?
 

Sea Urchin

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,077
I have a few strands that are anywhere from 6-9mm, and 48 inches long, which seems to be my sweet spot length for small pearls. It's long enough to make a nice knot in, which seems to be my standard way of wearing them. I have a (7-8, I think) white 36 inch strand that kind of gets on my nerves because it seems a little too long to wear long, and likes to wrap around one boob, so I look a bit demented. It's also in my opinion a tad short for a knot.

I think 6.5-7.0mm is great for 48 inches but if it was shorter, like 36 inches, to me it would be a little insubstantial when worn doubled and I'd probably want larger pearls.

I have some PP AA+ lavender pearls that are 7-8mm. You have to inspect closely to note any off-roundness. I'm very happy with them. I think even smaller are nicer for a 48 inch strand though, the knot is smaller and of course the itty bitty ones show higher luster.

I also have a 6-7mm or so 48 inch PP white metallic strand that is considerably more off-round than the lavenders. I almost sent it back until I wore it out and by the time I returned home, I was too in love with it to return it. The off-roundness is not at all apparent when wearing them.

And I have some cheaper 48 inch Overstock ropes that are more off-round than my AA+ lavender strand, too. (The pink rope in the photo). They're not noticeably off-round when worn. Not sure if you can tell from the photos but in real life they are considerably more off-round than the PP AA+ strand.

My dyed black Overstock rope is pretty nicely round but 8-9mm. I decided it's too much pearl for me at 48 inches since I spend most of the year in shorts, so I ended up having it shortened.

So, from my point of view, rather than upgrading to AAA or getting larger pearls, I'd keep that size and grade, but increase from opera length to a 48 inch rope.

If you prefer the opera length (which I'm considering 36 inch?), then I'd upgrade the pearl size, preferably to 8 or 9mm.

But of course, just my opinion. Let us see what you get! :)

The doubled small white strand is AAA 7-8mm, 36 inch.
The longer black strand is Overstock (lower grade than PP AA+) 8-9mm, 48 inches.
012 (3).jpg

PP AA+ lavenders and cheaper Overstock pinks, both 7-8mm, 48 inch.
lavender and pink pearls 7-8mm, 48 inch.jpg

PP AA+ lavenders, 7-8mm, up close.
lavender strand 2.jpg

Pink Overstock pearls, two 48 inch strands
pink OS pearls.jpg

Lavender PP 7-8mm AA+ pearls
new haul 1.jpg

Off-round but AAA metallic whites, 6-7mm or so.
wmp[1].jpg
 
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Sanippy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,772
My ropes:

- 50" 5-6mm oval gem grade freshies
- 36" 6-8mm near round Ts
- 35" 7-7.5mm metallic freshies

My observations:
- 5-6mm is definitely not too small! Especially in a longer rope
- I prefer my ropes to be at least 36"
- I take delight in high quality pearls. I would much rather smaller, higher quality pearls than larger, lower quality pearls
- low luster and anything more than light blemishing really bothers me

ETA what we each love about pearls is very personal. For some, size will trump roundness. Others will prefer a smaller, higher quality rounder pearl. The same goes for preference of colour/overtones and tolerance for blemishing.
 
Last edited:

BWeaves

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
6,424
My first pearl necklace that I bought myself was a 32 inch opera length rope of 6.5 mm pearls. I still love them. They are light and easy to wear and easy to double up with my later pearl rope purchases because they don't weigh my neck down.

My splurge on PP 8 mm Hanadamas, 36 inches long felt very heavy in comparison. But my first rope is so light, that it's easy to wear both ropes at the same time.

Every time you go up one mm in pearl size, you almost double the weight of the necklace.

My recommendation? Talk to the people at PP and let them know what's important to you, and have them send you photos of several strands that meet your criteria, OR have them send you photos of strands with different criteria so you can compare them. You could also have them send you two or three strands, and send back the ones you don't like right away, so the cost will be removed from your credit card before your next payment.
 

FuzzySocks

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
11
I have a few strands that are anywhere from 6-9mm, and 48 inches long, which seems to be my sweet spot length for small pearls. It's long enough to make a nice knot in, which seems to be my standard way of wearing them. I have a (7-8, I think) white 36 inch strand that kind of gets on my nerves because it seems a little too long to wear long, and likes to wrap around one boob, so I look a bit demented. It's also in my opinion a tad short for a knot.

I think 6.5-7.0mm is great for 48 inches but if it was shorter, like 36 inches, to me it would be a little insubstantial when worn doubled and I'd probably want larger pearls.

I have some PP AA+ lavender pearls that are 7-8mm. You have to inspect closely to note any off-roundness. I'm very happy with them. I think even smaller are nicer for a 48 inch strand though, the knot is smaller and of course the itty bitty ones show higher luster.

I also have a 6-7mm or so 48 inch PP white metallic strand that is considerably more off-round than the lavenders. I almost sent it back until I wore it out and by the time I returned home, I was too in love with it to return it. The off-roundness is not at all apparent when wearing them.

And I have some cheaper 48 inch Overstock ropes that are more off-round than my AA+ lavender strand, too. (The pink rope in the photo). They're not noticeably off-round when worn. Not sure if you can tell from the photos but in real life they are considerably more off-round than the PP AA+ strand.

My dyed black Overstock rope is pretty nicely round but 8-9mm. I decided it's too much pearl for me at 48 inches since I spend most of the year in shorts, so I ended up having it shortened.

So, from my point of view, rather than upgrading to AAA or getting larger pearls, I'd keep that size and grade, but increase from opera length to a 48 inch rope.

If you prefer the opera length (which I'm considering 36 inch?), then I'd upgrade the pearl size, preferably to 8 or 9mm.

But of course, just my opinion. Let us see what you get! :)

The doubled small white strand is AAA 7-8mm, 36 inch.
The longer black strand is Overstock (lower grade than PP AA+) 8-9mm, 48 inches.
View attachment 49793

PP AA+ lavenders and cheaper Overstock pinks, both 7-8mm, 48 inch.
View attachment 49794

PP AA+ lavenders, 7-8mm, up close.
View attachment 49795

Pink Overstock pearls, two 48 inch strands
View attachment 49796

Lavender PP 7-8mm AA+ pearls
View attachment 49797

Off-round but AAA metallic whites, 6-7mm or so.
View attachment 49798


Those are all gorgeous!! It seems like you have a similar skin tone and hair color to mine, I've got very dark brown hair and deep medium skin that tans. Do you tend to gravitate towards your pink strand or lavender strand?
 

SunSeeker

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
1,559
Sea Urchin, you look lovely in your pinks!

FuzzySocks, I think another thing to remember is that there is no standardization when it comes to pearl grades, so be sure to check Pearl Paradise's grading system to determine if it suits your requirements.

I personally love the smaller pearls in longer ropes. I'm 5'2", and really feel the weight of larger, heavier pearls. My main priority is for high luster. A little bit of blemishing on high luster pearls doesn't concern me much, but a rope of low luster pearls is something I wouldn't reach for.
 

FuzzySocks

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
11
Sea Urchin, you look lovely in your pinks!

FuzzySocks, I think another thing to remember is that there is no standardization when it comes to pearl grades, so be sure to check Pearl Paradise's grading system to determine if it suits your requirements.

I personally love the smaller pearls in longer ropes. I'm 5'2", and really feel the weight of larger, heavier pearls. My main priority is for high luster. A little bit of blemishing on high luster pearls doesn't concern me much, but a rope of low luster pearls is something I wouldn't reach for.

SunSeeker, what's your optimal pearl size and rope length? I'm about the same height.
 

SunSeeker

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
1,559
I like 5.5mm - 6.5mm in about 35" is preference for the ultimate rope :)
 

GemGeek

Pearlista
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,245
Decisions, decisions! Whatever you choose, it will be elegant! I love ropes.
 

Sea Urchin

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,077
Thanks, Fuzzy Socks. I love my AA+ lavenders from PP. As you can see from the close up pic, they are quite round. I had a choice of more pink or more blue lavenders and chose more pink. So to answer your question, I prefer pinky lavender pearls over pink pearls. :)
 
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