please help me choose my new pearls


Dec 5, 2012
Many years ago, my husband gave me a strand of pearls. I loved them and wore them frequently for many years, then kind of forgot about them. I recently rediscovered them and fell in love all over again and have been wearing them daily. Considering how early into our marriage he bought them, my best guess is that they are very average quality freshwater pearls. With my newfound love of pearls, I would like to purchase a beautiful, high quality 18in strand.

Being a complete novice, I originally assumed I wanted Mikimotos. After researching (which kept leading me here lol) I think freshadamas might be a better fit. My budget is $3000 (freshadama price was a pleasant surprise, Mikimoto was not) and they will be worn daily. I also considered hanadamas from pearlparadise but given that they will be worn daily I'm assuming that isn't my best bet. Given these parameters, am I on the right track with freshadamas? I was so set on akoyas but I do want to choose what is most appropriate for how they'll be worn. I just want to be sure that they are absolutely stunning and I have do have a daughter so want the quality to be such that I'd be proud to hand them to her one day.

I'm also concerned with color and ordering online. I would like white and my current strand is white with a very subtle pink cast that is very complementary to my cool toned complexion. How does one know if the pearls will be flattering when ordering online?

I really appreciate any recommendations, tips or points in the right direction.:)
Sorry to be all over the place but I'm wondering if I was to quick to rule out haradamas. Are they really not appropriate for longterm daily wear?
I would check first to see if any of the metallic whites are left - they are stunning pearls, with incredible luster.
It sounds as if colour and lustre are more important than shape to you so these would fit the bill and leave some over for another strand if they are still on offer (they can be very impercepibly off round)
If you are wearing them every day I would indeed rule out Akoyas. You will always be looking at them to see if they are blinking yet (well, I would anyway)
Thank you so much for your response! Okay, I'm going to try to put haradamas out of my mind. I can't find much info on PP about the metallics but I've read wonderful things about them here. Do they come in grades and are they available with pink undertones? I suppose at this point I need to just call PP but I am interested in consumer opinions as well. I have to admit I'm a little afraid of the shape being off but the shape of my own strand has never bothered me- actually never noticed and I feel certain they're freshwater.
I checked the sale page for the metallic whites and only the 7.0-8.0mm ones appear to be in stock based on that, but they are planning to get more in after the new year. If you are going for those, I would hold out for the 8-8.5mm size.

I have photos of the 8-8.5mm white metallic freshwaters and my 7-8mm Freshadamas with silver-ros? overtones if they will help you see the colors and luster:

• metallic whites outdoors on overcast day:

• silver-ros? Freshadamas 7-8mm:

• And here they are next to each other (indoors, natural light , near open door):

Here is a thread where GemGeek shows us her natural white Hanadamas:

Here is an idea-- why not get Freshadamas and regular (pinked) Hanadamas? The Freshadamas to wear daily and the Hanadamas to wear on special days. (Yes, I am enabling you. :) )

The white metallics are more metallic and lustrous than the Freshadamas, but less nearly round.
The Hanadamas are extremely lustrous and round but probably not suited to everyday wear.
The metallic whites I got had green undertones (I love them but you are looking for rosier undertones; you may be able to get these, depending on what Jeremy is able to find to sell.)
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Hi and welcome,

Akoyas are a comodity to be compared with a car in my oppinion :) A car is never an investment but something to be worn down and replaced. I have a lovely strand of golden akoyas that sat in a bag in a safe of a pearling family for 30 years. This means that the layer of nacre is thicker than normal because the pearls used to be left longer in the oysters but even so I resently noticed that a piece had cracked off at one of the holes. I've had this strand for two years. No one else will notice and I paid less than $400 for it so I can live with it.

- Karin
Wow thank you so so much for the information!! The pictures were just what I needed and believe me I have been searching. My husband is quite happy I've opted against Mikis lol. These would be a Christmas present so I think I'm just going to tell my husband my preferences and steer him towards calling PP and making the final decision with them.

As far as akoyas for special occasions- I'm a bit weird. I generally prefer not to wear pearls for formal/dressy events. Love them on others but I just love the unexpected combo of jeans and pearls and usually stick to diamonds if I'm dressing up. So it seems akoyas aren't worth the investment for my lifestyle.

Again thanks so much for helping me make a decision that I'll feel happy with.
Sounds like you know what you like!

Now I'm going to make a case for non-white pearls....the pearls I wear the most are my naturally colored freshwaters-- the multicolor strands as well as the single-color ones. I find they go with practically everything! I usually dress casually anyway but the round multicolored freshwaters and the drop shaped metallic pink-peach-gold freshwaters look fantastic even if I dress up a bit.

look at these:
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Don't worry about something being described as off round in this context - it doesn't mean wildly baroque or weird, just a bit off perfect when rolled on a table. In wear you would never be able to see - and they are a real and natural thing
Akoyas are round round because there is a thin layer of nacre over a large perfectly round bead. So they come out like sausages from a sausage making machine.
Wendy, I disagree that you would not be able to see that they are off metallic whites got called "potato pearls" by a store owner last week. Of course, she was wrong-- potato pearls are really more off-round-- but my point is, I was wearing them, and she did see they were off round.

I, however, do not care about their slight off-roundness. They look fabulous! :) (And I left that woman's store with no intention of ever returning.)

On the other hand, at Nordstrom last week, the jewelry manager thought I was wearing akoyas...and they were next to his Mikimotos where he was comparing their luster. He was shocked when I told him they were freshwaters. He was dazzled by the luster, of course! :)
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Hi Paradis, where are you located?

Hi Wendy, you must've gotten tired of asking this question, eh? ;-)

i think this is the first time you've ever mentioned pearls and sausages in the same sentence, though!!!!
Welcome, Paradis,

Just want to say that I agree with the others recommending freshwaters for daily wear; the white metallic strands have amazing overtones and seem to glow from within! (I have one of the smaller size strands, as yet unstrung.) We look forward to seeing what you receive!
A person who can see that pearls which are very nearly round aren't perfectly round while they are being worn has both very good eyesight and big perl knowledge - although I agree, near round is not potato - bet mrs store's pearls weren't half so lustrous
Are you taking over the job of 'where are you' enquirer Lisa?
I'll try to make more sentences with pearls and odd things though...
My thought is order both the metallic whites and the freshadamas and send one back. And hanadama earrings, a size up from the strand pearls. I think it's a bit more interesting than strict matchy-matchy but still goes together, and then you get to have both. :cool: Oh, except that the earrings might cost more than the necklace. :(
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Well my current strand I'm sure is freshwater and guessing not great quality and I've never even noticed that they aren't perfectly round so it shouldn't be a problem. My only concern is I saw a few pics (can't remember if it was here or pricescope) and the irregularities in the pearls were obvious by them not lining up and hanging evenly. They were the metallic and I think she was going to exchange them.

Lisa I'm in FL.

Pearl Dreams I'm off to check out your album and thanks to everyone- nothing like a unanimous opinion to make you feel confident in your decision.
Are you taking over the job of 'where are you' enquirer Lisa?
I'll try to make more sentences with pearls and odd things though...

Ha, nope! I don't have the patter down, and can't remember what you say next! (Embarrassed. Eyes downcast...)
I just thought to see if you were awake, I'll look fwd to your future Pearl and ??????? comparisons.

hi Paradis, since you're in the USA you can use any of the US based vendors on PG without Customs, or VAT and whatever other surcharges cross-border commerce entails. Wendy usually asks the question in case any Brits, or EU or others nearby care to shop closer to home, and save. It helps online shoppers. ;-)

I really was trying to see if she was awake...
Anyway, welcome paradis!
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