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Sources for high quality CFWP loose/temporary strands

Nicole

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
48
Hi all, first post!

I've been reading the forum for a few weeks, and I think it's saved me from making some big mistakes. I am trying to find loose strands of CFWP, white, round, 7-8mm, AA+ or AAA quality. There are a few Chinese websites online that I was about to order from, until I read in these forums that they were not at all trustworthy. However, I haven't been able to find any other sources. I can't go to China. And I'm not a jeweler or anything; I just have a few ideas for things that I'd like to create for myself (a rosary for my upcoming wedding, to start with).

Can anyone give me any leads on where to find these? Thanks a bunch!

Nicole
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
Nicole: Try stachurawholesale.com Another good one is Integrity Pearls. Doug is a member of this forum.
 
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Nicole

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
48
Thanks for the leads, knotty. I checked out the Stachura website, but the pearls are not graded in the familiar (A,AA,AAA, etc.) way, so I emailed them and am waiting for a response. Integrity Pearls seems to sell only up to AA quality.

I know that the grading systems are somewhat objective, and online you can't really see what you're buying. But online is my only option, so I have to rely on the traditional grading system as a guide.

I am still anxious to hear if anyone knows of any other sellers of high quality freshwater pearl strands. Thanks

Nicole
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
Nicole: You will not find that Stachura grades their pearls in the AA, AAA etc. way. That in no way diminishes their quality and integrity. Their grading is fair, good, excellent, gemmy, etc. You must translate that into your own terms. They grade shapes as round, rounded, near-round, etc. Talk to Ellie or Mary. E-mail Doug at Integrity and see if he can help with your requirements. Neither firm lists their entire inventory on their websites.

I thought of two more suggestions. Firemountain carries a line called White Lotus. They may have what you are looking for. And Doug with Integrity travels to China every couple of months. If he doesn't have what you want perhaps he would be willing to pick up a specialty strand for you.

Now I'm all out of ideas for you. Sorry.
 
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Aycee

Community member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
25
This weekend we have an Intergem show nearby in Chantilly VA.
I was wondering if this would be an ok place to pick up some strands of pearls.
I'm trying to aquire some different colors, shapes and qualities to learn about them.
Pictures in books like the Strack book are all nice and well but don't compare to holding the actual real thing in your hands and looking at it in close-up.
Any suggestions anyone else could make as to where I could obtain some "learning pearls" would also be very welcome.
Thank you,

Alain
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
Hmmm, interesting. I jumped on their website expecting to see an ad for a bead show but that's not what I found. Yes, by all means go, but leave your wallet at home so you won't be seduced. They're coming back to your area in August and I'm quite sure if something catches your eye now, it'll still be there in August. They're coming to my area in August as well. I might make a trip to see them, too. Good luck!
 

icevic

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
19
I found quite a lot of the strands you are looking for at a local Chinese importer, among the silk dresses, hello kitty keychains, and painted vases typical of such shops. Check if you have one in your area. If you have a local Chinatown, you probably have one.
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,579
I think Jeremy is about the best source for high quality pearls though he doesn't exactly have a full beader's selection!

Does Monsoon (eBay store) sell loose? I think they have some of the most interesting and high quality pearls I have seen. I ordered from them and the large baroque I got was better in real life than in any of the pictures. I haven't been over there for a long time though and have no idea what they are up to.
 

Raisondetre

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
946
They don't typically apart from the odd strand and high end undrilled pearls.

I'm starting to get into them - trying my hardest not to buy the bracelet I like until I can afford to. It looks like it'll match the untreated CFWP too!

Very lovely pieces. They've got nice fat keshi as well. Sigh.
 

Nicole

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
48
Thanks everyone for so many great leads! I will keep you all updated in case anyone else is searching for high quality round FW pearl strands in the future.

I checked out the Monsoon eBay store; they do have some unique pearls. I emailed them, another eBay store called Jewelrywork, and Integrity Pearls. I am waiting to hear back from them.

Stachura has some pretty nice 8-8.5mm rounds. I still want 7-7.5 and with a less flawed surface.

I haven't emailed Jeremy from Pearl Paradise because I didn't know if he'd be willing to sell loose strands. But I agree that his pearls look amazing, even though I haven't seen them in person. I want my first "grown up" pearl necklace to be one of his Freshadama strands.

Thanks Again,

Nicole
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
Caitlin: I took a quick peek at Monsoon. What is that crimp/clasp/finishing treatment they have? I can't identify it and it looks really interesting! Any ideas?
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,579
Hi Knotty
Give me a citation...I can find it.

Here is a link to some large white baroques though. Theyre more than PP's offered price even taking into account the larger size. However, I would buy these if I hadn't a just got PP's.

So we did very well with our mother's day pearls!
 
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Nicole

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
48
Update on my search for high quality strands:

Integrity Pearls never responded to my email. Maybe I was accidentally spam-blocked.

Monsoon (the eBay seller) wanted $275 per strand, which seemed too expensive (maybe I'm wrong about this?)

I finally ordered from eBay seller Jewelrywork. They are located in China, so I am waiting with my fingers crossed.

This whole experience has been really frustrating. I didn't think that I was looking for something so obscure. I hope that some sellers see this and realize that there is a place in the market that needs to be filled.

There are so many Chinese sellers both on eBay and with their own websites selling freshwater pearls of different grades, but everything I have read on this forum has suggested that one should not buy online from these sellers because the merchandise will not be as it was represented. I can't go to China myself, and I'm sure that there are other people out there who would appreciate knowing a good trustworthy source for loose strands of higher grade CFWP.

I hope that readers of this forum continue to post their suggestions as they think of other possible sellers.

Wondering if I shouldn't post this to the Lowly Beaders Club Forum...

Nicole
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,579
Try Pearl Emporium on eBay. Some OK strands, but lots to choose from.

Did you got to Integrity pearl's site? They have some high quality strands in smaller sizes.
 
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jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,659
May I also suggest emailing sellers directly. Not many sellers here, myself included, would offer exactly what you are seeking publicly on this forum. In many cases it could be considered shilling. But all of us sell pearls on hanks. Just drop a line or call direct - and be sure to mention pearl-guide. Any company here will certainly help you out.
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
How many strands are in a hank?
 
S

Sheila

Guest
More like 20-50 strings on a hank, depending on the size of the pearls.

Sheila
 

knotty panda

Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
1,780
20-50?? Whaba! That would be a lot of pearls! I know from beading that I always have to look at the size of the strand to judge what I'm buying. I have seen pearl temporary strands from 15-18". I've also seen gemstone strands as small as 8".
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,579
As a beader I am used to buying hnaks of beads. There will be at least several strands in it depending. For pearls, I once asked Jeremy waht he meant by a hank of pearls and he said "one strand". When they bunch several strands together in the wholosale markets, and put those plastic wraps on the ends, I think it is just for convenience.
 
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