Pearl Education & tips?

  1. So I think I will go with the pearl bracelet as my anniversary gift this year, and my boyfriend agreed with it as long as they're around $300 CAD. So far I have found a couple of pearl stores online, one of which is based in Canada.

    My main question is, what is the main difference between Akoya pearls and Freshwater pearls? How do the top quality Akoya and top quality freshwater pearls compare (not that I am trying to get topmost quality, just want a comparison). For every day wear, should I get Akoya or freshwater? Does one hold up better than the other?

    I found an Akoya pearls bracelet that's 7.0-7.5mm AA+ grade for about $200-$300 US on a reputable site, is that a decent price?

    Any online stores you know of that sell good quality pearls? (Most of the places where we live have either pearls that are too cheap or too expensive, unless any Canadians here can refer me to a good pearl store within our budget)

    Any other tips in addition to lustre, blemishes, nacre, roundness (the basics, etc) on what to look for in a pearl would be greatly appreciated! :flowers:
     
  2. try pearlparadise.com, or even bluenile.com...can't go too wrong with either of those if buying online.

    You can study and decide for yourself as far as the difference between Akoyas and freshwater pearls just by googling "akoya vs. freshwater pearls." There is a lot of info out there and will be very helpful to you, I just hesitate to copy and paste from websites here.

    When investing in a pearl bracelet or necklace one of the important things you want to consider is symmetry of each pearl, color comparison, and size comparison as far as looking at each pearl within the bracelet or necklace. I.e., you want each pearl to look equal to all the rest as far as size, shape, and color within the same piece. Best of luck to you!
     
  3. Go for Akoya if you can, they hold their value and are generally speaking just a better quality pearl.:tup:
     
  4. I like the bluenile pearls, but unfortunately I live in Canada and there are no pearls on the Canada site.
     
  5. Try www.pearlsonly.com - they have a lot of information regarding pearls on their website :smile:
     
  6. Thank you so much for the links!!

    I went ahead and ordered some pearls for myself from pearlsonly.com to see how the quality/service is before DBF orders the Akoya pearls for me...they are scheduled to arrive tomorrow!
     
  7. americanpearl.com is a great site as well and they have a LOT of information that could help you. I think another member here bought from them, I'm not entirely sure they ship to Canada though! But I found the site very helpful. ;)
     
  8. Be sure to post pics! :smile:
     
  9. I find that you HAVE to buy pearls in person as they differ in size, luster, and you want to find pearls that have the least or no mars.
     
  10. Lola...I sort of agree, but not necessarily. Prada Psycho made a decision to trust someone else (me) to pick out some pearls for her - I hand picked the pearls in the appropriate size and sent a photo to her for approval before designing her necklace. It worked out great.

    I think that if you're going on a site like overstock.com or something, yes, be a little more careful.

    But a good designer is never going to use bad luster or poorly shaped pearls. And good photographs can show intimate details of pearls.

    But then again I'm clearly biased. LOL And some designers may not be as honest and anal as I am with quality. :smile:
     
  11. I have done my research on the site and so far all the reviews have been pretty good. The reason why I'm ordering the freshwater is to make sure that the quality is very good before I order the real anniversary pearls. There are very few jewellers where I live that sell great pearls, so my only good option is online.
     
  12. that sounds like a great anniversary gift, you go karman ;) akoyas are more known from what my sa told me, my bf suprised me with mine from iridesse.com, great customer service and it services pearls only so they're just fab when it comes to knowledge, everything! glucK!
     
  13. I would go with the Akoyas..... I recently returned from a trip to China, where I went simply overboard on pearls. And I have to say the freshwater just do not have the same luster and if your boyfriend is buying......go for the best!
     
  14. Yeah I was wondering about the luster...I noticed that at the pearl store online that I bought my pink pearls (which are still with FedEx, should arrive tomorrow) the Akoyas always look more "iridiscent"...ie., they reflect more pink/blue where the light hits whereas the freshwater seem more bland and plain. Is this true or could it just be the pics?

    Slightly off topic: I'm not sure whether I should get a 6.5-7 mm Akoya AAA quality bracelet or a 7.5-8mm Akoya AA quality bracelet...the 7.5-8 AA quality is $289.99 and the 6.5-7 mm AAA is $399.99. Are 6.5-7 mm pearls really small?

    Back to the luster issue:
    Here are pics for comparison...

    AAA quality 6.5-7 mm pearl bracelets:

    Akoya:
    [​IMG]

    Freshwater:
    [​IMG]

    And here is Akoya 7.5-8mm AA quality:
    [​IMG]

    Freshwater 7.5-8mm AA quality:
    [​IMG]

    And then of course the best of the best, 7.5-8mm AAAA quality,

    Akoya Hanadama:
    [​IMG]

    Freshwater "Black Label" (best quality on the site):
    [​IMG]