Monthly Archives: October 2013

There is no such thing as AAAA grade, especially for grade A pearls

This post is going to be a bit of a rant. Because there is no such thing as grade AAAA pearls – especially when the pearls are grade A.

silly pearl grades

The Jewellery Channel says this is grade AAAA

Flicking through the channels I saw that a selling channel was having a pearl day. I happened on this necklace for £30 plus shipping. It is described at grade AAAA and does seem to have reasonable lustre. But even on screen and now with the photo I can see rings and the pearls are no-where near round. The depressing thing is that 500 of these things have sold, and that means that 500 people will believe that these really are top quality pearls.

Close up - not round

Close up – not round

I caught another channel a few days ago and the presenter there said freshwater pearls grew because a bit of sand or coral got into the oyster. Also they are selling what must be short grown akoya, because decent akoya cost more trade than their retail. (and I checked with a big buyer, so it isn’t just economy of scale). The nacre must be wafer thin.

Another sells dyed potato pearls as the finest of the harvest (noooooooooooo)

This isn’t business rivalry speaking, it is annoyance at the flood of cack pearls and cack information which these channels spew forth, and since they have huge audiences, this rubbish will be believed as correct and true. That’s simply annoying

And here finally, is a tahitian and platinum ring for £30,

Tahitian black!

Tahitian black!

Except, of course, it is, I suspect a ‘tahitian black’ freshwater pearl (It certainly looks like a freshwater pearl) and it is platinum plated on silver.

I thought eBay was bad enough for pearls….


Got a Pearl Question? Ask the Pearlescence Team!

We’ll try to answer any pearl question you may have.

Sample question…I am going on holiday to Thailand. Should I buy some nice south sea pearls from a street vendor whose brother is a pearl farmer while I am there.

Our answer – NO. It will almost certainly be a faked-up freshwater pearl from China.

Question…I’ve seen these Tahtian black pearls on eBay. They are very cheap. Why are your Tahitian pearls so much more expensive?

Tahtian Black Pearls - Dyed freshwater pearls from China

Tahtian Black Pearls – Dyed freshwater pearls from China

Answer – Because our Tahtian pearls come from French Polynesia. What you are looknig at are Chinese freshwater pearls dyed in a colour which is called..Tahtian Black

Question…How many pearls are on a loose pearl strand?

Our Answer …check the photo..the strand you receive will be similar to that though since pearls are organic and vary you may get one or two more or one or two less

Question….Why are your pearls so cheap compared to the High Street

Answer...Wendy goes to Hong Kong to buy pearls and selects every pearl we stock. This means you can buy the best possible pearls at the keenest prices since she can negotiate great deals

Blue Tahitian Pearl. So Pretty

I’m still working through all the pearl stock I got in Hong Kong but one pearl stands out. I’m posting it here simply because a blue Tahitian pearl is so rare and so pretty.
I had to negotiate hard with the wholesaler to persuade him to break a large lot of pearls to sell just this one pearl but after nearly an hour of on and off work he caved and sold just the one pearl to me.

Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl

Wholesalers don’t like to take specimen pearls ouf of lots because the value of the lot as a whole drops if you cherry pick the really good ones.
This pearl is round to the eye but off round in fact (15.3mm by 14.3mm) and a delicious royal blue/Microsoft blue. With a metallic lustre and only minute flaws, it’s a beauty and I’ve only ever seen one other Tahitian so blue – and 100% natural colour.

Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl

blue tahitianAt the moment I’m just enjoying the pearl and not making any decisions on what to do with it, partly because whatever I do will need to be something special.

I’ll take suggestions and designs and the pearl is for sale on the website as is.