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Comparing White Pearls

Posted by Kevin Canning on 8/21/2013 to General
Recently I was working with a customer trying to help her decide on a new pair of white pearl earrings. She knew she wanted white pearl studs and she knew she wanted them large, 9.0 mm or bigger. This left her with the decision of what type of pearl to go with: Akoya, Freshwater or South Sea pearls. All three of these pearl types are beautiful in their own right and come in a variety of tones, sizes and quality grades. For many the price tag will be a major deciding factor and for earrings in the 9-10mm range pricing looks something like this:

comparing white pearl earrings Freshwater pearl earrings in the 9-10mm Range:
AA+: $90 (9.5-10.0mm ( button shape)
AAA: $180 (9.5-10.0mm)
Gem Grade: $182 (9-10mm)

Akoya pearl earrings in the 9-9.5mm Range:
AA+: $425
AAA: $533
Hanadama Grade: $900

South Sea pearl earrings in the 9-10mm Range:
AA+: we do not carry this grade
AAA: $795


Decisions, Decisions

For this particular customer price wasn't a major concern and she loved the look of the South Sea pearl earrings but there was a catch. While chatting with her I found out she wanted to wear her studs with a large pearl necklace she already owned.I asked her to send in a photo of the strand so I could figure out what type of pearl she had. It turns out she had a nice strand of large freshwater pearls. So while her original choice was the South Sea pearls I advised her to save her money and choose the Gem Grade Freshwater pearl earrings. With the photo I was able to match a great set of freshwater studs in the 9-10mm range. While not as good as having the necklace in my hands, I can usually come up with a good match using a photo. Ultmately she ended up happy, she saved over $600 and now has a great set of earrings to match her necklace.

Here is the raw unedited photo of the pearl earrings we shot as a pearl earring comparison for the customer:

Comparison of Akoya pearl earrings, Freshwater pearl earrings and South Sea pearl earrings

From left to right: Frewshwater earrings: 9.5-10mm gem grade, Akoya earrings: 9.0-9.5mm AAA grade, White South Sea earrings: 9-10mm AAA


Comparing White Pearl Necklaces

While we were shooting the pearl earrings I had the gals shoot a South Sea, Freshwater & Akoya pearl necklace comparison that really captures the different look of each pearl type.

The South Sea pearls have a silky texture and cool silver overtones. The size and texture of South Sea pearls give them an air of luxury. No wonder many politicians wear them power pieces.

The Freshwater strand is gem grade, with excellent luster. This strand is a great example of what type of quality is available in high grade Freshwater Pearls. Year after year we're seeing improvements in Freshwater pearl size and quality, fueling popularity in recent years.

The bottom strand is the perennial favorite the Akoya Pearl. The Akoya pearl With its metallic luster and perfectly round shape is considered by many to be the classic pearl.

Comparison of Akoya pearl necklace, Freshwater pearl necklace and South Sea pearl necklace From top to bottom: White South Sea necklace: 12-13mm AA+, Freshwater pearl necklace: 9-10mm Gem, Akoya pearl necklace: 8.0-8.5 AAA

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