Where are the best places in the world to find and buy quality pearls?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by pearl girl, Feb 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. pearl girl
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    pearl girl Silver Member

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    Pearls, pearls, pearls. A girl should not live without them. Where from your experiences are the best countries and towns to buy spectacular pearls? China, Australia, Tahiti?
     
  2. RichardInSF
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    Japan -- Mikimoto factory (or whatever it's called)? They do tours too. Never been myself, so don't know if that's a good choice.
     
  3. Lalala
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    Anywhere that I am not putting down the AMEX. Too expensive in Tahiti, feel pressured in Hawaii and much happier to use a local reputable jeweler in town. LT Denny in Seattle comes to mind.
     
  4. Lalala
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    I would love to tour the Mikimoto factory.
     
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  5. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    The rarest pearls are the golden south sea pearls in Broome, Australia
     
  6. aitchly
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    Cultured or natural?
     
  7. pearl girl
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    Both!
     
  8. joanek
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    I bought a bunch of different pieces of pearl jewelry in shanghai---some better quality than others, I'm sure. I'm very happy with them, regardless of the worth. (and I've never gotten around to having them appraised, but one jeweler told me they were nice ones. (But the best place to find them is in grandmother's jewelry box.)
     
  9. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    Lombok, Indonesia harvests great pearls. However, I think most are exported to Italy
     
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  10. fet
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    fet Silver Member

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    Beijing, China
     
  11. pearl girl
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    pearl girl Silver Member

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    Why Beijing versus Shanghai where I often shop for pearls?
     
  12. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    I'm not sure about the quality, but the prices in Shanghai and Beijing at the Pearl Market were terrific. The Pearl Market in Beijing also had a wonderful selection of lots of interesting beads that can be strung into whatever you want. For a minimal amount of money and lots of fun, you can select just about whatever you want.
     
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  13. ORDflyer
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    Unless you are an expert, you may get taken, but I would say that Shanghai and Beijing are about equal. Lots of supply and interesting stores.
     
  14. Tiki
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    Tiki Silver Member

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    Rarotonga, Cook Islands has beautiful black pearls cheaper than Tahiti.
     
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  15. Nicole Blaess-Smith
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    Australian pearls in Broome :)
     
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  16. fet
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    fet Silver Member

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    +1
     
  17. Emos-closet
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    Philippines...They have markets with loads of big gorgeous pearls! They have black Tahitian pearls too. Great quality!
     
  18. k_malm
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    k_malm Silver Member

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    I got a strand of pearls and a set of earrings at the Pearl Market in Beijing for ~$5. I replaced the backings on the earrings for something sturdier when I got stateside as they seemed loose. I asked the jeweler for an unofficial appraisal of the strand and was told "in the $200 range." The market was a lot of fun to shop at and very easy. I would love to go back and get some more!
     
  19. This is timely; I'm headed to French Polynesia next month and I have been trying to get an idea of prices (generally speaking) for budgeting for black pearls. Anyone know?
     
  20. Mark Allen Jackson
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    Mark Allen Jackson Silver Member

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    My girlfriend thanks you for this thread!
     
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  21. pearl girl
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    Tiki, thanks for your insight. Is it much of a difference In price and are there any particular shops you would recommend?
     
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  22. RichardInSF
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    Apparently they charge for the tour but at the end you get to open an oyster or clam (or whatever it is pearls grow in) and keep the pearl within. They guarantee you will get a pearl.

    As you can clearly see, I am a real expert on this subject! [​IMG]
     
  23. Lalala
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    Wow, I could have my own mikimoto pearl! Coolness.
     
  24. Tiki
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    I don't actually own any black pearls other than the ones I won in the hula competitions so I don't know about prices exactly. Avarua is a small town, it's pretty easy to just shop around and pick the best one.
     
  25. Blue Skye
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    sounds like a story waiting to be told. [​IMG] congrats on winning such a nice prize.
     

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