The quality of pearls can vary greatly between retailers, so it’s critical to purchase from a reputable brand. A top-tier AA+ pearl from one retailer may be rejected for the most affordable pearl setting from another brand. As a result, if you don’t know much about pearls, comparing brands can be difficult.
We’ll tell you about the best places to buy pearls for any occasion.
- You’ll discover where to buy pearls.
- Where can you find high-quality gems?
- Which stores should you stay away from at all costs?
- How do you find the best pearl while looking for quality?
Where Can I Buy Pearls?
Once we’re in the specifics, here’s a quick rundown of where to find the best pearls to buy:
1. Pure Pearls Online Boutique is a one-of-a-kind online boutique
2. High-end pearl retailers (such as Mikimoto and Tiffany’s).
High-end pearls are expensive.
3. Shops for Customized Jewelry (Jared, Zales)
Average to high-quality pearls with significant markups
4. Supermarkets (Walmart, Costco, Amazon)
Unpredictable quality with exorbitant markups
5. Online marketplaces or auctions (eBay and Etsy)
There are a lot of shady sellers, but there are also some good deals.
Online Pearl Boutique: Pure Pearls
The best way to get high-end pearls at a low price is to shop online at a specialty boutique like Pure Pearls.
They are able to save money that other stores you would have spent on costly storefronts because they sell online. Instead, they take the same amount of money and do the following:
- Make use of the services of highly qualified pearl specialists.
- Create educational materials for the clients.
- Provide stunning pearls at rock-bottom prices.
They are able to efficiently source luxury-grade pearls and sell with a significant discount typically less than one-fifth of the retail price — by focusing on the above factors. Customers of Pure Pearls save more than 80% off standard pearl prices!
Furthermore, they provide a lot of products, including:
- Top-quality Japanese akoyas.
- French Polynesia Tahitian pearls
- Chinese freshwater pearls, which are elegant.
- South Sea pearls in white and gold from Philippines and Australia.
Retailers of Fine Pearls
Tiffany’s and Mikimoto are two well-known names in the world of luxury pearls.
Mikimoto is a specialized retailer that sells only the most expensive pearls. Mikimoto pearls from the top 1% are unrivaled in the industry. However, not all of their pearls meet these high standards of quality.
Tiffany sells diamonds, other gemstones, and pearls. Their pearls are of high quality, with high-end pearls set in one-of-a-kind settings. Their pearls aren’t as high-quality as Mikimoto’s, but they have a wider selection of styles.
These businesses sell jewelry that most pearl collectors would love to have.
Typical Jewelry Stores
A typical jewelry store will provide excellent service and high-quality products, but it is unlikely that they will be pearl experts. In a year, they might sell 1-5 pieces of pearl jewelry.
- Each and every Pearl comes with a hefty overhead– think 300-500%+ markup.
- Pearls are of average quality.
- Because these companies don’t sell a lot of pearl items, investing in high-end pearls isn’t worth it.
- Most people will be unfamiliar with pearls. It’s their job, so these jewelers know their diamonds and precious jewelry like the back of their hands. Pearls? Even pearls!
Massive Online Stores
While online or “big box” retailers may be more selective than most brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, the prices and quality of their products are inconsistent. They might sell mediocre pearls at exorbitant prices, or they might sell cheap pearls that look great online but have nothing to do with quality pearls.
Why “Commercial Quality” Pearls Should Be Avoided
The majority of pearl jewelry sold at Macy’s, Overstock, and Walmart is made with “commercial quality” pearls. The main issue with these jewelries is that it varies greatly in quality. One piece may only contain high-grade pearls, while another may only contain low-grade pearls. Quality control is simply absent in these brands because they do not typically hire pearl experts.
In general, here’s what to expect if you shop at a big box store:
- The quality standard obviously varies. No one will see or touch the gems as they are removed from storage and delivered to you. You might get a fantastic piece or one that is damaged or made with low-quality pearls. Everything is determined by the outcome of the lottery.
- You’ll keep spending more and getting less.
- Jewelry that has been pre-made and has a mediocre setting quality.
- It is not possible to change the length, overtone, color, clasp, or other features.
Auction & Marketplace Sites
Purchasing pearls online from Etsy, eBay, or marketplace sites is one of the most dangerous internet transactions. These platforms have almost no quality control, and they frequently feature thousands of fake pearl listings.
Only use one of these platforms if you know exactly what you want and are willing to take a chance. It is possible to sift through thousands of pearl listings in search of a good deal, but it is time-consuming and not advised.
Other disadvantages of buying from a marketplace or auction site include:
- Anonymous eBay sellers are well-known for selling fake pearls masquerading as Tahitian, South Seas, or Akoya pearls.
- It Is Difficult to Receive a Refund. It will take time and money to return your money to an overseas vendor who sold you a low-quality imitation strand.
- There are NO GUARANTEES that the pearls shown in the listing will be the ones you receive. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get genuine pearls.
- Because fake reviews are common, it can be difficult to tell what is genuine and what is not.