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|American Pearl vs. Mikimoto|
"Browse at Mikimoto, buy at American Pearl" is excellent advice! Mikimoto Company has been in the business of cultured pearl production since the early 1900s. Their grading system and quality of pearls have been a hallmark of distinction among those in the pearl business. However, with the name Mikimoto on their box, these pearls come with a high price tag. The customer willing to pay for the Mikimoto markup wants to be sure the pearls they acquire are of the highest quality.
But what if you, the consumer, care more about the quality of your pearls than the pretention of a brand name? What if you could find pearls of identical quality but at a fraction of the price? In that case, you should turn to one of the oldest and most knowledgeable wholesalers of pearls available: American Pearl. Founded by Charlie Bakhash in the 1950s, the company is currently run by his business- and computer-savvy son, Eddie. Father and son share a passion for both quality pearls and modern business sense.
American Pearl's products, which are of the same quality as Mikimoto, can be offered to the consumer at a fraction of Mikimoto's price tags. This is thanks to the wholesale business model now possible through the rise of the Internet. In a traditional "brick and mortar" retail operation, the cost of a product is marked upwards of 300 percent to support the premises and its employees. The drastic markups found in a retail site like this are not found at American Pearl! Although American Pearl has a "brick and mortar" establishment in Manhattan, most of their business is conducted online. These savings are passed on to the consumer. That's why even a Mikimoto pearl bracelet sale isn't worth your time; you can shop at American Pearl any day and still get lower prices on the same products.
The quality of Mikimoto pearls is certainly undisputed, but American Pearl matches that quality. First, both Mikimoto and American Pearl buy from the exact same pearl farms. In fact, there are several pearl farms that used to do business with Mikimoto but now sell to American Pearl instead. So if you want Mikimoto black pearls or Mikimoto Akoya pearls, you can find the same thing at American Pearl for less. Further, American Pearl is the supplier for many of the finest retail stores in the country! Having cut out the middlemen who add their own charges and markups as the product passes through their hands, American Pearl can offer truly wholesale prices for the highest quality products.
The quality of a pearl is subjective, and as they are naturally formed within a living animal their appearance varies considerably. There are many standards used for grading pearls, but Mikimoto's grading standard is often seen as the best. American Pearl uses this exact same system, so any AAA quality pearl you see at Mikimoto will be the same at American Pearl but with a much more affordable price. That's why a Mikimoto pearl necklace value is actually greater when you buy from American Pearl; you get the same product without having to make such a large financial investment.
While the prices are lower, the quality is the same! An educated and wise consumer will have no problem deciding on the wisest course of action, which is to browse at Mikimoto but buy at American Pearl. Many customers have written in testimonials attesting to this fact. A satisfied customer from Seattle raves, "I took the pearls to one of Seattle's oldest jewelry stores and asked what it would cost me to replace the strands with Mikimoto. Under a bright light and careful scrutiny of a Mikimoto dealer, I was told at least three times what I paid." Another says, "Perhaps the best aspect of this experience was the price -getting a good deal, rather than paying the exorbitant Mikimoto and Tiffany prices for pearls of similar, but inferior, quality."
Now that you the consumer know that the only difference between Mikimoto and American Pearl is the markup of the name brand, it is time to start thinking about the specifics of your pearl purchase!
The most classic pearl necklace is a 16-inch white colored strand of Japanese Akoya pearls, 7.5 x 8mm in diameter. This type of necklace is perfect for almost any occasion. However, for those concerned with tradition or for those who are seeking some basic guidelines for their pearl shopping, there are other aspects to consider. These aspects can include the type of pearl, the color and the roundness of each individual pearl. But the best place to begin a pearl-buying adventure is to consider what diameter of pearl may be appropriate for your occasion.
For young teens, 12 to 16 years old, the petite 5.5 x 6mm diameter is always appropriate. These pearls will never overwhelm a delicate neck or ear, and make perfect gifts for confirmations, Bat Mitzvahs, and Sweet Sixteens. However these can also be the perfect size for a petite woman, or for the woman who loves the look of pearls, but wants to make a subtle statement.
High school or college graduation often calls for a classic gift from a proud family. Any young woman will remember her family's pride in her accomplishments for years to come with pearls measuring 6 x 6.5 mm. But for her first day on a new job, 7 x 7.5 mm pearls set on a necklace, bracelet or perhaps with matching earrings, will advertise her ability to make a mark. The 7 x 7.5 mm size is also perfect for a number of different occasions, including Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or even a baby shower. This is also an excellent gift for a groom to give his bride on the day of their wedding!
Pearls with a 7.5 x 8mm diameter are often for women ages 30 and up. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings in this size are excellent for every occasion. This necklace can be dressed up or dressed down and will always suggest an upwardly mobile sophisticate. A necklace of this size pearl also makes a perfect "push present" to celebrate a birth.
Ages 35 and up are suited to the 8 x 8.5 mm pearl. Pearls of this size are rare. In fact, they take more than twice as long to grow which also makes them harder to farm. However, this is the most affordable of the second tier price range, so for a customer wanting to make a statement of success, this is an ideal size. A necklace of this size pearl is at home both in the boardroom and at a black-tie event. This is also an excellent entry-level size for those looking to begin investing in pearls that will appreciate in value.
Jackie Onassis wore 8.5 x 9mm pearls; this is a size ideal for a woman in her late 30s and 40s or for the powerfully successful in their early 30s. As one of the more rare sizes of pearls, these advertise power, elegance, breeding and strength. For the regal woman who will not settle for anything but the very best, the 9 x 9.5 mm size of pearl says she has arrived. However the 9.5 x 10mm tops the list of the most majestic size of pearl. Either of these sizes says, with decorum and elegance, that the woman who wears them is not to be underestimated. They are fit to receive a king, to head the table at a Fortune 500 company and to attend an opening night at the opera. However, these are general guidelines and should not be considered rules. Fall in love with any size that speaks to you.; nothing is right or wrong when it comes to pearls. They are classic no matter what their size. Furthermore, they are chic accessories that were hailed by Allure magazine as one of the hotter trends among the young starlets in Hollywood. You can never go wrong with pearls of any size, shape or color!