Important sur les perles

5 pratiques commerciales déloyales

Is there a person who has not at least once felt “cheated” by a seller of a product of high value, regardless of the area of supply? Let’s leave this question open for now. As much as we would like to completely trust the other side, we need to be prepared and know what we are looking for when making expensive purchases. And when it comes to items as precious and delicate as pearls, which are often counterfeited, we need to be even more careful. That’s why Velmar has picked out the top five rogue pearl selling practices to be on the lookout for. 

1. Misleading the customer with inaccurate information about the pearls

The biggest problem that customers who decide to purchase pearl jewelry may face is that 99% of all the pearls on the market are distributed by salespeople who simply resell a finished product with little to no knowledge of pearls and often give rote, misleading and downright wrong information to their customers. There are online merchants who provide information on their websites, but it is not based on long experience, training and work with pearls, but is purely and simply verbatim translated texts from foreign websites, without understanding and researching the information they actually provide. These merchants do not have in-depth knowledge of how pearls are grown, what types they are, how they are formed, what is important for their quality, where their pearls are found among the world market, etc. As a jewelry house, manufacturer, importer and merchant with over 30 years of experience, after numerous pearl trainings at the highest world level, attending dozens of pearl markets, auctions and pearl farms / farms over the years, we at Velmar believe we can safely call ourselves professionals in this field. We also believe that by buying from us, our customers can be completely assured that they are receiving a world-class product, graded, crafted and evaluated to the highest quality standards.

2. Misleading certificates and limited warranty

Everywhere you can buy pearls, you will hear, “Pearls are certified.” The customer does not know pearls, knows that there are many imitations and low quality products and looks for security in the “certificate”. However, he does not ask himself who issues this certificate, what it guarantees and what real weight it has. Traders take advantage of the fact that customers do not know the product and purely and simply speculate that they are offering a document of ‘quality and origin’. These certificates are not issued by a laboratory that has examined the pearls, nor by certified pearl specialists who have assessed the product. Any company can issue a certificate and use it to sell whatever pearls it wants, knowing that the customer does not understand the product and has nowhere to go to check. At VELMAR, every piece of jewellery is accompanied by a guarantee card-certificate, in which we guarantee the quality of the pearls with our name and reputation, and all this is backed up by diplomas of evaluation and classification of the pearls at the GIA – the largest and most reputable gemological laboratory in the world. In addition, our pearls come with a lifetime warranty and maintenance, so you can rest assured that your jewelry will retain its beauty and luster forever.

3. Minimum opportunity for special requirements

Buying pearl or other jewellery from a ready-made jewellery retailer will almost universally encounter major difficulties, delays and mark-ups if you need individual adjustments to the jewellery you have chosen, not to mention special requirements and bespoke workmanship. In short, you buy what you see. VELMAR is the manufacturer of the entire range of jewellery it offers, meaning anything you want can and will be fulfilled without a problem and in the shortest possible time. You want to shorten or lengthen a necklace, you want to change its clasp, you want the earrings to be a different colour pearl and the ring to be made of gold rather than silver – no problem, this is all perfectly normal in our practice and it is our pleasure to offer the jewellery that best suits your requirements.

Maybe you have a completely individual desire for a piece of jewelry that you don’t see in front of you right now, can’t find anywhere else, and have always wanted to own? Once again, VELMAR is at your disposal so that together we can make your dream jewel as quickly as possible and at affordable prices.


4. Claiming to sell "Japanese" pearls

Over 95% of salespeople, when asked, “What are the pearls in origin,” they proudly reply, “Japanese!” And, accordingly, in over 95% of the cases, this is simply not true. The purpose of this type of statement is clear – to point out to the customer some deceptive quality and to instill reassurance that a classy product is being purchased. For presumably the opposite of this statement would be for the pearls to be “Chinese”, which directly signals in the customer’s mind “inferior quality”.

Remember the following things when buying pearls:

  • The finest, most beautiful and most diverse freshwater pearls in the world are sourced in China!
  • In fact, over 95% of all freshwater pearls in the world are produced in China
  • Many years ago, freshwater pearls from Japan were a fact of life, but nowadays, due to pollution of their waters, it is almost impossible to find them
  • If we are talking about saltwater pearls, Akoya type, then it is quite possible that the pearls are Japanese. But you should know that high quality Akoya pearls are extremely valuable, and you can in no way expect a necklace that is priced at 50 - 100 EUR to have such pearls
  • Whether a pearl is of good quality or not is not determined by its origin - Japan or China, but by many other, more complex criteria such as luster, shape, surface smoothness, lack of artificial enhancement / treatment, etc.

5. Speculating on the qualities of the pearls (AAA?)

As well as speculating on the certificate and the origin of the pearls, speculating on the quality is very common among dealers and is perhaps the most unpleasant for the customer because it actually determines the price he pays. In the world of pearls, unlike diamonds, gold, silver, etc., there are no strictly regulated rules or unit of measurement by which to define or measure their value. The criteria that determine their quality are known, but their valuation itself is a matter, more or less, of subjective judgment. Back in the day, the Mikimoto company created letter gradings, with “A” being the lowest grade (the quality is still quite high) and “AAA” being the highest (perfect pearls). And today, most companies have adopted this nomenclature and use it to grade their pearls. The biggest question is what criteria determines that a pearl is “A” quality or “AAA” quality. Pearls that are graded “AAA” by one company may be “AA+”, “AA” or even “A” to another, more rigorous and precise in grading. I.e. each company has individual criteria and a different judgement to determine quality.

After all, guided by the strictest and universally recognized criteria imposed by Mikimoto and further developed by the GIA (the most famous gemological laboratory in the world), pearls of “AAA” quality must be of perfect shape, perfectly smooth surface, ideal luster, dense sedef, and naturally must be without any additional treatment. Pearls with such qualities are among the top 1-3% of all pearls in the world and are extremely rare and mostly expensive. The dealers in our country, boldly write “AAA” quality against their pearls, because they have simply heard that this is how it is done, with little to no expertise put in, acting “by eye”, when in reality the pearls they offer do not even come close to this quality. You can rest assured that VELMAR is the only company in the country that grades its pearls according to GIA’s strict standards, because the graders themselves have completed courses at the lab and hold the necessary diplomas, the authenticity of which can be easily verified in the institution’s database. And when you see pearls classified as “AA” with us, it means that their quality is in the top 5% of all freshwater pearls in the world and there are only one or two steps to complete perfection. Remember, if you see a lot of shiny pearls, with a nice shape, at questionable “bargain” prices, it’s a guarantee that the pearls are not the quality they appear to be and are most likely artificially treated for luster, which automatically puts them in the lowest tiers in pearl grading.

Honesty is the best quality

So you don’t have to wonder if retailers are offering you “real pearls”, take a look at the next few suggestions we’ve selected. And don’t worry – with us, you’ll get exactly what you see!