Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pearls and other goodies!!!


Well I've been promising you all some details on where I went shopping for Pearls while we were in China and Hong Kong. I bought 1 very long strand of pearls on the front end of the trip in Hong Kong but wanted to see what we found in mainland before buying more. I did buy a few things in Guangzhou but felt the quality was better at my place in Hong Kong so on the back end of the trip we went back and bought MORE!

In HK my mother took me to a place called Rio Pearl, a place a friend of hers who lived in HK for many years buys her pearls. The VERY long strand of pearls I bought on the front end of the trip was a strand of fat oval fresh water pearls - and when I say very long I would say it hangs from my neck past my waist. It is the long strand on the form in the picture. It is double-looped in the photo. I planned to end up having it broken up into necklaces and bracelets for my two girls when they got older. It was $160.

Then while in GZ we went to the pearl market with our guide Jason which was a mall-sized building with shops only selling stones, beads, and pearls. Jason took us up to the top floor to a store in the back which I would NEVER have walked into on my own and had everyone buy pearls there. This was the one and ONLY time I questioned his judgement. I found the people there squirrely and the product to be expensive and not as good quality as Rio. It may have been a little less expensive than Rio but there was a lot less to choose from than at Rio and I think Rio's quality is higher. Just my own opinion. I bought a few things there and feel I was taken. I bought the necklace with large black beads which I was told was lava stone. I also got some small studs for the girls for when their ears are pierced.

I did buy a very cool necklace on the first floor of this building with really odd shaped pearls. It is the other white necklace on the form in the picture. The clasp is already turning green if this is any indication of things at the Guangzhou place. My clasps from Rio are not.

Then on the back end of the trip I went to Rio again and bought a gorgeous bracelet which they made for me right there. I was looking for a specific size pearl for a bracelet and they could only find it in a necklace so they restrung it into a bracelet for me and only charged me for the number of pearls they used. I also bought another odd shaped pearl piece. It is the pink bracelet. On this second trip to Rio I bought two bracelets for me, a pair of pearl studs, and 2 bracelets for the girls for when they are about 14. The bracelets for the girls were about $35. All these are on the red box.

The people at Rio are VERY helpful and the show room is gorgeous. My friend Anne bought an opal ring for her daughter as that is her birthstone. I am attaching a map of where Rio is in HK and it is within walking distance from the most of the big hotels in Kowloon if that is where you are staying. They are at 39 Mody Road on the 3rd floor. They also have a jade store across the hall but I didn't go in there.

If you go to RIO please please tell them Shannon/Trish/Victoria sent you as I promised I would send all my friends.  You can mention I was the one who went twice on the adoption trip, once in the beginning and once at the end with the baby.

Another piece of shopping advice I would like to share with all the families about to travel is to consider doing some children's book shopping in Hong Kong. As you know English is an official language there and as expected there is a good selection of Asian themed books.  I was able to get Cici lots of books with Chinese illustrations and story-lines that are NOT adoption related. I think it is important for her to be able to flip through books and see her face reflected back on the pages. But I don't want the majority of those books to be about adoption. I just want her to have a good fun story to read. I found a great bookstore in one of the malls in HK called DYMOCKS and you can click here for a link directly to a list of their HK store locations.


Charity, Gary, Katie and Louie said...

Shan, thanks for all of this amazing info!!

Glinda said...

Thank you for sharing your candid assessment of the pearl situation in GZ; I will now temper my excitement/obsession with buying pearls in China with just a wee bit of wariness and caution.

I must say I do love the black beaded necklace and that is they type of necklace I would be looking for in addition to some pearls a bit larger, like gumball size on a long chain, but I digress...and obsess b/c my s-in-law has one with jawbreaker size (fake, I'm sure) pearls and I want it...again I digress...

P.S. The necklace you are wearing in your post about the red couch, did you get that in China, I want that too ;)

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, it helps put things in perspective.

jsatl said...

I'm with you on the upstairs pearl store in GZ being underwhelming. My sister and I went back a few days later on our own and pretty much went to every store in the whole building. (She speaks Mandarin, thank goodness, so we were able to bargain.) We got a lot of great non-pearl gifts for family back home and will have to check out Rio next time we go to HK, whenever that is! :)

Destination Motherhood said...

do you have a recommendation for hotels in HK?

Shannon said...

Glinda- that was the orange and silver necklace I think you are talking about and I got that at a boutique in my hometown. Sorry!

Destination Motherhood - We stayed at the YMCA in HK - here is a post that describes it

We stayed there b/c they were the only ones I knew of in HK that had Family Guest Rooms and would allow all 5 of us to stay in one room. But when you read my post you will see that the view and location could not be beat!