Shopping: Shanghai pearls and beads

It’s pretty natural to talk about pearl shopping in China, after talking about silk shopping in China. The umbrella topic of shopping in China is one of my favorite topics. As my husband discovered long ago, I love to shop overseas and China is one of the last great places on Earth where the American with U.S. dollars can find outstanding value. Europe has become oh, so expensive.

Prices aside, the selection of both pearls and silk in China (and Vietnam and Thailand) is extraordinary. My daughter advised me to come to China with a list, so I knew who was on my gift list and what types of clothing my wardrobe could use most. A visit to a pearl peddler, a silk shop or a tailor can be mind boggling, as the choices will blow you away.

My Canadian friend Louise was pretty excited about pearl and silk shopping, too. Louise’s friend brought us to this tiny but wonderful shop near the Bund in Shanghai to buy some pearls for ourselves and our families and friends. Yes, they were affordable, and the ladies would even create a new necklace or pendant for us on the spot, if we dreamed up a design that was not already assembled. October 26, 2008 was a very fun day!

If you couldn’t find something you liked here, there would definitely be something wrong with you!

When I was returning to the U.S. by air and passing through U.S. Customs, the agent was suspicious that I was bringing back merchandise to sell. No, I explained, there are lots of girls in my family, and all these are gifts.

I like to personalize my posts and travel stories. Here I asked my daughter to pose with the pearls we had laid out on the counter to purchase. Louise and I were taking a long time to make all these decisions. I hope someday I can go back…

Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website:

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