Had a long and interesting discussion with one of my go-to wholesalers on where pearls are at and how far we have come in the last five years. Ming pearls are right up there with any other branded pearls as this photo of some mesmerising deep mauve to purple (not a trace of brown) 12-15mm round metallic strands show
These huge bead nucleated pearls have stunningly rich colour, smooth surfaces and metallic lustre. As you can see from the photo , the colour is jaw-dropping
Bead nucleated pearls this big take three years to grow. One to a shell, and usually only one nucleation per shell. If the nucleation fails to prosper there may be some tiny keishi pearls which this wholesaler has exclusively and which we brought to you last september (don’t worry I have some more)
By contrast I also got some amazing white 8mm AAA metallic rounds..classic pearl strands. These are tissue nucleated so the outcome of each farming operation is much more unpredictable. One shell will have up to 32 or even 40 implants. At harvest, after maybe four or five years, a farmer might find himself with 40 completely different pearls..in terms of size, shape and colour.
There’s been a huge improvement even since I was last here last September. But when we remembered the pearls of five years ago. Metallics wer pretty rare and special then. Now I can turn my nose up at anything which isn’t ‘double shiny’ The wonderful, innovative and clever pearl farmers of china need a heartfelt cheer and hereby get it from me.
Today’s loot includes the strand draped over my hand, the classic white strands, perfect round pairs and some irregular-ish round-ish pairs in deep natural vibrant colours. Plus some ripples I couldn’t resist.
Of course it doesn’t help when your supplier keeps putting strands upon strand of fabulous pearls under your nose
Plus I found some natural colour splatts for earrings (scary to drill without ruining them)
So where will freshwater pearls be in another five years? Given the progress in the last five it’s impossible to predict. But it will be fun finding out.