Monthly Archives: February 2015

How far we have come! Hong Kong trip

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

ming pearls ming pearls

Stunning bead nucleated pearls

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 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


evil wholesaler tempts weak willed pearl buye

Plus I found some natural colour splatts for earrings (scary to drill without ruining them)


Natural colour metallic splatts for earrings

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.


Road to Hong Kong ..Ho Hum

What do Hong Kong and Bing Crosby have in common? Well, me and some new fans of the crooner. A mention of the Kowloon district of Ho Hum got me singing the Road to Hong Kong song, which lead to websites, video of Crosby singing and general appreciation of his marvelous voice and an interruption in the pearl selecting.

Yesterday was the first day of pearl finding and it went very very well. One highlight was finding four pairs of metallic 12mm (yes 12mm) round, smooth metallic white pearls.

white round pearls

Stunning all nacre 12mm white metallic AAA rounds white pearls. Can you see that some are even more metallic than others?

This photo also gives a clue as to how I go about selecting as perfect as can be matches. First select the best of the pearls available and then see if any of those make pairs. You can see that here I have four possibles and one pair. Eventually I made four pairs. It helps to check sizes too. When you’re scrutinising so closely what looks like a massive sie difference turns out to be a fraction of a mm, and with a head in between the pearls hopefully people will appreciate the amazingness of an almost perfectly round matched pair with a fractional size differnence


Happily there seem to be more good undrilled and half drilled natural colour and black pearls this time, so I’ve already scooped some.With this many available I didn’t attempt to make pairs, just picked out the shiniest. I can made pairs later.

It’s Chinese New Year here, and another highlight was coming across a happy yellow dragon in the street,  dancing to a heavy drum beat. No-one seems sure if it is a year of the goat or the ram but happy and prosperous year of the small milk giving mammal with horns to you all!

Now I’ve just got to get Ho hum…ho ho ho ho hum ‘ by Crosby out of my head!

Two stunning pearl necklaces.

Not posted for a while….it’s been busy but uneventful, with added stock sorting. And compiling lists of wants and needs and requests for Hong Kong next week.  Wendy will be making blog entries every day, with photos so follow the first pearl adventure of the year

Until then, here are two stunning necklaces sold by pearl friends

First is a necklace of perfect archetypical peacock Tahitians from one of the world’s biggest wholesalers of Tahitians, Wiart Loic.

peacocks Wiart LoïcThe green body colour and aubergine ‘eye on each huge perfectly round tahitian is …….oh…….perfection.

Second, this necklace of huge white round pearls is made up of freshwater pearls..yes, really, freshwater pearls.  It comes from lovely Jack Lynch of Sea Hunt Pearls. He’s the man who coined the name ‘souffle’ for the huge hollow pearls.

jack lynch sea hunt freshwater 15.4-19.3 $20kThe pearls are 15.4mm to 19.3mm and would have been yours for a modest $20k, if you had got to him before his buyer..but it does go to show that fabulous freshwater pearls are just as much fabulous pearls as their equally bead nucleated cousins these days.