Tag Archives: metallic

Hong Kong 2016. Day 1

I wish Hong Kong was a bit nearer…..say instead of the Isle of Man. But it isn’t so here I am after a long pair of flights.

Jet lag ignored and first thing next morning i’m already stuck into selecting. First up are these 9mm AAA metallic rounds

white metallics

stunning white metallics. you can clearly see what I call the ‘fish eye’ look which shows how clear the lustre is. These all have a hint of rose


Next some delicious natural colour rounds. It’s such a treat to see really good natural colour single pearls available again. For the last couple of years they have been dull and pallid and I have mostly not bought. Now I am stocking again. These are the most ravishing pearls. Even the wholesale staff admire my selections. Either a great complement, or a great sales technique!

I took this photo half way through one bag of about 3k pearls. You can see which pearls I’ve selected in a group on their own. Probably twice that by the time I had done the bag. Then I double check (and wonder why I picked some) and finally pairs or super singles to buy.

multicoloured round freshwater pearls

Multicoloured pearls. To select I take about half a scoopful at al time and select out the most lustrous and colourful

Note that I’ve been using bamboo tweezers to pick up the pearls. Using bamboo tweezers is using a great pearl tool because they stop the heat from my fingers transferring to the pearl as I pick it up, which can instantly throw a cast of fine condensation over the pearl, hiding the lustre and colour just enough to make examination difficult to impossible (Also today they are more accurate picker-uppers than my jet lagged and therefore uncoordinated fingers)









Day Three – Metallic Earring Pairs and More Strands

Day Three. I think one of my favourite things to do is finding pairs. It’s a task which can’t be hurried. You have a swathe of pearls before you. From hundreds of pearls you first select the ones you want – by colour and lustre.

You might end up with 20 from 500 which are themselves all AAA grade pearls. Further scrutiny rejects two or three more as not metallic enough (!)

And then I try out matches by eye and trial and error until I’m happy. And I’m fussy about matching and getting fussier. It’s very satisfying (or conversely irritating when you have a great pearl but you can’t find a match for it: is that pearl good enough to be a pendant?)

white metallic drop pearls

White metallic big drop pearls (please excuse the strobe effect from the lights)

Matching white drops sounds like a pretty straightforward job, for example, but it isn’t. Shape can be drip, drop of barrel..the white can be white white, or a bit pink or a bit silver, the metallic ‘fish-eye’ can be a different shape or intensity..or simply one pearl will be bigger than the other.

And today I played with fireballs too! You have to allow some degree of laxity in the match – there will be a whole head between the pearls, although some customers still demand a perfect match from such a freeform.

fireball pearls

First and second stages of selection for fireballs from a huge bag of them

I also fell to temptation from some white and coloured strands – including some incredibly colourful dyed peacock blacks -as well as a routine re-stock with 200 strands of A+ grade white 3mm roundish pearls.

Tomorrow – one 15mm+ white undrilled or half drilled perfect pearl for a ring, three big frilly purple fireballs and a couple of strands of dark, milk and white chocolate Tahitians keep calling me..!

Day One – Every Pearl a Metallic Pearl

Day one, and every pearl today is metallic. I’ve spent about six hours in one wholesaler’s office today and found some stunning pearls, all metallic, every single one.

White AAA round metallics, colourful aaa black rounds which are, of course, anything but black (gold, pink, green, blue, aubergine) as well as drips and buttons for earrings: plus some weird shapes which will be…I have no idea!

The first general market news is that small pearls have shot up in price due to a production emphasis on bigger and bigger pearls.

There seem to be a few more natural colours pearls around, although this wholesaler still hadn’t got any big half drilled drops and the big buttons were mostly orangy peach (pass). Many of the white pearls ae creamier in colour than before – noticeably so. And I found some pretty nominally white strands where the pearls were just a slightly different shade. Really pretty. Plus some weird shapes which I will…I have no idea what I will do with them at the moment but they are mirror metallic natural colours. What’s not to take home?

freeform pearls with metallic lustre

Metallic freshwater freeform pearls – amazing depth of colour and shine.

I had a list, and occasionally I remembered it and got some of the pearls on the list, but for much of the time I kept finding great pearls, and who can resist great pearls? So this was my day one basket.

The day one basket of pearl purchases

The day one basket of pearl purchases