Tag Archives: south sea

South Sea surprise

Occasionally we have to trim back an irregular top on a drop pearl so a finding will set better.
I was filing a pointy tip off a blue south sea pearl today when the nacre ran out and i could see what looked like compressed peat inside.

Curious..of course.. I poked around inside.

There was fibrous peat like stuff brown

White waxy stuff in lumps.

Flakes of thin plastic like cling film

Flakes of plastic with fibres that looks like medical dressing tape


What was any of that doing inside a pearl?
Is this some sort of an attempt at a souffle south sea pearl?

Not expecting any of this stuff inside a pearl

I’ll take the pearl and its contents to Hong Kong with me and ask around, see if anyone has a clue

Jewelmer new collection

South sea pearl company Jewelmer has launched a new collection. The pearls are, of course as stunning as you might expect but what has Pearlescence drooling in this video are the workshops and the craftsmen and women.

Jewelmer launches the Wynn Wynn Ong collection

We’re so jealous that they have the skills and kit to create such stunning pieces. Enjoy the video.

Lustre Day 5..Few pearls…much work

Looking at today’s spoils…it seems a very small lot, for a day’s quite intense work.  There are some stone set clasps which caught my eye because they have posts which go into the drill hole of a full drilled pearl rather than rings for silk plus French wire. So they will need experimentation.  They could be the next big thing in opening and closing…but only if the adhesive adheres. I suspect that there is quite a stress on the glue fixing when the clasp is undone. But they look very pretty

Next I spent some time finding a very few decent 11-12mm black buttons. It;s hard to find black pearls still. There are smaller ones, but trying to match the larger ones for shape, colour, lustre and size……I also waded through smaller {9-10mm} natural colour buttons. Even from a huge bag I only found one pair which satisfied my criteria.I did get some of the singles though, because they had stunning lustre.

Finally I was spotted by the lady who used to look after me at one tahitian wholesaler, who told me she had now moved to another firm. We did some catching up and I looked at the pearl stock. I got a pair of lovely white Paspaley south sea drops from Australia, some gold round south sea pairs and some fun single tahitians, including a couple of what we decided are polemon pearls – aka pokepearls.

pok

 

 

‘A ray of sunshine’

It’s always nice to get praise, so we are basking fit to tan today with this email from a long time pearl lover and customer ‘ Thank you so much – I am absolutely delighted with my new pearls – Ithey are the most beautiful….I love the colour variation….It is as if I am wearing a ray of sunshine around my neck’

The pearls – south seas – came from two strands I found during my last trip to Hong Kong. They were huge roundish golds of all shades and whites and as soon as I saw them I thought of this particular customer and snapped them up. I knew she would love them.

Here they are as strands, photographed in Hong Kong, at the wholesalers.

gold south sea pearls

Huge 17mm gold south sea with some whites in one of the strands. Great colour and lustre

and here they are, blended into one 55cm necklace

south sea pearls

The finished necklace

Very satisfying to have a happy customer

 

 

Day…? Final reflections

Final reflections on this year’s buying trip. There are good pearls out there, but the only way to find them is undoubtedly to select them in person. With the best of relationships with a supplier, if you order, say, 10 strands of AAA white 8mm round pearls, that is what you will get, but you won’t get ten with metallic lustre. You’ll just get 10 strands from the AAA white 8mm bag or hank. Nor will you get pearls like that blue baroque Edison or the ripple gold south sea. They were both one-offs which I had to be there to scoop.

I had all sizes and shapes of loose (that means individual not strands) half drilled pearls on the big list. They had been very short of supply last year and this year was not much better. I don’t think I found any blacks which I wanted to buy in any shape or size. And just a few natural colours. Given that loose pearls are invariably more expensive than pearls in strands you would think that decent pearls would be selected out for this, but it seems not.

Bead Nucleated freshwater pearls continue their march for pearl world domination, with non-Edison branded pearls now very close in quality to the originator of the method and with a rapidly expanding portfolio of sizes, colours and surfaces. I saw, not just ripples and smooth big pearls but more of the baby white Edisons (I still have some from last year), smaller coloureds, tiny round 5mm vibrant coloured ones I was told were keishi, and generally more and more ‘routine’ pearls with a bead instead of solid nacre. Are solid nacre freshwater pearls going to disappear or be so rare as to be highly prized a few years into the future?

Finally, we are pawing at the pearls from today once we have caught up with the order backlog (for which we massively apologise) and we will be posting new makes and pearls as soon as we can in a separate section (we have yet to think up a good name for it!) watch not this, but that space

 

 

Day Four…Tahitian Temptation and A Single White Edison

Day four. This is my account of how I made the classic mistake and went back to a wholesaler..and then finally bought a perfect Edison pearl

I went to the Tahitian office just to look for one pearl (of which more below) I didn’t find it but a couple of hours later I did totter out with several strands of pretty Tahitians as well as single rounds and drops for earrings and pendants.

That was not the plan! But some strands had quietly called me from when I saw them a couple of days ago – rather yummy shades of chocolate Tahitians – milk, plain and white chocolates. Then the boss wandered over and waved some other very colourful circles under my receptive nose. None of them are perfect strands: they’re marked and flawed but very lustrous and I will be able to hit a great price point for Christmas with them. Many of the flaws will only show up to the experienced eye from more than a few inches away.

It’s all too easy to get obsessive and perfectionist about having the perfectly round, perfectly smooth, perfectly flawless and perfectly lustrous pearl but from only a short distance only big flaws are visible.

I also spent some time poking around the bags of loose rounds and drops to find pearls for earrings and pendants and enhancers. I didn’t find as many as I want from the whole trip but it is something I can do at the show next week

So, why was I at the South Sea wholesalers anyway? I was on a mission to find a single perfect 14-15mm white round pearl for a customer for a ring. There were no South Seas within budget but I made the mistake of sitting down and looking round!

I found a totally luscious 16mm white Edison at another office – perfectly mirror metallic with a subtle pink and green overtone but it was way over budget. It was the sort of pearl you could take home and just look at.

white pink green 15mm round

white 15mm metallic pearl with pink and green overtones.

Eventually I switched on my brain and went to the home of Edison pearls (dur!) and of course they plenty to chose from. The one I eventually selected is perfectly round, flawless to all intents, mirror metallic with a perfectly round fish-eye and with a faint pink overtone. Bang on budget too!

five white edison pearls

Can you see which of the five I finally selected – all had the same grade but one was more metallic than the others. Proves the need to select in person. (it’s the one bottom left at 7 o’clock)

I’ve also picked out some non-classic Edisons – smallish mis-shape seconds, but I’ll be able to break the strands to make some great necklaces. Dustbin liner bags full of pearl strands gone through to find a few.

Finally another office and bags of ‘biwa’ stick pearls with fabulous lustre from which I selected some stunning pearls to develop a design idea. They had some amazing fireballs but the biggest and wildest shapes were just too expensive.

undrilled stick pearls

natural colours undrilled natural colours stick pearls. I picked these from a huge bag of AAA,

That was day four.