My first (pearl) trip to Hong Kong

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to take off on my first trip to Asia. Pearls aside, this would be a magnificent trip to experience – just being in Hong Kong felt exciting. Coming from the East Coast, (Philadelphia) it brought me back home. The city was vibrant and beautiful, with no lack of movement anywhere you looked. You can easily walk, or hop on the metro and be anywhere you need in just a few moments. Best of all; the food was amazing, and the hospitality even better. If not for all the hills, and (obviously) the signs in Chinese, I could have easily mistaken it for New York City.

Still being fairly fresh to the pearl world, this trip also took me back to my old profession- the food industry. I worked in high-end fine dining back home, and I have to say; Hong Kong, you did not disappoint! The soup dumplings were to die for, and the fresh lobster casserole melted in your mouth. The crab was juicy to the point that it needed no butter or accoutrements, and the duck… I will dream about the Peking duck, possibly for the rest of my life.

Just before getting on the ferry to go from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wanchai

Just before getting on the ferry to go from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wanchai

This trip wasn’t just for fun, of course. Our Hong Kong buy trips happen regularly, and I’m not the only one who is excited to see all the goodies. Jeremy, Hisano, and I got to Hong Kong a day before the show, and went from the airport to a very empty convention center – hoping to check in early. We were unsuccessful, but we got there early the next day to beat the lines. That also didn’t quite happen, since the lines reached literally outside- but after about an hour, I was equipped with a buyer’s badge and we went inside into pearl heaven.

Surrounding us from every side were rows of booths, separated into regions and gemstone type. We obviously spent our time perusing all the pearls, with direct routes to our trusted vendors. There were so many pearls it was almost unbelievable. As soon as we got to our favorite Freshwater booth, we selected our baskets and started digging. Want to know the best way to start off a work trip? Easy answer; playing in a pile of Soufflé pearls!

A pile of metallic freshwater souffle pearls

Soufflé pearls are so incredibly beautiful!

The next few days were spent meticulously sorting through pearls… thousands, and thousands of them. We kept our eyes out for new things in the pearl world- as well as interesting strands, intense colors, and clean surfaces. It was nice to be a part of the process from the beginning, and to really see our strenuous grading system at work in such a large pool of options. Starting with the Freshwater first, we found some huge white Edison pairs with gorgeous luster. On the smaller side of Edisons, we picked through a tray of absolutely gorgeous purple pearls to find just a select few of the best colored pairs.

Richly colored Edison pearls

The colors of these Edison pearls is so intense.

That tray might look daunting to some, but I gravitated towards the pearl industry as an artist. The idea of piecing together wearable art appealed to me, and selecting and differentiating between shape and color is something that I find enjoyable- so this entire process is meditative for me. Pictured above and below is many, many hours of meditation…

Hanks of freshwater pearls on display

I had never seen so many pearls in my life and I work at a pearl company!

My favorite pearls to check out are Tahitians, there is something about the oil slick surface that I find appealing. Tahitians have so much depth when you look at them, starting from within and enhanced with the associating overtones. I was on the hunt for a unicorn- a 14 mm+ round, flawless AAA peacock Tahitian. I found a few contenders, but not quite what we were searching for. This one was definitely jaw-dropper level for me, though. I maintained a certain level of self-control (somehow) and left the beauty for the next lucky person.

A single, large Tahitian pearl with intense color

Tahitian pearl perfection

Examining strands of Tahitian pearls

I spent every day examining and selecting pearls.

Now I feel like there needs to be some honorable mentions;

The natural strand we stopped to admire was definitely worth taking the time to see- priced in the seven figures! It is pretty amazing to me that we can find such beautiful things naturally occurring within our oceans, and even more impressively- we can then arrange them into a matching graduated triple strand.

We also ran across three MASSIVE South Sea pearls, covering almost a full palm with just those three. They were the biggest pearls I have ever, and possibly will ever see. I think we were all pretty taken with these particular beauties.

Giant baroque South Sea pearls

These were some of the largest South Sea pearls I have ever (and will ever likely) see!

Across the board, the trip was a huge success! I had a great time, and look forward to many (hopefully pearl-centric) trips to Hong Kong in my future. Thanks J & H!

Pearls as One: www.PearlsAsOne.org

Back in September, I wrote about the new Cultured Pearl Association of America Pearl Certification course I worked on for more than a year. It was one of the biggest and most time-consuming projects I’ve ever taken on, eclipsing even the book I wrote a decade ago.

The labor of love was worth it! Over the past five months, more than 1,500 people have enrolled in Pearls as One and the feedback has been overwhelming. Our goal for the first year is 10,000 enrolled. I think we’re going to get there!

If you haven’t enrolled in course yet, do it while it’s still free!

Just sign up and redeem (don’t forget to CLICK redeem) this coupon code: PEARL10951PARADISE and you’ll get into the course for free.

Revisiting the Tahitian Pearl Harvest Strand

Happy (first blog post) of the New Year!

Last month was a whirlwind. Christmas season at Pearl Paradise always means putting our all into getting every last package out and delivered before the big day. We have a lot of fun doing it and it’s a lot of work.

During the whirlwind, I don’t typically have time for many of the “fun” pieces I enjoy making throughout the year. These are the pieces that take a bit of extra time and several revisits to get the look “just right.” But a request came across my desk and I decided to give it a go.

Harvest strands are fun. Whenever we process large lots of drops, circles, baroques and rounds, there are always special pearls with special colors that don’t quite fit the standard colors we offer because you just don’t see them often enough. I love creating harvest strands and using these pearls to make the truly special.

The request was for a large harvest strand with little emphasis on green and heavy emphasis on other colors. And did I mention large?! Our client likes her pearls large and so the average pearl size in the strand was to be around 12 millimeters and to include pearls as large as 15 and even 16 millimeters. The final length – 74 inches!

Enjoy!

Tahitian Pearl Harvest Strand

This is one of the largest and longest harvest strands I’ve ever put together.

A 74-inch Tahitian Harvest Strand

 

PS
We had a slight glitch with our blog last year and so many people weren’t getting blog post updates, so this may be the first one you’ve received in quite some time. My sincerest apologies about that!

Guess who is going to Bali, Indonesia!

A big, big congratulations! This is the second year we’ve been able to send one lucky winner to a pearl farm. Last year was Fiji, this year it’s Bali! Who is going to be next???

Black Friday begins Thursday at 9 p.m. Pacific!

It’s that time of year again and we are doing something very different! We will have hundreds of products on sale including door busters priced as much as 75% off! The party starts Thanksgiving night and is going to last all weekend. Instead of releasing everything at once, we will be releasing new batches of products every 12 hours!

We are calling it the Black Friday Countdown Sale!

black-friday-countdown

 

Sign up for email alerts for the next release of items!

Don’t get left out, get an email reminder from us 30 minutes before each release to make sure you don’t miss any of the new items that get added to the sale. You can sign up for that reminder here!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us at PearlParadise.com!

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