We are sending someone to Bali, Indonesia!

Last year we held a raffle to send someone to the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s sponsored trip to visit Justin Hunter’s farm in Fiji. Pearl-Guide.com forum member Julie Beth won that raffle and just left for Fiji this week!

atlas-pearls-and-perfumes

We had so much fun with this we decided to do it again! We’ve teamed up with our friends from Pearls of Joy and with Atlas Pearls to send someone to Bali next year!

From Atlas:

The winner will visit the beautiful “Island of the Gods”, Bali.

Atlas Pearls will escort the winner to North Bali to visit a working pearl farm.

Also called “another side of Bali”, North Bali offers an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Kuta. This part of the island has many beautiful and natural treasures including natural wonders such as waterfalls and lakes.

Atlas Pearls will provide five-night accommodation at a nearby resort offering a tranquil resting place and base.”

Here’s the catch! In order to enter the drawing, you’ve got to meet the following requirements:

  1. Have 50 or most posts on Pearl-Guide OR have been an active member for a minimum of one year.
  2. You’ve completed the Pearls as One certification course (PearlsAsOne.org use coupon code PEARL1951PARADISE for free access)
  3. Be willing to TAKE US WITH YOU! We will be sending the winner a GoPro to blog, post and shoot video for all the other members of Pearl-Guide.

When you’ve completed the course and are ready to be entered into the Bali drawing, send an email to PGPearlTrip@gmail.com.

We will hold the drawing December 27th, so you have plenty of time!

A full year in the making … Pearls as One

Over the past year I’ve been working on a project for the Cultured Pearl Association of America. It’s related to something I’ve been passionate about for nearly two decades, and I proposed it to the organization in September of last year.

With the help of avid pearl researcher Caitlin Williams from Pearl-Guide.com, and the technical skills of my good friend Kevin Canning of Pearls of Joy, we’ve created something designed to educate anyone and everyone who would like to learn more about pearls.

Today we launched www.PearlsAsOne.org, with the support of the CPAA (I am now the treasurer and chairman of the marketing committee), Jewelmer, Paspaley, Atlas, J. Hunter Pearls Fiji and the Hong Kong Pearl Association. It’s the first of its kind; an online pearl school, offering a CPAA Certified Pearl Specialist certification course.

I would like to sponsor all our friends who follow this blog. Anyone who would like to become a certified pearl specialist (yes, you’ll actually receive a certificate) can join Pearls As One (for FREE) using the coupon code PEARL10951PARADISE.

Pearls as One

Some amazing pearls from Hong Kong, June 2016

We made it back from Hong Kong and have finally started sorting out all the special pieces!

As you may have seen from the blog post last week, Hisano and I were accompanied by Erin from our customer service team. She was responsible for the wishlist and had a great time being nearly overwhelmed by Hong Kong and the giant gem show. While she was there, she was interviewed by NHK TV! They only used a small part of the interview, but you can see her starting from 0.53 on the NHK website.

June is not typically a “big buy month” for us as we enter the summer season, but we did find some special pearls.

Typically the finest strands of ripple pearls are multicolor. We had a request for a darker strand with all similar colors so we asked the company that creates all the best ripples if we could pick and choose pearls from a pile of different undrilled, matched strands to create a couple of special ones. They agreed! We left the strands in Hong Kong to be drilled and they just arrived this week.

A special strand of Ripple pearls

Hisano LOVES Vietnamese akoya pearls and we always visit the Japanese family that farms them. Hisano is working with them on another special project for later in the year, but she still had to get a few strands of special, natural-color pearls that just spoke to her.

Colorful Vietnamese akoya pearls

Natural color Vietnamese akoya pearls

Before the show we sent a request to one of our suppliers who owns a farm and a processing factory. We asked for something known in the freshwater trade as raw materials. These are pearls as the come, straight out of the mussels with no processing of any kind.

We tend to get quite a number of requests from people who are seeking completely untreated and undrilled pearls for astrological reasons. They need to be round and they can’t have a bead. This means they can only be freshwater pearls.

Our friends were kind enough to sort out about a hundred loose pearls for us before the show. They range from 9 to just under 11 millimeters.

Untreated and undrilled round freshwater pearls

This next pair of pearls was an interesting find. Finding a perfect pair of drops can be exceedingly difficult but we’ve had requests for them, so when I spotted this pair we snapped it up.

Gold South Sea drop pair

We were able to spend quite a bit of time with our friend Justin Hunter and his wife this trip and Hisano finally sorted and selected some Fijian pearls! She is already working on a new little h design with them.

Selecting Fijian pearls

A selection of colorful pearls from Fiji

Finally, there were some Edison freshwater pearls that took our breath away. They are so metallic, they look like little mirrored orbs. We picked up one small lot of only around a dozen of them in 11-12 mm, and some 15 mm singles that are just unreal.

15 mm metallic Edison Pearl

Metallic Edison pairs

And finally some “just because” colorful Edison drops. We decided to take them just because they were too beautiful to pass up!

Large and colorful Edison pearl drops

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Little Pearls from Tahiti

We just got a new auction lot of Tahitian pearls in this week that included something I’ve never seen before – Tahitian pearls as small as six millimeters! Last year we secured a small lot of 7-8 mm circled pearls from our friends at Collins Pearls in Takaroa, but these are even smaller.

The total lot contains just over 12,000 pearls and those below 8 mm make up only about 10% of the total, but that still a LOT of tiny pearls when we almost never see pearls smaller than 8 mm, let alone smaller than 7 mm.

We are going to have fun with these!

Tiny, 6-8 mm Tahitian pearls

small-size Tahitian pearl lot

There are so many silvers and even white pearls in this lot. There are also fun colors like gold and Pistachio.

Colorful Tahitian pearls

To see just how small 6 mm is, we plopped two 13-14 mm pearls in the center of a handful of them. It’s like parking a rowboat next to a cruise ship!

Small and large Tahitian pearls

The Secret Life of Pearls – Set your DVRs!

Tonight on NatGeo at 10 pm, The Secret Life of Pearls will air!

You can find details here.

I’ve personally had the honor of visiting the Paspaley pearling operation deep in the outback of Australia and I treasure the experience. While it was many years ago, it’s one I will always remember.

If you would like to see where some of the world’s rarest pearls are grown and where white South Sea pearls originate from and how they are farmed, you won’t want to miss this!

A single Australian South Sea pearl

Australian Outback

Pinctada maxima, the South Sea pearl oyster