Hong Kong, June 2014: My favorite finds

We had another whirlwind trip to Asia. The show layout looked very different this time. Our regular vendors had a lot smaller spaces but seemed to be busier with visitors crammed in tight booth spaces.

Jeremy and I had the pleasure of having Elia with us this time. Since it was her first time at the show, she had to wait in the winding long line to get her badge. While she waited Jeremy and I visited a couple of Tahitian pearl producers exhibiting and got several loose lots. Our small size Tahitians (8-9 and 9-10 mm) are always in demand and we were happy to find the right colors and quality to replenish our stock.

As we searched for other pearls, we came across a bundle of blue baroque Japanese Akoya strands and they were big – over 11 mm! We’d never seen this size baroque strands before so we were very lucky to find these few strands almost buried with loose South Sea lots.

Large Blue Baroque Akoya strands

Large Blue Baroque Akoya strands

I stopped by the Vietnamese Akoya pearl farmer’s booth to say hello and they were delighted to hear our successful June Monthly Special featuring their pearls. The farmer has brought the rest of the blue Akoyas that he had kept in his vault for the last six years. The price on these strands were at a premium so I decided to take two strands that had the best color and the luster for our upcoming September Conoisseur sale.

Premium Vietnamese Blue Baroque Akoya strands

Premium Vietnamese Blue Baroque Akoya strands

Right before the show started one of our regular Akoya suppliers stopped by our office and offered us a few natural-color, madama akoya strands. It’s so rare we get see any true madama-grade strands so we took them all and immediately sent them to Japan for certification. They just came back from Japan and we’re happy to have them in stock again. We’ll be listing them soon.

Madama strand

Madama strand

While Elia searched for mid-year-sale worthy pearls, I looked for special pearls for our Conoisseur sale. The Conoisseur sale is the one special time where we can let our creativity fly. There’s always some special pearls that captivate us that can’t be categorized as a regular color, overtone or shape. Here are some of those special pearls:

Slight off round Edison pearls

Slightly off round Edison pearls

When Jeremy and I saw a loose lot of perfectly round, GIANT Edisons, we  thought long and hard whether to get them or not. After few negotiations Jeremy decided to take two out of the four I selected.

Super Lustrous 15-16 mm Edison Pearls

Super Lustrous 15-16 mm Edison Pearls

We’ve also had some requests for large Fireballs.

White Fireballs

White Fireballs

Natural Color Fireballs

Natural Color Fireballs

We also had some requests to look for the Edison drop pearl with a “oil-slick” orient like the pearl Jeremy found for me last March.

OIl Slick Orient Edison Pearl

Oil Slick Orient Edison Pearl

We are now well stocked for the summer and excited to let our creativity burst!

Something Special: Vietnamese akoya pearls

Vietnamese akoya pearls

Back in September I purchased a very special lot of loose, Vietnamese akoya pearls while at the Hong Kong show. They were large (for akoya), individual pearls with insane color and super-thick nacre. Since I wrote the blog post about these rare beauties we’ve had many inquiries for pendants, earrings and strands. We just didn’t have enough to make them available on the website.

At the show in March, however, Jeremy and I were able to get all of the remaining strands from the same pearl farmer who owns and runs the pearl farm in Vietnam, so we finally have a small selection that will be made available on the site as the June Monthly Special this week (the email will go out tomorrow – June 3rd).

Vietnamese akoya pearl pendantThese pearls not only have natural, exquisite blue body color but also very thick nacre. The farmer told us these pearls were under water longer than the typical Akoyas. The farmer also experimented by storing theses strands in a safe for five years to test the longevity of the color. He found out that the color remained the same. He decided to release this batch in March – between us and our friends from another company, we purchased everything he had. He told us that it will be another two years before he would harvest the new batch of baroque Akoyas.

With the loose pearls I decided to make simple but elegant earrings and pendants that focused on showcasing the natural beauty of pearls. I chose few of John’s molds. For the light blue Akoyas with warm body color I paired it with yellow gold and chose white gold for the cooler tones. A single bezel set diamond is just enough to accentuate the baroque pearl. The triple diamond earrings has an elegant but quiet presence. There will only be a few pieces available, but each is very special and unique.

I hope you love these rare pearls as much as we do!

Vietnamese baroque akoya pearls

A few strands that will be available during this month’s promotion

Chic Mom’s Pearl Style Guide

In honor of the upcoming holiday, we’ve put together four pearly outfits for our lovely moms!

For all of our moms that love feminine dresses, pearl strands are must have items for effortless elegance. We made a double strand necklace with our highest quality Freshwater pearls. Adding a second strand to a pearl necklace uplifts to a refined sophistication. The versatile silver charm bracelet is perfect for moms who love to collect charms from kids’ memorable moments, various vacation destinations and other proud moments in life. The versatile links have built in hinges in every other link to allow the charms to hang easily without taking them to jewelers to get attached. It can be easily moved around as the collection grows. Dangle style earrings are another staple item for chic elegance. The Duet dangles have just the right amount of diamonds that shimmer pleasantly as it showcases the pearls.

Feminine Mom-3This style was inspired from moms who play hard with her kids and work hard! This is a great polished look matched with White South Sea pearls. Our Radiance pendant is a clever way to sharpen your look for the day. South sea studs give the bold and confident statement on its own. Add a South Sea vixen ring or the classic ring and the outfit is complete.

Pro Mom 3This layout is for the work at home or the full time moms that love the relaxed casual outfits but wants a little glam. Pink Freshadama pearls bring a soft color palate to the otherwise neutral attire. Our Lux earrings are light and sleek, great for running errands and going about busy schedule. The Desire pendant is also an easy way to add a sparkle to the neckline without being over the top. For moms that want a little more glow, our Always ring will not disappoint!

Casual Mom-3For our moms that love bold colors there’s nothing more fitting than the Tahitian Baroques. The vivid colors of green and pink tones with supple shapes of Tahitian baroque strands give so much character. A complete set of necklace and matching earrings is a great gift for moms starting their pearl collection.

Colorful Mom 2_1

My Favorite Finds from Hong Kong March Trip

Metallic Souffle Pearls

It’s been over a week since we came back from Hong Kong but pearls are still trickling in. We were very focused on replenishing low-stock items and started the show looking for Tahitians on day one, Akoya strands on day two and freshwater pearls on day three.

Here are just a few of my favorite finds!

On day one while I was “supposed” to be looking for Tahitian loose rounds, this small lot of Golden South Sea keshi pearls caught my eye.  A Japanese vendor had an assortment of keshi pearls and this was the smallest lot he had.  We purchased a small lot of white South Sea keshi pearls at the last show and these keshi pearls were even smaller. I used the white South Sea keshi for a ring for my little h collection and I will be adding these golden beauties to the line as well.

Golden South Sea keshi pearls

On day two we stopped by our freshwater pearl friend’s booth just to say ‘Hi’ before searching for Akoya pearls but we ended up staying for a bit because our friend had set aside some metallic strands for us. As Lynsey and I started looking through the lot to check the quality, we came across these strands that matched my special ring.  It was very unexpected and I can’t wait to make something special with them.
Metallic freshwater pearl strands that matched my special ring

In our hunt for Akoya, we decided to visit our friends who are Japanese, but operate an Akoya pearl farm in Vietnam. Back in September, we bought almost all of his extra-special loose baroque pearls. I knew that he was hesitant to sell the pearls because he wasn’t planning on making them anymore. I felt a little bad and decided to make two pearls into pendants for his daughters and gave them to him at the show. He was also really excited to hear that so many people had expressed interest in his pearls after my September Show blog post.

He told us that he is just now starting implantation for a new crop of natural blue baroque Akoyas and that it would be another two years before he would be able harvest them again.  The baroques he had at this show were from a selection that he had locked in a safe for a number of years to prove that the color would not change. Jeremy decided to purchase everything he had left.

Natural color baroque akoya pearls from Vietnam

Day three was all about freshwater pearls. Lynsey looked for metallic strands and Jeremy and I went through the buy list of our standard items. While I was sorting 6.5-7 mm freshwater strands Jeremy left the booth. He always says, “I’ll be right back” but that usually turns into half an hour (at least) or more. He cannot walk across the show without bumping into someone. Whether it’s our friends Kevin and Alana from Pearls of Joy, or vendors who we used to work with, everyone wants to talk to Jeremy.

An hour or so went by when he came back and when I was just about to nag him for not “working”, he surprised me with this interesting pearl. He went over to Grace Pearl’s booth to compare some pricing and found this Edison drop pearl. It was set in a 14K white gold bale and sold as finished jewelry but since the color was so unique, Jeremy bought it anyway.

I decided to remove the white gold bale and refresh the look with our Adore pendant in rose gold.

Jeremy and I get to look for fun pearls usually on the last day of the show. This is when we can concentrate on looking for wish list pearls and something different for our promotional events.

Here are some yummy fireballs:

Besides the regular Fireballs, we also found coin nucleated versions.

We had some special requests for small size soufflés that can be made into rings. Out of two containers full of smaller size soufflés, these are the smallest special ones I was able to find. These petite soufflés are 11-15 mm.

Since we had a little more time than usual, we matched some white fireball strands and small souffle strands from for-sale-as-loose pearl lots.

We’re excited to start designing with these wonderful pearls!

Spring Summer Pearl Lookbook 2014

We are excited to complete another successful Spring/Summer set of collections. It was a strenuous project juggling Pearl Paradise designs along with our sister site Pearl Collective, but we were able to complete them just in time for our PR editorial event in New York. We were able to create four collections this season.

The Encircled Collection was designed and created by John. He focused his design on the deep ridges or indented lines that are prominent in baroque Tahitian pearls. He started experimenting with texturing thin flattened wire and created these designs. It is a very meticulous process since each band is fitted specifically to a pearl.

The Encircled necklace above was was pulled for a request by Real Simple magazine and is now on the cover of April issue! It’s hiding down there in the lower right corner but it’s there!

 

Jeremy and I found some wide baroque Freshwater pearl strands at one of our buying trips in Hong Kong. The subtle creases and dimples on the pearls interest me and I gathered small prong set diamonds on posts and sprinkled them onto the pearls. The small points that were created by the diamonds looked like constellation so I named it the Celestial Collection. I love the combination of subtle diamonds and big pearls!

The Prima Collection was designed for everyday wear. We wanted to showcase that everyday pearls don’t have to be generic white strand of pearls. The simulated Turquoise nucleated carved pearls are set on simple settings and yet have so much presence. The large Edison pearls are fun to wear when you want something large and bold. Our classic Tahitian styles are still our best sellers every year.

The Link Collection is something I’ve wanted to make for awhile. I found onyx and agate hand carved links at the Hong Kong show and immediately wanted to play with them. The jet black onyx works perfectly with the dark green Tahitians and the white agate complimented soft lavenders of soufflé pearls. I also wanted to make contrasting bold necklaces using the largest onyx links and the large white Freshwater baroques.

Below is the link to our lookbook:

PP LOOKBOOK SS14-small

Enjoy!