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

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

A few interesting pearl finds in Hong Kong

Sorry I’m late!

Hong Kong was fantastic once again and it really is starting to feel like a second home. I love Hong Kong in March because the weather is so perfectly mild. Contrast March with the Fall show and it’s like a spring day in the park vs a sauna set on high!

We were fortunate enough to find several things on wish lists and of course our staples, and also a few things that just sort jumped out at us.

Like these akoya!

Baroque Blue Akoya Pearls

I have to say, I don’t really know what to think of these. But I’d never seen akoya that looked like this before, so home they came. Hisano didn’t give me too much of a hard time because there were only three strands.

Just as a quick reminder, this is what most akoya pearls look like ;)

A sea of perfect akoya pearls

If you follow our Official Instagram Page, which Hisano and I personally upload photos to, you might have been privy to these monsters!

Huge Baroque freshwater pearls

That caliper doesn’t read 6.5 mm, by the way. It’s 16.5 mm. They are HUGE and they are going to be featured in our regular newsletter tomorrow. We only brought 23 strands home to test them out. They are some serious Wilmas.

Finally came the Tahitian, and yes I know Hisano posted a photo of it last month. But I fell in love with this strand the moment I saw it. Some of Pearl-Guide Ruckus friends know that I’ve got a small collection of football-shape pearls with the intention of someday matching enough to make a perfect strand and then this one comes along. The colors, the shape, the surface … it was one that really caught my attention. I typically have the strongest affinity for dark peacocks, which we get almost exclusively from Rikitea, Mangareva, but these are really something (so I am posting the photo again :) )

Strand of Tahitian pearls

The strand does now have a home, and I’ll have to say we got more emails about this strand than probably any other we’ve posted on this blog, and I’m thrilled that it went home with a friend of ours who will be attending the Ruckus. We get to meet this strand again!

 

We are headed back to Hong Kong

It’s time once again for the big March Hong Kong jewelry show and Hisano and I are heading out this weekend! We will be surrounded by millions upon millions of pearls and will be meeting with dozens of producers and processors from all over the world.

As usual, if anyone has a special request, please feel free to email either myself (Jeremy@) or Hisano.

Metallic souffle freshwater pearls

loose grade pearls used to make freshadama

Congratulations JulieBeth – You’re Going to Fiji!

Yesterday we held the anticipated final Fiji raffle. Congratulations Pearl-Guide member JulieBeth!

Julie has been a member of Pearl-Guide’s community forum since March of 2013. She loves and designs with pearls. Some of her work can be seen here on Etsy.

We shot a video of the drawing and there is a surprise at the end!

Who wants to take the next Pearl Trip of a Lifetime to … ??? :)