The Moti Ratna pearl pendant

Over the years we’ve received a steady stream of requests for something that is almost impossible to find in the United States: A large (10 mm or seven carat), round, white, all-nacre pearl that is undrilled and completely untreated.

“Moti” is the Hindi word for Pearl, and “Ratna” means Jewel or Gem. It is an ancient Hindu belief that wearing a pearl can have many beneficial effects, such as alleviating stress and anxiety, and boosting self-confidence. It is also believed to aid those suffering from insomnia, eye diseases, high blood pressure and heart disease.

There are specific guidelines for the type of pearl that should be worn, and how it should be worn. The ideal pearl is said to be white, round and untreated. The pearl should NOT be drilled, and should be worn in a way that it touches the skin. Round saltwater pearls have a bead, so the only types of pearls that could potentially be 100% nacre are natural pearls, keshi pearls and freshwater pearls.

The cost of a single natural pearl that is approximately seven carats and round would be astronomical. This triple strand of natural pearls with just a few in the 10 mm range sold for $1.6 million just a few years ago. Keshi pearls are rarely as large as seven carats and nearly always baroque. That leaves freshwater pearls. The issue is that all white freshwater pearls have been processed before reaching market. While the level of processing varies by quality, quite literally all have been processed.

Freshwater pearl farms do not sell pearls to wholesalers. They sell them to processing factories throughout China. The local term for pearls being sold to a processing factory is “raw material.” This raw material is sorted and then put through a series of processes called “maeshori” and bleaching. The reason processing is universal is because it increases the value.

Before our buying team went to the Hong Kong show in June, our CEO reached out to the same farmer who invented the process of growing souffle pearls to ask for a favor. We do a lot of business with his company and he owns his own processing factory. He agreed to sort out a small lot of round, white pearls from raw materials and bring them back to Hong Kong. Over the past month, I’ve been working on a new design–the Moti Ratna pearl pendant made from .999 pure silver.

Undrilled and untreated Moti Ratna pendant composed of .999 Fine Silver.

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

Guess what?!?!

Two weeks ago we blogged about the CPAA trip to visit the JHunter Pearl Farm in Fiji. I’ve been there. The place is amazingly beautiful and I really wanted someone who truly loves and appreciates pearls to go. Last week I decided to take a chance and purchase 1000 tickets for our Pearl Friends on’s forum.

We won :) We are going to hold a second raffle for current and active members of Pearl-Guide the week after Christmas. Someone is going to Fiji!

If you’re a current PG’er, get on this thread :)

Want to Visit a Pearl Farm in Fiji?

Our friends atthe JHunter Pearl farm in Fiji are hosting a lucky pair of winners of the Cultured Pearl Association of America Pearl Farm Visit raffle next year.

The drawing is in two weeks and there are a lot of unsold tickets, which means the odds of winning are better that just about any other sort of raffle or lottery out there.

Talk about the perfect stocking stuffers – just 10 bucks! :) Click here to read more.


PP Black Friday is just a few days away!

Our Black Friday sale starts at 9 pm Pacific Time on Thursday, November 26th and continues at 9 am on Friday, November 27th, with another release of Black Friday specials!

For our friends and clients who looked forward to the Connoisseur Sale that didn’t happen this year, we created a selection of special, one-of-a-kind Connoisseur items for this event! It’s going to be fun!