Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show 2014

The large pearl and gem show put together by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is just around the corner once again, this time with a twist! This year the council is introducing a new concept called “Two Shows Two Venues.” The first show (the one that interests us) will be held at the Asia World-Expo and will feature loose gems and pearls. The second show features finished jewelry and will be held at the main exhibition center. The shows combined expect to attract more than 40,000 visitors from nearly 50 countries.

Hisano and I will  be leaving for Hong Kong next week and Lynsey from Customer Support will be joining us – it’s her first trip to Asia and she’s pretty excited. Our pearl buying team is growing!

As always, if there are any special requests from the show, please feel free to email me or anyone on the team. We would be happy to search for that special pearl or strand.

Hisano Shepherd matching pearls

Valentine’s Day Style Guide 2014

Valentine’s Day is this week! How would you style your day with pearls? We love to play dress up and here are some styles that take an ordinary Friday night and turn it into pearly and romantic Valentine’s Day!

Wearing red may sounds cliché, but if it’s done right with a solid color dress and white Akoya pearls in yellow gold settings, a kitchy idea can turn into classic sophistication. Our new Trinity collection gives the right amount of glam with cluster of diamonds. Classic bracelets are staple piece to wear on their own or stacked for captivating appearance.

For someone who is looking for the extraordinary, soufflé styles are perfect! The irregular shapes are fun and the plump surface is scrumptious.  Blue baroque Akoya pearls are great addition to bring out the hint of blue found in the light-weight, silver-white soufflé pearls. Who says you can’t look amazing and be comfortable?

This black dress is made with stretchy material and we paired it with pointy flats, so you can eat the dessert and dance all night without pain! The versatile 35-inch necklace can be layered with a strand of blue baroque Akoyas or doubled up for a bountiful look. The tin-cup style gets you the effortless and “casual but definitely not simple” presentation.

Tahitian pearls are for the ultimate lux seeker. We’re obsessed with our new Elegance collection earrings and the Tahitian rounds make it extra chic. The bold green tones of the Tahitian pearls give a grown up edge to the otherwise cute ruffled dress. Why not stack a classic Tahitian ring with thin gold bands? Stackable rings are in and our classic ring styles are the perfect stackable statement rings.

Tahitian round necklaces are the modern day necklace every woman should have. Not only are they useful for special occasions, they’re a great way to amp up your everyday outfit. The unique colors and luscious overtones are far from “your grandmother’s pearls” image.

Whether you go with Akoyas, Freshwaters, South Seas or soufflé, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to  show off your favorite pearls.

 

Two Pearl Predictions for 2014

Nearly every year the news coming out of China is that freshwater pearl prices are on the rise. It’s notable that these warnings typically become more vocal around the time of the main jewellery and gem shows in Hong Kong, but this year I believe prices are undoubtedly set to rise on a wholesale level.

According to Michael Tse of the Heng Mei Pearl Company, expecting fine returns, investors bought up raw materials in 2013, leading to much higher prices. Some estimates indicated cost increases as high as 40%.

Read more on Jewellery Net Asia

by Jeremy Shepherd

Pearl Size: Volume vs Diameter

We’re often asked for advice when customers are trying to determine what size of pearl is best suited for them. The question is typically whether or not it is worth it to go up a size or two in millimeters. Is the difference really that noticeable?

The image below is of a 6 mm akoya pearl next to a 12 mm South Sea pearl. The millimeter size is exactly double, but it’s easy to see that the true difference in size is much greater.

6 mm akoya pearl next to 12 mm South Sea pearl

As a rule of thumb, I’ve always told customers that a 2 mm incremental increase in millimeter size would approximately double the overall size of the pearl. On the surface this tends to be confusing. How can an 8 mm pearl be twice the size of a 6 mm pearl?

Pearl Dreams, a pearl enthusiast from Pearl-Guide.com’s community forum produced a brilliant explanation that I plan to incorporate into our team training. It isn’t so much the millimeter size that determines the true size of a pearl. Given that pearls are three-dimensional objects, the volume is what truly determines the size.

By determining the volume of perfectly round pearls (V = ⁴⁄₃πr³) in 1 mm pearl increments, Pearl Dreams was able to show that a small increase in pearl mm size can have a large impact on the true size of a pearl.

12 mm pearl: 904 cubic mm (30% larger than 11mm and 73% larger than 10mm; over 3 times as large as 8mm)
11 mm pearl: 697 cubic mm (33% larger than 10mm)
10 mm pearl: 523 cubic mm (37% larger than 9mm, 95% larger than 8mm)
9 mm pearl: 382 cubic mm (43% larger than 8mm; 2 times as large as 7mm pearls)
8 mm pearl: 268 cubic mm (49% larger than 7mm)
7 mm pearl: 180 cubic mm (59% larger than 6mm)
6 mm pearl: 113 cubic mm

Pearl Dreams went on to describe a formula to determine the volume for a prolate ellipsoid, which can be related to oval pearls.

This is likely the best explanation I’ve ever seen on this subject.

Nontraditional Tahitian pearl pairing that works

Baroque Tahitian pearls are among my favorites. The best tend to have colors and combinations of colors within individual pearls that are nearly impossible to achieve with traditional rounds. The uniqueness of each pearl means that a full strand can never be perfectly duplicated (hence the need for individual photographs) and pairs are very difficult to make.

A good customer reached out to me earlier in the month and asked me to find a pair of Tahitians on the smaller side that had amazing colors. While I could have selected something extra special from the rounds, my first thought was to suggest a pair of drops or baroques. We had just finished separating a large lot of Tahitian pearls for the holiday season and I had set a few special lots aside.

Baroque Tahitian pearls with intense colors

My suggestion of using colorful baroque pearls was well-received but created a dilemma; she only wore stud earrings and drops and circled pearls are traditionally set onto dangle settings. We decided to try something more nontraditional and find pairs that would work set as studs.

An intense blue-green pair and a super-peacock pair.

Blue Green and Super Peacock Tahitian pearl baroque pairs

A pair with color so intense, the oil-slick effect is visible on the pearls

Oil slick peacock colors on a Tahitian pearl

I ended up matching a couple of pairs of drops too, and while the colors were striking, I had to recommend going with one of the less symmetrical pairs.

Given that her two favorite colors are blue and green she opted for the first pair. I love the result.

Baroque Tahitian pearls set as traditional stud earrings