Our Pearls are featured in Martha Stewart’s Wedding Magazine!

Empress Pearl Necklace as Featured in Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine

Pearl Paradise’s “Empress” choker was recently featured in Martha Stewart Wedding magazine! According to the magazine, “Pearl Paradise’s pearl-and-diamond “Empress” choker upgrades big-day and everyday looks!

The choker was designed by Hisano and is composed of 10 full strands of true round, 4.5-5.0 mm white freshwater pearls. Complementing the pearls are four diamond and 14 karat gold spacers staggered throughout. The choker is finished with a diamond-studded, 14 karat bar clasp.

The choker is a one-of-a-kind piece but will be added to the website soon, most likely during either a holiday or Spring promotion. That is, IF our friends at the magazine send it back to us!

Edit 09/25
Oops! We take back the part about putting it up on the website at a later date. The necklace went the day the magazine hit the stands and now we have to recreate it for a short waiting list!

Empress Pearl and Diamond Choker

A few notable pearl finds

Following Hong Kong, I spent a week in Europe so we are just now getting around to organizing and categorizing all the pearls Hisano and I were able to find. We were able to collect quite a number of the metallic white drops that sold out in a day last April, and Hisano is currently making as many pairs as possible before reaching out to those awaiting their earrings and pendants.

While we found quite a lot of amazing pearls, a few really stand out as being truly different.

One strand of akoya was unlike any I’ve ever seen. We’ve often carried natural-color silver-blue, golden and natural-white akoya, but this strand is Pistachio. The pearls have a natural, pistachio-green body color with thick, Vietnamese nacre. This strand is one of a kind.

Natural Pistachio Colored Akoya Pearls

Natural-color akoya pearls with pistachio-green body color

Hisano and I spent most of our time looking for the new, unusual and spectacular. Much of this involved going through countless lots of loose pearls to find those rare exotics that break from the norm of typical pearl possibilities. Most of the time there aren’t enough perfect exotics to make uniform strands, so we will typically make either multicolor pieces, or pieces of jewelry that require fewer pearls like tin cups or pendant and earring sets.

That wasn’t the case with the lavender-golds that we collected. We were able to make one strand. The pearls are perfect, and all very close to 10 mm. This is quite possibly the best 10 mm metallic freshadama strand we’ve ever made.

Metallic Lavender Gold Freshadama

A perfect strand of 10 mm, metallic-lavender-gold freshadama pearls

We also spent quite a bit of time collecting fireball pearls. Most of them we kept loose for earrings and pendants, but with some of them we decided to be a bit more creative. Hisano spent several hours collecting enough fireballs with strange, copper-green body color with purple and pink overtones to create a strand and bracelet combination – side-drilled.

This one is eventually going to need a photograph on a bust to really show the uniqueness of the finished piece.

Large fireball freshwater pearls with copper-green body color

Large, side-drilled fireball freshwater pearls with copper-green body color

These are just the tip of the iceberg, and more special finds will be debuting soon! Since Hisano is working with the loose drops and other exotic baroques, I’ll let her describe some of those finds in her own words soon!

What to do with a 55 mm pearl?!

Every time our buying team takes a trip to Asia, we are always excited to see what sort of “special goodies” they might return with. This past March, Jeremy and Hisano attended one of the large Hong Kong jewelry shows (they are headed back to the show next week, by the way) and spent a day finding those one-of-a-kind pieces that are just too good to be true!

The pearl below is a perfect example. This monster is 55 mm in length and 35 mm wide! What does one do with a pearl this large? We could design around the pearl by putting a trunk and a couple of horns on her to create a pearly wooly-mammoth. We could just create a basic brooch and let the pearl speak for itself.

We haven’t decided what to do this this pearl yet, but in the meantime, everyone should get the chance to enjoy Mother Nature’s massive work of art!

A giant freshwater pearl measuring a whopping 55 by 35 mm

A giant freshwater pearl measuring a whopping 55 by 35 mm

Creating Custom-Designed Pearl Jewelry

Past one-of-a-kind, leather, chain and color-shifting metallic pearl project

I’ve been requested to make quite a lot of custom jewelry in this past month. We make custom pieces on a regular basis like selecting loose Tahitian pearls to make into a special strand in specific colors, quality and sizes, special length requests or to create one-of-a-kind items, often requiring us to team up with our custom jeweler and friend Takayas Mizuno.

Custom pieces can be quite challenging with many email communications with the customer and a time-consuming process, but it’s very rewarding when the piece is finally done.

I’ve recently transformed a customer’s pair of Akoya stud earrings into dangle earrings. This pair of Akoya studs in a delicate 14K yellow gold setting was a gift from her parents and had a very sentimental value to her. But since she owned other pairs of simple stud earrings she didn’t wear them often.

The customer sent the earrings along with a pair of costume pearl earrings she liked. She wanted to connect a drop pearl to the stud earring. The first challenge was to find drop-shaped pearls that matched the color of the Akoya studs. Since Akoya pearls do not normally come in drop shape I needed to look into South Sea and Freshwater pearls. The Akoya pair had a very strong rose overtone over a soft ivory body color. I searched for very light golden south sea drops with a hint of rose. No luck. Even the lightest goldens were too yellow compared to the Akoya pair. Then I looked for freshwater drops and found few pairs that had strong rose overtones.

I sent a picture of the pairs and the customer chose the largest.

The next challenge was to solder a small jump ring on the customer’s earring finding to connect the drop pearl to the stud. After removing the pearls from the findings, I sent them to our custom jeweler, Takayas, who examined them carefully and advised that instead of soldering the rings it would be safer to get them laser welded. The jump rings were safely attached to the setting few days later and I assembled the earrings by wire wrapping the drop pearl and a tiny gold ball bead between the Akoya and the Freshwater pearls. The pair turned into a very delicate and elegant one-of-a-kind piece. The customer was very happy with the transformation and she is now looking into a new custom project.

Since the movie “The Great Gatsby” came out, I have been busy working with rope style lengths. The last project I made was 100 inches with a specific pattern.

Our customer wanted a long length that can be wrapped many times around the neck but didn’t want to be weighed down. She also wanted a clasp for versatility.

The pattern she wanted was 2 inches of small pearls with 7-8 mm pearl, repeat it 3 times, and for the fourth pattern change the size to 8-9 mm pearl and repeat. I suggested using 4.5-5 mm freshwater pearls that I happened to have for editorial piece, and also suggested using a 5 mm ball clasp from my little h line. I wanted the pattern and the pearls to be the focus and didn’t want the clasp to be too distracting.

I made a mock up of the pattern for approval along with the clasp options. After several emails we have decided to knot only between the larger pearls so the necklace will not distort in a wavy manner by knotting every small pearl. The biggest challenge for constructing the necklace was to get the 8-9 mm pearl come right at the 50-inch mark without changing the pattern drastically.

It took me few tries to figure it out and I finally changed the pattern slightly in the beginning to make it work. The necklace turned out beautifully. I had just the right amount of 4-5 mm pearls and were able to match with our AAA pearls in 7-8 mm and 8-9 mm.

My current project is even longer. I am now working on a 144 inch rope in 6-7 mm Freshwater pearls. I have made few 120 inches in 8-9 mm before but this would be the longest strand ever made at Pearlparadise and the customer has requested photos every step of the way to completion.

The first step is going through our stock of 6.5-7 mm AAA pearls and selecting 8-9 strands of matching silver overtone. In order to make 144 inches we would need at least eight strands of pearls, but I’ll also need to remove pearls that aren’t quite AAA. We normally tape these pearls with blue painter’s tape and replace them with qualified pearls.

After the selection and rejection process is complete, I remove them from the temporary thread. All pearl strands are made so that they slightly graduate to a larger size at the center. We purchase 6.5-7 mm strands and the center area is where the pearls close to 7.0 mm are. I divided the strand in three parts: the first 6.5-6.7 mm/center section of 6.8-7.0 mm/the last section of 6.7-6.5 mm.

I took the first section from all 8 strands and combine them and do the same with just the center section and to the last section. This way the long strand will have an even graduation of sizes.

After the pearls are arranged in the correct order, they are ready to be knotted onto a new thread. I am not using our standard silk thread on this since the weight is an issue. I am using a polyester or nylon thread  for strength.

Some of obstacles one faces when making such a long strand are measuring the right length for the thread, not tangling them (or untangling them when it does happen) and knotting them as tightly as possible – especially as the length grows.

Our customer has mentioned that this piece is not a unique design for a custom piece but a super long strand of pearls like this can do wonders with your wardrobe. It will instantly make a simple outfit glamorous!

New for April – Metallic White, Drop Freshwater Pearls!

We are pretty excited about this month’s special! We have never offered pearls like this before.

For those of you who follow this blog, you might recognize these pearls from the Hong Kong Jewelry Show 2013 blog post. In that post, Mrs. PearlParadise (Hisano Shepherd) is shown selecting individual pearls from thousands of loose pearls. THESE are the pearls she selected!

April Special Offer, Metallic white drop pearls