We are Featured in the Financial Times with Jewelmer!

Earlier this year, I wrote about an amazing adventure Hisano and I had visiting Jewelmer’s pearl farm in the Philippines, where we were able to take a helicopter ride around the farm and even dive the pearl lines. It was my second time there, but still the trip of a lifetime.

Jewelmer's Pearl Farming operation

What I didn’t mention in March (and couldn’t mention), was that we were taking a writer and a photographer from The Financial Times, an international daily newspaper with a daily readership of 2.2 million people and 4.5 million registered online users at FT.com.

The nearly 1000 word article came out today!

You can see the full article here.

The golden pearl, the result of a recessive gene, grows in the South Seas of Asia, in the gold lipped oyster. In the Palawan province of the Philippines, known for its beautiful beaches and saturated purple sunsets, Jewelmer, a luxury pearl brand, produces 70 per cent of the world’s top golden pearls.

If FT.com doesn’t allow you to view the entire article without an account, you can get a free account here.

I brought a GoPro camera with us to create a sort of “homemade video” of our adventure too, and decided to keep the footage mostly raw without narration so you can just enjoy the incredible beauty of Jewelmer’s golden South Sea pearl farm.

Arriving with Syl Tang, writer for the FT, and Mr. Branellec Sr.

Arriving with Syl Tang, writer for the FT, and Mr. Branellec Sr. – Photo by Nick Hunt

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


A trip to Paradise (and Hong Kong)

My apologies for being a bit late on the Hong Kong pearl report. Shortly after Hisano and I arrived back in Los Angeles I had to leave again to attend my son’s graduation from Delta Flight Attendant Training. We once again have a flight crew member in the family!

Hong Kong was fantastic as it always is, but the best part of the trip was our visit to Paradise – Jewelmer’s pearl farm in Tay Tay, the Philippines. It was my second trip to the farm and while it wasn’t a leisure trip, it certainly felt like it.

We brought a GoPro camera and shot quite a lot of video, including from a helicopter over the farm and underwater where Hisano and I swam a full line as the panel nets were being flipped. Video always takes a lot of time to piece together, so in the meantime here is some eye candy to enjoy!

It requires breathtaking beauty to grow perfect golden pearls

It requires breathtaking beauty to grow perfect golden pearls

Click the image to zoom in and see the actual pearl lines.

Click the image to zoom in and see actual pearl lines.

This is why pearl farmers MUST be environmentalists. This is the purity required to grow pearls.

This is why pearl farmers MUST be environmentalists. This is the purity required to grow pearls.

We took a "Pearl Line Selfie" at 20 meters :)

We took a “Pearl Line Selfie” at 20 meters :)

Each panel filled with pearl oysters is flipped

Each panel filled with pearl oysters is flipped

Somewhat eerie yet so beautiful.

Somewhat eerie yet so beautiful.


Yes, those are fish - thousands of them.

Yes, those are fish – thousands of them.

It was difficult to leave, and the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong immediately following serene paradise was bit of a adjustment, but there were pearls to be found and only three days to find them. We missed the first two days of the show while in the Philippines.

Apart from the regular shopping list items we did stumble accross some special things! We picked up some insanely colored Edisons including a dark purple strand and matched up a bunch of giant ripple pearls to create a colorful monster.

We also discovered a small Japanese company that had not come to the show before and one we’d never seen in Kobe. They’re niche is very specialized – baroques. In the past I had only been interested in the natural-color silver blue baroques but only because the whites that I’d seen were borderline rejects. The white strands they had were different – lustrous with great colors and visibly thick nacre. They were also big – 9.5-10.0 mm. They didn’t have many of the large strands available but we ended up taking all of them inlcuding their natural-color silver-blues.

To understand the size of these pearls, that center ripple is 18 mm.

To understand the size of these pearls, that center ripple is 18 mm.

Congratulations Fawna H., Ticket number 2648!

We would like to extend our congratulations to Fawna H., winner of the once-in-a-lifetime trip to Flower Island Resort in the Philippines! Her lucky ticket number 2648 was drawn on Monday afternoon.

Have fun, Fawna!

Flower Island Raffle – The Philippines

I’d like to personally wish everyone the best of luck with the upcoming drawing for the trip of a lifetime to Flower Island in the Philippines!

On the 15th, I offered tickets to anyone and everyone that would like the chance to win, and we also gave some away in a contest and on our Facebook page. This weekend I am taking this giant stack of ticket stubs to the JCK Jewelry Show in Las Vegas to deliver them to the Cultured Pearl Association of America. The drawing happens this weekend!

Flower Island in the Philippines anyone?

Some of you may recall that I blogged about the ‘Pearl Trip Around the World‘ that took me to pearl farms in China, Japan, the Philippines, Fiji and French Polynesia. Our short documentary The Tahitian Pearl followed this trip, and eventually I plan to use the footage from the rest of the trip for something even bigger and better. I just need to find a 4-5 month window of extra time to put the work in!

(Be sure to click the images to enlarge)

During the trip there was one destination that stood out among the others as one of the most exotic, beautiful and far-flung places I’ve ever visited – Jewelmer’s Flower Island in Palawan, The Philippines. To reach Flower Island, we flew by helicopter for hours from Manila, even needing to stop once for refueling. It really is that remote.

Flower Island is owned by Jacques Branellec, founder of Jewelmer, a French Filipino company that specializes in the production of deep golden South Sea pearls. The island resort is located on one of Jewelmer’s many pearl farms.

I would like to help send someone to this tropical paradise.

Jewelmer has teamed up with the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) to send two people on an all-expense-paid trip for a vacation on Flower Island. The CPAA has printed a total of 5000 tickets and each ticket is selling for $10 apiece. But there’s a problem. The contest ends in a couple of weeks and there are thousands of unsold tickets left. This means that the odds of winning are better than anyone could have previously imagined.

I’ve decided to assist Jewelmer and the CPAA with those tickets. We’re hosting a contest on our Facebook page and another on our website. But I know that the people who would truly appreciate this trip are most likely those that read this blog. If you would like me to send you FREE Golden Tickets for Two, just email me your name, telephone number and address and I will drop them in the mail for you – jeremy@pearlparadise.com.

For the legal mumbo-jumbo, see the CPAA’s website: http://cpaa.org/goldentickets/

Gorgeous Golden South Sea Pearls

Golden South Sea pearls grown at Jewelmer’s Pearl Farm near Flower Island