The Tucson show was, as always, exhilarating and exhausting! It is such a treasure to chat with customers who we’ve known for decades and fun to meet the new ones too. Memories of the first five days are a blurr of pearls and invoices. Each night brought a different dinner of pearl traders, rare stone dealers, entrepreneurs, designers, travelers, and very entertaining people. As always, a huge thank you to Jeremy and Hisano for having us to the Pearl-Guide dinner!
Our first batch of Japan Kasumi pearls from the 2016 harvest arrived home with Fuji just before our Tucson show. On the patio overlooking the desert mountains, I put together the first strand. It sold with in the first couple of hours of opening!
Sometimes being in the booth for days knowing the whole town is buzzing with treasure is challenging.. but when friends stop by to share extraordinary pieces.. like this 150 ct. natural wild found horse conch pearl I forget about the outside world.
This year we gathered on Friday evening in Pacific Palisades in a mansion that had so many rooms I lost count.
The ceilings must have been 40 feet tall and the arches framed the sky with grandeur.
Friday night was a champagne toast to the moderators of Pearl-Guide.com : Blaire Beavers and Caitlin Williams.. both are experts on pearls and lovely, warm women of MANY talents.
These amazing designs feature Chinese fresh water souffle pearls artfully carved out, polished and adorned with tiny pearls or gemstones.
These designs are the brainchild of Hisano and she even won the CPAA Orient Award last year.
We started gathering again early Saturday morning for a full day of presentations. Jeremy and Hisano took us on a video tour of their epic adventure to Flower Island in the Philippines earlier this year. They visited the Jewelmer pearl farms. Jewelmer, famous for their gorgeous South Sea pearls and their tireless pursuit of perfecting the golden pearl. They are culturing thousands of strains of algae in their laboratories to find the perfect diet for their pinctada maxima oysters to feed on!
Next up was Douglas McLaurin of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm in Guaymas, Mexico (where we visited just over a month ago).
Douglas is a very talented public speaker, and a gifted teacher. He taught us more about the history of the Sea of Cortez, the natural abundance and near extinction of the sea life there.
He outlined data they collected in the first ten years of their work showing the DRAMATIC repopulation of native oysters and how the rest of the sea life in the area benefitted!
By gathering and fostering the remaining oysters in 1996, they were able to stop the extinction of the species!
It was fascinating as always and made it feel so good to be a offering their pearls for sale.
Watch the trailer for the National Geographic “World’s Funniest Weird Farms” made about the Sea of Cortez pearl farm, and how Douglas became Dr. Mollusk!
After lunch and bit of relaxation, we saw a presentation by Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearl.. a world famous photographer, and pearl farmer from Ahe, French Polynesia. I have also travelled to the Kamoka farm on two occasions, so it is always a treat to see Josh’s photos of this magical atoll in the middle of the ocean. It is a place to dear to my heart.
The black pearls they raise, using environmentally sound practices are some of the most colorful and sought after in the world!
Their farm is powered with only solar and wind energy, and they let the fish populations clean the oysters. This is more beneficial to the delicate ecosystem of the atoll than spraying them clean. Another example of sustainable pearl farming!
Celeste Brash, a celebrated travel author and Josh’s wife. She is in charge of Kamoka’s websales .. and keeping him in line
Douglas McLaurin brought a beautiful array of Sea of Cortez pearls.. and also kept us entertained with his "special human tricks"
Much of the fun of the Ruckus is getting dressed up, showing off your pearls, and admiring those of all the other ladies in attendance. Caitlin and Sheryl Goodspeed of Mauna Kea Moonlight collaborated on her pearl mushroom pendant. Barbara Somlo showed off her metallic Chinese fresh water pearl pendant. Cathy Dassler brought her sweater that she hand embroidered using hundreds of 2mm white round pearls and silk ribbon! Wendy Fairchild in her most color Tahitian pearls.. and a hand forged fine silver pendant with a Sea of Cortez baroque pearl made by Carlos Cabral of Guadalajara Mexico.. and the “line of ladies”.. I love and admire each and every one of them.. it is such a joy to see them each year, hear their stories and meet the new faces in the group!
Sheryl set up a table of her beautiful jewelry, and Saturday was also her birthday! Her husband Tom, played and sung songs to entertain us with Mikey who is a professional diver and deals in the nuclei used to culture pearls all of the world! He is also famous for traveling with a “suitcase” full of pearls!
Sheri Jurnecka brought her famous octopi pendants set with different outrageous pearls,and also a cast mermaid pendant.
We set up a little table to show our latest designs and we were really excited to share the necklace of the top grade of Japan Kasumi pearls from the latest harvest, as well as the “glowing from within” Sea of Cortez mabe necklace.
That’s Patricia Saab in the lavender blouse.. she also makes pearl jewelry and sells the world’s BEST string for knotting pearls and gemstone beads.. Check out her etsy shop!
It was a weekend to remember.. and recover from!
On Sunday everyone met at PearlParadise office in Los Angeles and feasted on the fruits of their pearl vault! Please see more photos on the Pearl-Guide Ruckus 2015 thread!
We are blessed to be a part of this lovely talented group of pearls! Thank you Jeremy and Hisano.. you are generous wonderful people.
My only regret is not taking more photos!
Every year, the show in Tucson is a buzz of frenzied work and inspiration. It is one of the few times of the year that I am graced with the presence of so many pearl experts and enthusiasts. This year was no exception. Our booth was busier than it has been in years. Many old friends and customers who hadn’t made it for the last few years, returned to our booth … and it was a joy to see them excited about the pearls. Ready to go home and thrill their customers. One of my greatest pleasures is feeling like the special care we pay to choosing both beautiful and unusual pearls echos throughout the world born into one of a kind creations by some of the most talented and kind people in the business.
We flew from San Francisco on a crystal clear morning … looking forward to the fun!
After a quick birthday lunch celebration for Fuji , we settled in and finally finished pricing all the pearls.
Ready for the great show ahead!
For one golden morning we get to sneak out of the booth and meet with a fantastic group of pearl professionals for a walk and talk around the AGTA show. This walk is organized by the powerhouse appraiser known as Lois Berger.
Lois Berger the world’s most determined pearl grader!
Cute as a button and stronger than most people I know put together~!
Gina Latendresse of the American Pearl Company showing us all some of her interesting beauties. http://www.americanpearlcompany.com/our_company/ Gina is a second generation pearl dealer specializing in American Cultured Pearls as well natural pearls from all over the world. (She can also do handstands and flips) Needless to say , she’s a pearl heroine of mine! The history of their family in the pearl industry is most incredible.
If you knew Lou, please visit the facebook page created in his spirit.
Now it’s back to work, details details details… and pearls galore! Thank you for your patience, to all of you who have been waiting for responses and custom orders. I hope this photo montage will help you to see what a pearl whirlwind looks like!