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BIG HOLIDAY SALE ON NOW!

BIG HOLIDAY SALE ON NOW!
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Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part II

Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part II
The farmers of Sea of Cortez pearls met while they were studying Marine Biology here in Guaymas. These three brilliant men: Douglas McLaurin, Enrique Arizmendi and Manuel Nava are all very different personalities but share a love of science, history and especially the ocean.
They are men of facts.

In 1991, long before a single oyster was nucleated here, the farmers of Cortez pearls spent a huge amount of time gathering what was left of the native Pteria sterna “rainbow lipped” oysters and fostering a repopulation following their near extinction.

The earliest chronicles of boat captains and Jesuit priests reported leagues upon leagues of pearl beds in the Sea of Cortez.  These accounts were recorded after the arrival of the Spaniards following the conquest of Mexico City in 1523. Over-fishing by the Spaniards and the freshly created nation of Mexico led to dramatic losses.

The creation of the Hoover dam greatly effected the Sea of Cortez and led to near extinction of many species. For thousands of years the Colorado River had supplied fresh water to the Gulf of California. Upon the completion of the dam, that fresh water dried up and changed the salinity balance of the entire gulf, killing some species of fish and robbing all others of oxygen rich waters.

Click here for an article by Douglas McLaurin to read more about these fascinating historical events and learn about the great Japanese Conspiracy in the Sea of Cortez!


Pearls oysters/mollusks are the “canaries” of their environs. They cannot survive in polluted water.
Small scale pearl farms such as the Sea of Cortez pearl farm, Kamoka and the fresh water pearls grown in Lake Kasumi ga Ura Japan are actually GREAT for the environment!

In the case of Sea of Cortez pearls the farmers created a generous no-fishing zone around their farm and all species have flourished there, which in turn has brought greater health to the entire bay… (By giving shelter to fish, the populations have increased, which in turn makes the fishermen happier, which in turn makes a brighter community of people)

As I sit here looking out over Bacochibampo Bay I can easily see how bountiful this place must have been hundreds of years ago. The contrast of the quartz  studded desert and the clear blue sea is the making of true paradise. Sonoran hospitality, warm smiles everywhere you look, and a calm easy pace of living has made this one of my new favorite places on earth.

Morning light on the fountain.

Native cacti in bloom.

A beautiful stained glass window depicting Cortez in our hotel.

A spur from a Spanish solider, part of Manuel’s collection.

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SUMMER IN FULL BLOOM

SUMMER IN FULL BLOOM

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying our garden and especially  the extra tourists a bird bath has attracted.

Our studio has also been a buzz of activity.. With several visitors stopping by to pick out their favorites. It’s such a treat to meet people in person after communicating with them online. I love putting faces and styles to names. I love that each lady (and occasionally a gentleman) brings with them a new story of what they do and what drew them to love pearls. I find that it’s often an auntie or mother who passed down the love of pearls and it feels great to keep the tradition alive and honor their memory at the same time.

Whilst enjoying this special place we call home.. I missed the show in Hong Kong last month.. But thankfully there were a lot of photos and videos taken of a very exciting forum of many of my pearl friends talking about sustainable pearl farming.

Here’s a link to Josh Humbert of Kamoka pearls giving his talk. He admitted he was nervous.. Not sure why, his family has been farming pearls on Ahe French Polynesia using only solar and wind power all the using farming techniques that help restore a beneficial balance to this diverse tropical ecosystem.. For decades!   http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qog8fC62bzQ

Douglas McLaurin of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm, probably my favorite blogger about pearls also spoke, please check out what he wrote about his time in Hong Kong.   http://www.perlas.com.mx/blog/

My only regret about this forum, besides missing it myself, was that our friends, the farmers of the luscious Japan Kasumi  pearls were not a part of the panel. Having persevered great hurdles, and brought the world organically grown fresh water pearls of superb quality, grown with the utmost care.. I hope to convince them to join in for the next forum.. and share with the world their special craft. It would be an especially important addition as most of the fresh water pearls of the world are grown in China and we know precious little about the environmental impact of this HUGE scale farming.

We here at Kojima and Pacific Pearls have long said: “Pearls are the canaries of their environment , without clean water.. There are no pearls”. It is one of our greatest joys to be working with farmers like these who are FINALLY being recognized for their environmental consciousness, and hard work!

 

PEARLS ARE THE ONLY THING IN THE JEWELRY BUSINESS THAT IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ! 

We’re very much looking forward to seeing these two farmers  and 30+ pearl enthusiasts as we will gather in Palos Verdes at the ever generous invitation of Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of Pearl Paradise for the annual Pearl Ruckus. This year’s Ruckus is set to be the biggest yet.. and I can’t wait to meet all the new people and see the treasures they bring to share. We will be bringing new pearls to share with the group who gather from far and wide.

In the mean time.. We’re feverishly trying to upload a bunch of new jewelry pieces we’ve been working on and many new pearly delights. Here are few photos of our latest acquisitions. Enjoy!

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Almost home!

Almost home!
Well my pearl hunting trip to Japan and Hong Kong isn’t quite over yet as I’m writing this from an airport layover but what a perfect time to show you all some photos of my adventures and give you an idea of what putting pearls in your hands entails.
Our 60 hours in Japan went by so quickly that I can barely remember it now.. But we did have a great soba noodle meeting with the farmers from Lake Kasumi ga Ura (Japan’s ONLY fresh water pearl production). There was a lot of giggling as per usual and of course lots of talk of the current state if the fresh water pearl market. These guys are true gems and it is our honor to carry their magical pearls.. Gifts from “the body of water beyond the mist”. On this occasion I was able to purchase a lot of Kasumi Keshi pearls! They are not big, most of them are not perfect.. And I know that the look will not appeal to most… But for those of you who are avid pearl collectors and understand the rarity of a strand (or rope) of natural color Japan Kasumi Keshi .. Then please find the sneak peek photos below .. I spent ALL day on Sunday painstakingly sorting these into quality and color mix pieces.. ( and for anyone who wonders if these are Chinese pearls.. Rest assured I could think of a thousand other things to do with my entire Sunday.
These are guaranteed Keshi pearls from Japan’s Lake Kasumi ga Ura… And what you see in the stringing board is the collection of one farmer over a decade!

When we landed in Hong Kong … This was the forecast.

And this was the view from the ferry coming home from visiting a friend in an outlying island.

So we splished and splashed from one office to the next trying to see as many pearls as we could before the Hong Kong show started. Most of my days were spent like this.. Making pairs and sorting through thousands upon thousands of pearls to find the most beautiful and unusual ones I could.

Fujis sister Aloha was in town from Bangkok and it was a joy to accompany her to the Hong Kong show as she has been in the pearl business for her entire life and is also a GREAT designer… So fun to have shopping buddies and teachers. It had been so long since i last went to the Hong Kong Jewelry show, I had forgotten how much fun it is! Here is a photo of her wearing our simple drop earrings , so complimentary with her elegant purple blouse!

The weather cleared just before the show began and these are photos from the roof of our building in Tsim Sha Tsui.

My favorite place to escape the hustle and bustle of a city with 7 million people!

The show was fantastic! I really enjoyed seeing so many old and new friends and shopping for pearls and other jewels for three long days!
Here are JUST A FEW of my favorite finds. I will of course post them all on the website little by little upon returning home.

 

AND as an added bonus.. Whilst I was away.. our team at home produced some very tasty pearl rings in our studio in downtown San Rafael.

These are simply warming my heart right now!

So the time has come to board the plane and say goodbye to the balmy days of Asia for a few months..

Thank you all for supporting what I do.. there is magic in it all. 

 

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?
After our June Shows
We flew to Japan.

The protective ninjas we always travel with are

handmade by the amazing Aki Morishima.

From Tokyo , we rode the train to see our dear pearl farmer friends at 

Lake Kasumi ga Ura.

Next I spent two wonderful days in Kinugawa with my best friend, such a relaxing and much needed mini vacation.

And then we were off to Hong Kong for more pearl shopping and family time.

Directly following our time in Asia, I was super happy to join my fellow Pearl-Guide members in Malibu for a wonderful weekend of learning, sharing and laughing. As always , in gratitude to Jeremy Shepherd and Hisano Takei and all the people who make this my best pearl weekend each year ! I had so much fun this year, I forgot to take more photos. The pool was just too nice!

 

 

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Not your grandma’s pearls… but we have those too!

Not your grandma’s pearls… but we have those too!
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