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a pearl reno from the heart...

a pearl reno from the heart...

Waking up on Thanksgiving in the beautiful back country of Mendocino County was lovely.

Wifi is shaky in the country,

but I was able download the blog post from Passage des Perles , and warmed me like none other. 

Last Spring when I visited with La Duchesse and her lovely family in Montreal, she handed me a gorgeous necklace of lustrous near round fresh water pearls that were dear to her heart, but said that she didn't wear that length much anymore. 

Her account of what these pearls meant to her is a story that makes what we do worth it! 

(really any account by La Duchesse is worth the read, we read them aloud in the studio, and you can sign up for her blog to be emailed to you too!)

I love bringing special pearl pieces back to life, giving them a current appeal while retaining the memories they hold for the owner. 

It was an honor to rework these pearls for her. 

Thankful for the ladies who trust us to handle their treasures.

We love what we do, we laugh, we play, we work with beautiful material, your stories and photos of how these pieces touch your soul and bring smiles to your faces is SO much a part of what gives us the steam to keep going all these years. 

For the circle of friends and family we have created world wide, each one of you:

a pearl in the greatest strand ever! 

Thank you all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter SALE coming soon!

Winter SALE coming soon!

HOLIDAY SALE STARTS NOVEMBER 24th!

We're starting the Holiday Sale a little earlier this year. 
We're busy creating and uploading lots of new designs.
There will be something for every style. 
Want something custom?
Feel free to email us:
kojimapearl@gmail.com

For more than two decades we've been working
with the best pearls the world has to offer.

Still feeling honored to be doing what we love. 
Thank you and Happy Holidays!

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DIY Guide : how to make a genuine Japan Kasumi pearl necklace

DIY Guide : how to make a genuine Japan Kasumi pearl necklace

Part I :
Get on an airplane, travel to JAPAN. Meet with the actual people who farm these rare pearls in Lake Kasumi ga Ura. Drink tea, giggle, negotiate and buy their pearls.
Part II:
After carefully navigating the import duty procedures and a good night’s sleep, sort the pearls by shape, size, luster, surface quality and color.

Part III:

Carefully drill each pearl using a specialized machine. Ventilation and patience required. https://www.facebook.com/KojimaPearlCompany/

Part IV:

Wash the drilled pearls in fresh clear water, we recommend using Mt. Shasta spring water (but any old mystical mountain water will do).

https://www.facebook.com/KojimaPearlCompany/

Part V: Carefully choose each pearl for the strand to create wearable art , showcasing not just each pearl but the fluid glow of a true heirloom.

Part VI: String the pearls on your choice of thread , learn to knot pearls (expect some amount of frustration at the onset), choose a clasp and create a truly one of a kind piece of natural history.

Speaking of history... Did you know that one of our Japan Kasumi pearl necklaces was featured in the Pearls Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC in 2002? It toured around the world with the exhibit for many years after that!

 

 

There are a select handful of online pearl dealers who are currently carrying genuine Japan Kasumi pearls (besides ourselves and our family company Pacific Pearls ).
If you would like me to introduce you to them, please feel free to email me.
The rest of them are either misleading or being mislead.. or both.
As always, to make educated choices as to which pearls you should buy and wish to avoid look no further than Pearl-Guide.com

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Japan Kasumi Pearl Harvest 2015

Japan Kasumi Pearl Harvest 2015

Here are some photos from our trip to Japan this last February/March 2015
 As always, our first day was spent with the gracious and noble farmers of Japan Kasumi pearls.
It was still quite chilly that day.. but we toasted Yoneguchisan for his birthday and the quiet of the farm was a relaxing place to pick through these very special pearls.
Japan Kasumi pearls are grown ONLY in Lake Kasumi ga Ura ,  JAPAN, and these are two of the THREE farmers who still produce these very rare pearls.
Japan Kasumi pearls are NEVER dyed or treated.  After harvest they are rubbed with salt to clean them and washed only in fresh water.
Kasumi ga Ura translates to “the body of water beyond the mist”.  It is their special colors and the time honored way they are grown that makes Japan Kasumi pearls so  sought after.
This is a closeup of the shell used to grow Japan Kasumi pearls.
Yanasesan and Fuji could easily discuss pearls for a month straight.. one day with these farmers is never enough.
These are an invasive species that gives much trouble to the farmers and their precious mollusks.
Here Yanasesan is showing Fuji where he raises the mollusks that will later be nucleated with shell beads which will eventually become Japan Kasumi pearls.

 Thank you Japan.. More please!

Stay tuned as we continue to sort, drill and set these very special pearls.

Here are a couple of  photos of what we’ve put together so far from our new stock of Japan Kasumi pearls.

 This is the top strand from this years harvest the pearls measure 10-14mm.

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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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the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

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.

The best night out was spent with new and old friends from Pearl-Guide . Thank you very much to Jeremy and Hisano for organizing and hosting such a lovely dinner. I wish I had better photos of it to share! Such a fantastic group of people. I was blessed to have been there. Thank you to Elizabeth Strack and Lois Berger for keeping me entertained with fantastic stories and hilarious bits of women’s wisdom. True pearls, those two!
The relatively short 6 day show at the GJX  is great! Just before jumping on the plane to fly home. I made the annual stop at the Gem Mall to see the work of my dear friend Lou Zeldis. As many of you know Lou passed away in 2012 and left an incredible collection of original art. His dear friend Liz Marx took the reigns and kept the booth open in his honor. She is a true friend  with a superhuman heart.

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!

Cheers, Sarah

 

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