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Summer in full swing!

Take a break out of your day and feast on some of these Summer pieces we've put together.
Keep it light! 
These simple chain necklaces are lovingly made with a collection of colorful stones set atop Sea of Cortez rainbow lipped oyster mabe pearls. 
These "little gem" necklaces are bright, light and playful. 
These green/gold and blue vintage Japan Akoya pearls came out of the Pacific Pearls family vault! A trio of lengths and different colors are lovely by themselves and regal together. 
Two wonderful long Tahitian pearl ropes... do you keshi my drift? 
A batch of our latest "inner petal" rings, rhodium plated with BIG pearls and tiny gemstone clusters. 
feather pearls, Japan Kasumi and another little magic necklace to keep it light this season
We're off to join our Pearl-Guide friends for the Pearl Ruckus this weekend,
and very much looking forward to it.
Hope you're all having a fantastic Summer! 
We'll be back next week with loads more photos for you. 
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Spring Sale starts April 29th!

Spring Sale starts April 29th!

 

We are very excited about all the new styles we have to offer you this Spring. 

The first being this delicate but modern necklace we deemed The Duchesse .

(in honor of the never failing fashion advice to be found on Passage Des Perles Blog )

The luster of the South Sea baroque white pearls is fantastic and the 16.5mm natural silver color round Tahitian pearl in the center keeps this necklace from being overlooked! The necklace is made completely of 14k yellow gold and is finished with a small lobster claw clasp. 

 

Along the same lines, but slightly less formal is this 20" long medley of Chinese fresh water pearls spaced with chain. 

 

We also have a few new mixed metal tiny seed bead necklaces that are light and easy to wear with warmer weather. 

This series of necklaces is made with 2mm oxidized sterling silver beads, mixed hues of pink tourmaline, Tahitian keshi pearls, Japan akoya keshi pearls and high luster white South Sea baroque pearls. In some of the necklaces we added gold vermeil paddles (which were cast from ancient South East Asian beads, and tiny textured gold vermeil beads to add warmth. I love how the tiny beads and spacing allows for the pearls to really show their individual shapes and colors. 

 

We are also excited to bring back some of our favorite material to work with : 

Sea of Cortez Pearls

These mabe pearls really exhibit why these shells are called "Rainbow lipped oysters". 

 

Stay tuned, we are still uploading a treasure trove of new designs!  

Are you signed up for our newsletters? 

You can find the sign up section on the bottom right of our home page. 

I'll send out an email with the Spring Sale Coupon code just before the 29th!

With warmth from all of us here at Kojima Pearl

 

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rosebud Tahitian pearls .. the nacreous aliens among us

rosebud Tahitian pearls .. the nacreous aliens among us
Recently I made a strand of what I called “rosebud tahitian” pearls. The surface of these pearls is dotted with small keshi pearls that grew on the surface of the pearl while still in the shell. The texture is something not often seen in ocean pearls… and I was quite pleased with the way this necklace came together!  The term “rosebud pearl” is most often used to describe Chinese fresh water pearls or natural American fresh water pearls, but I felt that these pearls held the same feeling and thus a new category of pearls landed among us. The natural color Tahitian pearls in this piece ranged in size from 14-17mm!
Here are a few photos of the necklace which has sold.
Stay tuned.. we are working with a fresh lot of these unique pearls now!
If you are not reading new posts on www.pearl-guide.com…
you are missing out on the ever widening world of pearls.
Here is a link to a thread about rosebud tahitian pearls
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BIG HOLIDAY SALE ON NOW!

BIG HOLIDAY SALE ON NOW!
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PEARL RUCKUS 2015!

PEARL RUCKUS 2015!
One of the highlights of our year is joining fellow pearl professionals and enthusiasts at what we call the “Pearl Ruckus”.
These lavish annual weekends are hosted by the most generous Hisano and Jeremy Shepherd of Pearlparadise.com .

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.

They were both gifted with Finestrino pearl earrings hand made by Hisano ….for their years of work on the world’s largest online forum about pearls.

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!

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Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part III

Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part III
Here are some photos of the pearls we bought from our recent trip to the Sea of Cortez pearl farm in Guaymas Mexico.
Introducing the “NATIONAL” strand of Sea of Cortez pearls:
This necklace is made of 47 natural color near round (soft baroque) Sea of Cortez pearls ranging in size from 9.1-11.1mm. The strand was assembled by Manuel Nava using what he calls “national grade” pearls (he is a huge football (soccer) fan. The pearls in this strand were collected from harvest spanning the last 7 YEARS! Manuel finished the necklace just a couple of weeks before we arrived and it was love at first sight for me. I was so floored by the mix of colors. It is such an amazing representation of the natural colors of Sea of Cortez pearls. The first photo was taken in our studio and the next photo was taken in Mexico (with my phone!) As you can see the colors of these pearls change dramatically in different lighting conditions. The surfaces of the pearls in this strand are very clean, there are small dimples in the surfaces of a few of the pearls… but it is the range of colors that makes this strand so special.. that and the fact that having personally participated in the harvest process, I can attest that a strand of this quality is EXTREMELY RARE. The finished length is 20.5″ long and currently finished with a 14K yellow gold clasp (which can be easily changed if you desire a different style or different color thread). It is a joy to be able to introduce this strand. 

Learn more about a  fascinating experiment using water to filter light and inspect pearl colors!

conducted by none other than the farmers of Sea of Cortez pearls themselves!

We also loaded up on the infamous “mini mabe” pearls that are hand cut at the Sea of Cortez pearl farm, using their trademark Pteria sterna Rainbow Lipped Oyster.

If you have a design in mind for one or some of these, feel free to email us!

 

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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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Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part I

Sea of Cortez pearl harvest part I
After multiple flights and bus rides, we arrived in Guaymas, Mexico …
just as a tropical storm was winding down. The clouds were heavy and the gusts of wind warm and refreshing. Our hotel was built in the 1800’s and the architecture is gorgeous. Generous arches, hand carved wooden details and expansive plazas decorate the shoreline looking out over Bacochibampo Bay.
We finished the evening with Douglas McLaurin and his lovely wife Elisabeth eating ice cream made from local fruits, and wandering through down town. Douglas is an endless source of historic and scientific facts. I learned that Guaymas once boasted many foreign embassies and was a pivotal port for goods destined for the U.S.
Today the European architecture is what remains of that bustling time. Guaymas is also the home town of three Mexican presidents.
This morning I took my coffee in the shade of a giant cactus. Douglas picked me up for smoked marlin fish tacos for breakfast before heading to the farm.
The Sea of Cortez pearl farm consists of a gorgeous lofty white gift shop and offices.
The farmers and their staff have created a fantastic display of tools, shells and equipment to truly educate their guests in all the steps it takes to raise these very rare pearls. The jewelry store is lovely, and is complimented by two lovely ladies with warm smiles: Rocio Mendoza and Carolina Bazua. It boasts the work of many talented designers and artisans. The farm is really a destination in Guaymas and guided tours are given daily.
I’ve never seen a pearl shop with a better view!
The Sea of Cortez pearl farm crew work seamlessly.
Wise eyed men sing sweetly while bringing baskets of oysters in from the warm waters.
The oysters are opened and split in half.
Then comes the fun part! We SQUISH through the guts to find each and every pearl!
I was thankful for the full length aprons and matching boots!
Pearl harvesting is a messy business and these guys do it in style!
Enrique Arizmendi and Manuel Nava painstakingly record the pearl count and quality harvested from each basket.
After the pearls are harvested the shells and meat are separated.
The shells are cleaned and sorted. The best quality to be used as inlay, the others allowed to dry naturally. The meat is cleaned and cut to be sold as sea food.

The oysters used at the Sea of Cortez pearl farm are Pteria sterna .. Otherwise known as the “rainbow lipped shell”
It’s really no wonder!
Daniel Duarte, a very pleasant man, is in charge of web sales and photography and I must say I envy his job!

After harvesting was over we pored over the mabe pearl stock and matched pairs. Then we went for lunch in San Carlos.
We sat next to the harbor and learned that there is much truth in the description of it being a “drinking village with a fishing problem”

It was a fantastic first day and we’re looking forward to day two!
Being at a harvest is “what it’s all about”… The hokey pokey for a pearl dealer!!

 

 

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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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TUCSON GEM AND MINERAL SHOW 2015

TUCSON GEM AND MINERAL SHOW 2015

Our annual exhibition at the GJX show BOOTH 107 is right around the corner.

The show dates this year are :

February 3rd through February 8th, 2015

Hours: Tuesday 3rd thru Saturday 7th – 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday 8th – 10:00am to 4:00pm*

*No buyers admitted after 3:00pm on closing day, Sunday 8th.

PLEASE VISIT THE GJX WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON BUYER REGISTRATION

 

We are very much looking forward to showcasing many new designs and one of a kind pearls.

ALSO THE FIRST DAY OF THE SHOW IS FUJI’s BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR!

If you have never been to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, we highly recommend that you make the journey.

 

Bring comfortable shoes, hand wipes, and a shopping buddy!

There are dozens of shows going on all over the city of Tucson for weeks.

From dinosaur bones to exquisite gems and everything in between.

Here is a little information about the event in general, including show dates and registration requirements.

http://www.tucsongemshows.net/coming.html 

 

There are hundreds of seminars and lectures going on throughout the city during the show.

Of course our personal favorite is listening to Elisabeth Strack speak about pearls. This year her lecture will be  FEBRUARY 4th 2015 in the MOJAVE ROOM OF THE AGTA CONVENTION CENTER SHOW at 9am.

Here is the link to the full list of AGTA seminars.

http://www.agta.org/tradeshows/gft-seminars.html

We hope to see you there.

 

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