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News

Do you follow us on Instagram?

Do you follow us on Instagram?

Check us out on Instagram !
We often add new photos of new pieces we make to Instagram first.
It's a convenient way to see what we are up to in the studio of music, laughter and pearls a plenty!
We have also created an Instagram account for our family business www.PacificPearls.us
You can shop many one of a kind loose pearls there. 
Just direct message us with questions or requests to purchase....
There is also a treasure trove of family pearl photos and a priceless video of Enrique and Douglas from Sea of Cortez pearl farm serenading Fuji for his birthday
 
We're getting really excited about our upcoming Spring Sale. 
Look for our newsletters in April with the invitation and coupon code. 

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Sea of Cortez Pearls IN FLIGHT

Sea of Cortez Pearls IN FLIGHT

I just got an email from Douglas McLaurin of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm in Guaymas Mexico that they were featured in this months issue of Delta Sky Magazine! 
It's a great read and we are so proud of our farmer friends! 
This article explains exactly how rare these pearls are and how a strand of these gems is a true collectors piece! 
We love these pearls and are honored to use them in our jewelry! 

Congratulations Sea of Cortez pearl farm... "keep climbing"!

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Sun Shadows Cortez Pearl Necklace

Sun Shadows Cortez Pearl Necklace

Making this very special piece was a journey.

I chose these micro mabe pearls from the farmers of Sea of Cortez pearls in Guaymas, Mexico one by one.

The Cortez pearl farm is the ONLY saltwater pearl farm in North America...and as you have probably guessed by now...we are in LOVE with their magical colors. Grown in the Pteria sterna oysters in the flourishing and protected waters they are also known as "rainbow lipped oysters" 

Micro mabe pearls are appx. 8-9mm in diameter and are hand cut one at a time at the farm on Bacochibampo Bay. 

At the center of this 19" long necklace hangs a 2.5" detachable pendant of graduating sizes of mabe pearls with a gigantic gem of 1.5" in length. 

We hand set each of these mabe pearls on a sterling silver seat, and each one is bezel set with 14K yellow gold. 

The clasp is made of 18K yellow gold and the necklace can be shortened or lengthened as suits your style. 

It is a testament to the wide world of pearls to be able to work across a border to create such a stunning piece. 

From a sustainable farm in Mexico to the hands of our jeweler here in San Rafael California...this piece took many months to produce.

For more information on Cortez Pearls please see our about the pearls page. 

(last photo credit goes to the wonderful Wendy Fairchild)

 

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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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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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RUCKUS 2014 - Panel Discussion and Interview with Sarah Canizzaro

Pearls from farm to YOU!

Pearls from farm to YOU!

This year’s 5th Annual Pearl-Guide Ruckus was the biggest and best yet! Over 30 pearl enthusiasts came from all over the county. We spent the weekend in a mansion on the cliffs of Palos Verdes, talking about pearls, listening to presentations, eating amazing food, admiring the view, giggling in the pool, and talking more about pearls. All the thanks for this weekend go to Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of Pearl Paradise, and their amazing team. This year we focused on pearls and the environment… it was a joy both to listen and learn, and to be in the presence of people who genuinely value sustainable in pearl production.

I was honored to be a part of a panel discussion on pearls at this year’s annual Pearl Ruckus, hosted by the generous Pearl Paradise crew. Myself,  Jeremy Shepherd of PearlParadise.com , Josh Humbert of Kamokapearls.com , Douglas McLaurin of www.perlas.com.mx/en/ .

Blaire Beavers, a true pearl expert, gave a wonderful presentation on pearls with a focus on nacre growth and, of course, an amazing array of pearl photos she has taken over her career in the gem industry.
Click the photo below to hear the presentation given by Douglas McLaurin of Mexico’s only pearl farm (the Sea of Cortez pearls we feature in our jewelry) about
“Pearls & the Environment.” IT’S FASCINATING! TRULY A MUST SEE!
From farm to table, to light box, to a Summer afternoon in the park, more than a half kilo of natural color Tahitian keshi pearls are ready to pick! Online now in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Parcels like this do not come around very often and I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with them.
If you’re going to be in the area, please come visit us at the San Mateo County Event Center for the Gem Show – September 5th-7th.
We will be exhibiting as Pacific Pearls in the Trade Room.
The hours are: Friday 12-6 / Saturday 10-6 / Sunday 11-5
For more information: http://www.intergem.com/shows/upcoming-shows/san-mateo-ca-september-5-7
If you are traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area, please feel free to make an appointment to meet us and view our pearls at our downtown San Rafael studio.

Thank you all for your continued support and appreciation of our ever-evolving world of pearls.

With warmest regards,

Sarah Canizzaro and the Kojimapearl team.

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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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