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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).

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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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