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K O J I M A P E A R L K O J I M A P E A R L

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FALL EXHIBITIONS 2015

FALL EXHIBITIONS 2015
SAN MATEO INTERGEM
SEPTEMBER 11-13 2015
we will be exhibiting as Pacific Pearls in the wholesale trade room

UNIQUE SF

SEPTEMBER 19-20

Fort Mason Festival Pavilion , San Francisco

Exhibiting as Kojima Pearl Co.

(booth #155)

DOUGLAS TRADE SHOW

HAWAII MARKET MERCHANDISE EXPO

 BLAISDELL CENTER , HONOLULU HAWAII

NOVEMBER 6-8

Exhibiting as Pacific Pearls

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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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A GIGANTIC THANK YOU, and a few small updates

A GIGANTIC THANK YOU, and a few small updates


As we are now nearly finished with all the orders from our sale.. I have a moment to send out a GIGANTIC thank you note..

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ORDERS AND KIND WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT!

We had the best sale to date! We were so busy making custom pieces for people , somedays I thought our studio was going to take flight.
We received so many touching notes from customers and many with photos of them beaming in their new pearls.
We shipped pearls to moms and daughters, brides, wives and pearl loving ladies all over the world and had a great time doing it!
Today we sent our donation to the Daraja Academy , a free secondary school for girls in Kenya.
It feels great to know that we are able to turn a portion of our passion for pearls into a contribution to the education of a future African leader!
LUSTER IN ACTION!
Thank you all for making this possible!
We are starting to work on many many new ideas, making new necklaces and looking forward to a general restock of our website.

We will be exhibiting at the San Mateo Intergem show May 29th -31st 2015, as always with Pacific Pearls in the wholesale section of the show.

Following that we will be away from the studio from the 7th of June to the 20th of June.. parcels will still be shipped during this time and all questions will be answered, we will simply be closed for studio appointments.

I promise we will return with goodies galore!

With warmth, Sarah and the Kojima team.

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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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ALL THE PEARL NEWS TO DATE

ALL THE PEARL NEWS TO DATE
Writing this slowly on a lazy Sunday morning here in Kowloon Hong Kong, before the Jewelry show starts tomorrow and the week of pearl shopping takes over my whole attention span. It’s been too long since I have updated this blog. Sometimes the pearl rolls so fast!
The December holiday sale, kept us more than a little busy, our strongest sale yet, with great reviews from online customers near and far… Thank you to all of you who shared the link for our sale with your friends.
January brought with it some much needed downtime and even a little vacation on the gorgeous north coast of California.
 
In January we were asked to estimate the value of a Quahog pearl for the local ABC station in Rhode Island : here is the link to our 20 seconds of fame!  http://ww.abc6.com/story/24521553/man-finds-pearl-while-eating-quahog  For the record… people who have found natural pearls usually have a fantastic imagination of the millions of dollars they are worth. If you quote a price between $800-$2000… all they hear is $2000! I did really enjoy watching the clip of Robert Morris, he has a great sense of humor.

 

The weeks leading up to our show in Tucson are always an exciting time. Full of planning and inspiration. We made a lot of news pieces for the show in Tucson, and the show was great. (even busier than last year) Overjoyed to see many old customers and to meet new ones as well. The highlights of the Tucson show for me were: having dinner with my friends of the Pearl-Guide world. Thank you to Jeremy and Hisano for once again hosting an elegant affair. This year the dinner was extra fun because it just so happened I was seated in the middle of a pearl farming information showdown! Jacques Branellec Jr.  of Jewelmer (fabulous golden South Sea pearl farmers from the Philipines … famous for their magnificent colors and quality) and Douglas and Enrique of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm in Guayamas Mexico (Mexico’s only pearl farm, producing incredible gems in the rainbow lipped oyster).  It was a Star Wars style laser battle of highly technical pearl farming biology and techniques… an epic friendly battle between attempting to “outwit” nature and being its adoring martyr. The other pearl luminaries I was honored to be seated with kept a healthy conversation, and the group .. at the behest of Elisabeth Strack spoke openly about having an International Pearl Culture Conference. A meeting similar to that of the Aqua Culture Conference in Hawaii in 1995, where information is freely shared and the event is held in the spirit of unity as opposed to overt advertising.  I am VERY much looking forward to this conference and hope that it will be soon! I always admire Elisabeth in any gathering, she is such a learned person, and an elegant woman with the most amazing listening skills. I aspire to be such a good listener! It was an amazing dinner, I learned more in a couple of hours than I had in years. As always we had a great time on the “Pearl Walk” with Lois Berger and her band of “pearl watchdogs”. I learned about a new technique of inserting a sponge like expanding nucleus into a  pearl oyster and allowing it to soak up the water and stretch the pearl sac, so that the second graft will produce a larger pearl. This method is creating some gigantic Tahitian baroque pearls … They have soft edges and resemble huge fresh water 2nd harvest pearls in shape. I also had the pleasure to chat with Gina Latendresse of American Pearl Company  . I received a great parcel of beautiful natural American fresh water pearls from her that I will be posting on the website in the coming weeks.

With only 9 days between getting home from Tucson and leaving for Asia on a pearl buying trip… I barely had enough time to unpack, get a cold, have a birthday, fill the orders from Tucson, sleep and pack again… but by the grace of pearl fairies everywhere we made the flight! Tokyo is always fun, bright lights, quirky and  polite people,  and fantastic food. On our second day in Japan, we went to see our dear friends, the farmers at Lake Kasumi ga Ura. We spent the day with them, talking about their latest harvest, drinking tea and of course looking at pearls.  Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for the addition of new Japan Kasumi pearls to our website. We had a lovely mini vacation in Japan.  We accompanied Fuji to his childhood home in Miyanoshita Japan. We visited the shop where the original Pacific Pearls store was in the 1950’s. We visited the Fujiya hotel where Fuji and his sister Aloha were frequent visitors at the heated pool as children… and we visited Lake Ashi where Fuji’s father Rudolf was an avid swimmer. We spent a wonderful time at a hot springs in Hakone … with a view of Mt. Fuji from the pools! WOW what a magical experience, to sit in a natural hot spring with snow on the ground and Mt. Fuji in the distance. We were very lucky to have this view despite the winter weather.

All of this leads up to being in Hong Kong , my home away from home. Looking out at the view of the Central sky line and waiting waiting waiting for the show to open tomorrow. I will spend the afternoon on Mui Wo with my old friend… saving money by NOT shopping for clothes 
 With thanks and the promise to post more photos of pearls soon. Sincerely, Sarah
 
Stay tuned for our upcoming sale! If you haven’t done so already please sign up for the newsletter to receive the coupon code before it’s posted elsewhere.
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A WEEKEND OF WONDER..

A WEEKEND OF WONDER..
We were honored to be guests at the most beautiful wedding of Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of www.pearlparadise.com . The wedding took place on a 2200 acre ranch just north of Santa Barbara. It was the most beautiful and elegant of celebrations I have ever been to. May your lives together be filled with happiness and fun! Thank you for inviting us to witness your marriage and be guests in such a magical place!
With love for the both of you!
Here are a few photos from this incredible time.

As we all gathered on a grassy bluff overlooking the ocean, these beautiful white parasols were instantly a perfect pairing with the deep blue skies and California sun!

Then came the greatest arrival I have seen to a girls own wedding!

I was too far away to photograph the actual ceremony, but I caught this one of the stunning Hisano  in her post ceremony glow.

After the wedding we all drank champagne and feasted on caviar and appetizers at a private beach at the Rancho Dos Pueblos.

The dinner was quite the feast… nestled in this incredible open air barn with chandeliers and pearls on every table for us to take as party gifts! Toasts were made, cupcakes were devoured, dancing ensued and finally the shuttle brought us all safely home with smiles on our faces and a night we’ll never forget.

Thank you pearl people! You celebrate well.. and I am blessed to call you friends!

Congratulations Jeremy and Hisano! 

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PEARLS WITHOUT BORDERS! ~NEW INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING RATE~

PEARLS WITHOUT BORDERS! ~NEW INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING RATE~

Great news!

Kojima Pearl is now offering a $42 shipping rate for international purchases above $270 !

We’re calling it “Pearls Without Borders” and it should make everything easier for those of us in distant lands.

(and all international orders over $500 enjoy free shipping)

 

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HANDMADE PEARL BROOCHES ARE BACK

HANDMADE PEARL BROOCHES ARE BACK

These lovely handmade brooches are made by the wife of one of our pearl suppliers in Hong Kong… she is a magical, happy woman with a fantastic smile. These brooches sell out everytime we get them. This time I chose JUST this many. If  you are interested in one or more, send me an email and tell me which one is your favorite. The price is $65 each. They are backed with base metal… and each natural color Chinese fresh water pearl is hand woven onto the base. An elegant addition to a minimalist dress or shawl…. they make GREAT gifts!

 

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