Friday, November 23, 2007

Pearl industry expected to grow into a $3bn industry by 2010

The global pearl industry is expected to grow into a $3bn industry by 2010, according to the first industry report on Pearl industry, which was released in Abu Dhabi

Currently, the global pearl farming is a $1.5-bn industry. In value terms, more than 50 per cent of this trade is composed of black pearls. The report was released by International Pearl Revival Committee during their first international pearl convention. The findings of the report were revealed in presence of Industry stalwarts and luminaries by Chairman of the Pearl Revival Committee Khaled Al Sayegh. 'Various socio-economic and political forces are driving the pace of change in the natural pearl industry. The report indicates that in the future, the world wide Pearl industry will see sluggish growth of pearl jewellery sales and also an emergence of new markets,' Khaled said during his speech. The study gives insight on the current size and scale of the value chain, identifying trends that will have an impact on the future, predicting the likely state of the industry by 2010, recommending initiatives, and developing a roadmap for various players given the expected changes in the environment.

Market for pearls
According to the statistics given in the report, recent changes in seawater pearl production have been quite phenomenal. Production volumes of South Sea pearls (SSPs) from the white-lipped pearl oyster Pinctada maxima, were forecast to exceed 2,400 kan, a Japanese unit of mass (or nine tonnes) during 2006. This is a record. It is a stunning 2.6 times more than just six years ago. In spite of this tremendous increase in weight, the value only increased from $217 m in 1999 to an estimated $248m in 2005. This is an increase of only 14 per cent. In terms of Japanese yen, the values remain unchanged at 26bn. As on date, cultured South Sea pearls account for only one per cent of global production of pearls. In terms of value, Australia is the leader, with a market share of almost 50 per cent. Australian pearls are also on top when we talk quality and size and, consequently, unit price. Indonesia comes first when we talk about the number of oysters operated, the number of pearls produced, and their weight, which exceeds this year the 1,000 kan mark. The white SSP, in the context of the total seawater pearl production, has further expanded its 'market share' and stands now at almost 50 per cent. In spite of the tremendous increase in the production weight of white SSPs, the global seawater pearl market has not expanded in value during the past six years. It hovers around the $500m mark.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

sheikha mai opens first international pearl convention


1. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Assistant Under-secretary for the Sector of Culture and Heritage in Bahrain’s Ministry of Information, opens first international Pearl Convention in Abu Dhabi on Monday. (pic attached as sheikha Mai)
2. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Assistant Under-secretary for the Sector of Culture and Heritage in Bahrain’s Ministry of Information, Khaled Al Sayegh, Chairman of International Pearl Revival Committee, Dr. Gaitone Cavalieri, president of CIBJO at the opening ceremony of first international pearl convention. ((pic attached as IPC opening)
Abu Dhbai, November 19, 2007 - HH Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Assistant Under-secretary for the Sector of Culture and Heritage in Bahrain’s Ministry of Information, has opened the first International Pearl convention, the in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Convention expected to bridge yesterday’s tradition with tomorrows market needs corresponding to the changing fashion needs of new generation. “The convention will indeed lay the foundation for a remarkable and unique revival that gives us back our wonderful history within the pearl industry,” said Shaikha Mai, during her opening speech. “Currently, the global pearl farming is a $1.5-billion industry. In value terms, more than 50 per cent of this trade is composed of black pearls. Revival of the pearl industry is expected to boost the region's economy as a whole, which is now trying to tap more from non-oil industry,” she added.During his speech, Chairman of the Internatianal Pearl Revivival committee, Khaled Al Sayegh, said, “Though pearling has been an important economic activity in the Gulf region since ancient times, and pearling flourusihed from the latter half of the 19th century to the early decades of the 20th century, the discovery of oil and the invention of cultured pearls seemingly has put an end to the old days. But there is a purposeful effort to reestablish the pearling industry in the UAE. With this end in view, we have decided to host the First International Pearl Convention.”
Speakers at the four day long convention include Dr. Gaitone Cavalieri has now served as president of CIBJO for more than five years, Kenneth Scarratt Director of research for GIA Research Thailand and has 30 years of experience as a laboratory gemologist, Elisabeth Strack, from Gemmologisches Institut Hamburg, Germany, Stephen J. Kennedy Gemologist of the Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain. Worked and researched a lot in pearl treatment in past years, Nicholas Sturman gemological advisor of the Gem & Pearl Testing Laboratory, Manama, Bahrain, with experience more than 15 years in pearl testing, Shigeru Akamatsu General Manager, Sales Promotion Department, Mikimoto and Sutas Singbamorong Gem specialist Dubai central laboratory with experience more than 10 years in gemology had a lot of researches in gemstone and pearl.
"Historically, the world's best pearls came from the Gulf. They were naturally created and collected by breath-holding divers. The discovery of large deposits of oil put an abrupt end to pearl industry in early 1930's. Those who once fished pearls sought prosperity in the economic boom ushered in by the oil industry," said Abdulla Abdelqadir Al Muaini, head of Dubai Gemstone Lab Dubai Central Laboratory and officer on special duty, IPC & chairman of the organizing committee for seminars and summit.
"This initiative marks the re-initiation of our native trade which is also very close to our cultural heritage. In this region, pearl diving was the chief means of earning a livelihood, in the early 20th century. The seas surrounding the UAE were home to some of the best-known natural pearls, and local pearl divers made a decent living diving for pearls. We see great economic growth through the revival of the pearl industry via the global recognition of its point of origination," he concluded.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Majorica Pearls (Imitation Pearls)


Majorica Pearls are imitation pearls made using a secret formula and not to be confused with cultured pearls or South Sea Pearls produced in pearl farms by the Pinctada Maxima oyster.

As the old saying goes "Imitation is the most sincere flattery" and there is no doubt these manufactured pearls are popular because they closely imitate the beauty of natural pearls.
Large quantities of these "pearls" are produced by a factory in Spain using a closely guarded secret formula originally developed by a German immigrant Eduardo Hugo Heusch in the 1890's. A strict quality control system has enabled these jewels to become recognised as the best imitation or faux pearls on the market
Over the centuries many people have tried to duplicate the beauty of natural pearls. Many use a substance called “essence d’orient" or "pearlessence" made with quanine crystals that reflect different wavelengths of light and give fish their natural refflective colours. By coating glass or plastic beads with variations of this substance pearl-like products are created for the cosmetic jewel market.
Natural pearls are produced by mollusks such as snails, whelks and conchs and bivalves (mussels, clams, oysters), both in fresh water and salt water. When an irritant such as a grain of sand lodges in these animals, they cover it with a protective coating to reduce the irritation, forming a pearl.
Pearl farming in the Northern Territory uses natural oysters to produce some of the finest pearls in the world
When you are shopping for jewellery be careful that the items you buy are correctly labeled. While many manmade jewels are quite pretty, they do not achieve the same monetary value of natural jewels such as diamonds, opals or pearls.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Paspaley unveils its latest style sensations in jewellery


Paspaley, the pearling pioneer unveils its latest style sensations for the season with a spread of tantalizing jewellery creations featuring South Sea pearls, diamonds, rubies, 18k white and yellow gold in necklaces, pendant chains, drop earrings and stud earrings.

Offered in 4 sets combining neck pieces with earrings, each of these jewels stands out for the bewitching craftsmanship and finish for which Paspaley is now recognized the world over. And these creations are designed to perk up both the wearer and the viewer on a dark and chilly autumn day, blending the moonlight glow of South Sea pearls with the sparkle of diamonds and the deep blush of rubies. What's more, these jewels are perfect for an evening out in town or even as daytime wear for the daring amongst us.
"Paspaley once more regales its fans with a stunning display of its fabulous artistry. These one off pieces are sure to find instant admirers in the region due to their remarkable design, craftsmanship and finish. They strike a perfect balance between minimalism and traditional pieces which are generally heavy, to appeal to women of all ages,"said Mr. Tawhid Abdullah, Managing Director, Damas. The first delectable offering features luscious, golden South Sea pearls, strung at intervals on a slender, rigid chain studded with a neat row of tiny white diamonds and interspersed with yellow diamonds arranged in triangles. This chain in turn holds up, trophy-like, its bounty of priceless South Sea pearls of various sizes, arranged to form a pendant. It's a piece that will enhance the glow of its wearer's face and light up a thousand smiles on the way. Match it with drop-earrings that go perfectly to create a stunning look. The next creation is pristine in all its glory, stringing a slim and rigid white gold sphere encrusted with white diamonds, interspersed with pretty, pear-shaped rubies and diamonds that form flowers and buds at six points, before diving down into a triangle holding one awesome South Sea pearl. The sharp white of the gold and the brilliance of the diamonds provide a startling contrast to the deep pink of the rubies, which is further softened by the allure and luster of the pearl. What sets apart a Paspaley creation is its execution of design, perfect proportion and choice of the finest precious material which endows it with a halo of purity that's tangible. This is what makes this pearl enterprise a jeweller that's counted among the front ranking jewelers of the world today. The avian world is the source of inspiration for its next creation, where cherubic white South Sea pearls, sport fronds of white gold richly paved with white and yellow diamonds, to first become an extravagant stud earring and later a two-pearl pendant strung on a chain of white gold. The next two jewels include two spherical yellow gold pendant chains whose outer perimeters are lined with tiny white diamonds and rubies, with one single perfectly round South Sea pearl in the centre. Simple but avant garde, both are jewels which are sure to be embraced by the discerning jewellery lover. As a company whose world revolves around the fabulous South Sea pearl, Paspaley glows with the luster of a reputation for extraordinary standards of excellence in both enterprise and product, much akin to its bewitching merchandise from the sea. To select a jewel bearing its fabled name is to rejoice in one of life's magical moments. Paspaley's latest creations are now available at its exclusive boutiques in Dubai.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Debunking a Widely Held Japanese Myth


by C. Denis George Abstract by Anna Kerrigan

Historical Aspects on the Early Discovery of the Pearl Cultivating Technique

Japanese scientists, Nishikawa and Mise are typically recognized for discovering the technology that led to cultivating spherical pearls. C. Denis George was an Australian enthusiast who challenged the credit given to the Japanese for this discovery. George argues that Nishikawa and Mise's step-father were first exposed to successful pearl cultivation at Thursday Island under the guidance of William Saville-Kent, a British expatriate living in Australia. In his article, "Debunking a Widely Held Japanese Myth: Historical Aspects on the Early Discovery of the Pearl Cultivating Technique," George campaigns for William Saville-Kent to receive proper respect for pioneering fundamental pearl culturing techniques. By using texts and personal experience as evidence, George places Nishikawa and Mise's step-father in Australia during Kent's pearl operations on Thursday Island. This trip to Australia predates Nishikawa and Mise's application for patent. Furthermore, George cites Japanese reluctance to acknowledge Saville-Kent's pearl research in text and conversation as evidence of deception.

The evidence C. Denis George presents convincingly argues that Saville-Kent shared his bead and tissue-piece technique with the two Japanese, they went back to Japan, repeated the technique in akoya mollusks and claimed it as their own. Several of George's key points are:

  • Nishikawa felt the need to predate his pearl discoveries eight years to mask the information he probably gleaned while in Australia in 1900.
  • George highlights the unlikelihood that two Japanese scientists simultaneously discovered the technology that would produce cultured pearls. He notes that even the Japanese are not quite sure which of their pioneers (Mise or Nishikawa) truly discovered the pearl culturing technique. George deduces that the uncertainty of ownership stems from both of them becoming privy to "intimate information from someone else who was familiar with the subject of pearls."
  • George also practiced pearl cultivation techniques independent of Japanese research. He conducted his tests in Australia near Thursday Island. When George was asked to attend a pearl symposium in Japan, he presented his findings in detail, and his pearls were examined and accepted by the board. However, when he revealed that he believed pearls to have originated in Australia under the guidance of William Saville-Kent, George says that friendly discussion ceased and silence prevailed. George believes that the Japanese have intentionally neglected to respect early Australian pearling techniques and that their indifferent and cold response to his mention is evidence of the ongoing misconception that pearl techniques originated in Japan.

C. Denis George spent years encouraging others to give Saville-Kent the recognition and respect he deserves. George has written numerous reports, established "The William Saville-Kent Memorial Pearl Museum," and even named his pearling boat after him: "TSMV WILLIAM SAVILLE-KENT." George concludes his article by appealing for proper respect and honor to be bestowed upon William Saville-Kent and his groundbreaking pearl experiments.

To read the full story download this PDF, compliments of Pearl World: The International Pearling Journal.