Friday, July 11, 2008

Chocolate Pearls News: Introduces New Collection; Smacks Down Price on Hip Gems With Yummy, Lustrous Color


"Chocolate pearls have turned from trend to uber-trend," says Jeremy Shepherd, the Los Angeles pearl expert who is introducing a newly-acquired collection "that will level the playing field in pricing these exotic bronze beauties."

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 11, 2008 -- "Chocolate pearls have turned from trend to uber-trend," says Jeremy Shepherd, the Los Angeles pearl expert who is introducing a newly-acquired collection "that will level the playing field in pricing these exotic bronze beauties."

"Chocolate pearls have been riding the popularity wave for the past year but that status only worked for people who could afford the big price tag." says Shepherd, who owns Inc., the world's largest online pearl company. ( "We've changed that."

With this collection, Shepherd says he has evened the stakes on AAA-rated Tahitian and freshwater chocolate pearls and is selling them for less than half "of what the Tiffany crowd is getting."

The former Northwest Airlines flight attendant who 12 years ago turned a $25 string of pearls bought in a Beijing market between flights into a mega Internet pearl company "my competitors love to hate," says owning his own pearl farm and cutting out the middlemen is the reason he can sell the high-quality pearls for up to 80-percent off retail.

How did Shepherd land in the exceptional position of negotiating pearl deals in another language with business owners who live a world away in a culture so different from his own?

Living in Japan as a child and having to learn the language had something to do with it, he says. It also didn't hurt that he later took the time to study the Mandarin Chinese dialect and obtain a business degree. "This job is made for me," he says. "I love selling exotic gems like AAA-quality chocolate pearls at prices no one expects. We sell pearls to everyone from college guys who want a beautiful gift for their girlfriends to movie stars who can afford to shop anywhere."

Exactly what are chocolate pearls?

"Think of them as pearls that have undergone a hip, high-fashion makeover. Freshwater and Tahitian pearls are treated with a proprietary, pigment-altering heating process, or organic dyeing process, that transforms them into a lustrous, iridescent chocolate color. Chocolate pearls," says Shepherd, "are born where human intervention meets nature's pearl-bearing oysters."

Who wears chocolate pearls?

"They're a real favorite among women with a fashion-forward sensibility, women who enjoy dressing with an unpredictable flair," he says. "One customer put it this way: 'This is not my grandmother's pearl necklace.'"

"Still," says Shepherd, "women who've always worn classically-colored pearls also love chocolate pearls -- just because they're beautiful." The fact that clothing designers continue to show earth tones year-after-year is another reason chocolate pearls are attracting attention. "They are a perfect match for what women are wearing today," he says.

Shepherd, whose pearls recently showed up in Oscar winners' gift bags, is no stranger to celebrity, himself. He and his pearls -- and the discount prices he sells them for -- have been chronicled in dozens of publications including:

  • "USA Today"
  • "The New York Times"
  • "The Wall Street Journal"
  • "Entrepreneur"
  • "Modern Bride"
  • "InStyle"

For more information about chocolate pearls and other pearl jewelry, shop online at, or call Shepherd's Los Angeles storefront location to speak with him or one of his pearl specialists, at (310) 474-8788.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

China's pearl farms prosper away from pollution

By Royston Chan- Reuters

ZHUJI, China (Reuters Life!) - For decades, the clean waters of Zhuji have fed China's rise to the world's top producer of freshwater pearls and now they are helping to turn this eastern city into a global trading hub for the lustrous gem.... Click for more

Gem of a lab opens


Published: 1st JULY 2008

MANAMA: A state-of-the-art pearl and gem testing and grading laboratory was opened yesterday.

The new specialised centre is ranked among the best of its kind, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro said.

He was speaking as he opened the laboratory, which is located at the ministry-owned Khairiya Building in the Diplomatic Area.

He also hailed the new facility as reflecting the government's keenness to promote the sector of natural pearls in the kingdom.

Bahrain's efforts to further bolster control systems and acquisition of hi-tech equipment were also highlighted.

Businessmen and pearl and gem specialists also attended the ceremony.

The new laboratory is more spacious and boasts world-class technical and security equipment. It is specialised in testing and grading natural pearls to ensure they are distinct from cultured ones.

Bahrain is the only country in the world, which bans importing or trading in cultured pearls. Prohibitive laws were passed follwing directives from the kingdom's leadership.

The first such law dates back to 1928, in the era of the late Bahrain ruler Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, who took over from his father the late Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa in 1923.

The new lab is also specialised in testing and grading gems, issuing world-standard certificates that are accredited regionally and internationally.

Large quantities of retail pearls, pearl necklaces, and gems are tested and graded monthly.

The lab is staffed with skilled Bahrainis, who were graduated and trained at leading international institutes. A highly-equipped diamond testing and grading unit was also inaugurated yesterday.