Final reflections on this year’s buying trip. There are good pearls out there, but the only way to find them is undoubtedly to select them in person. With the best of relationships with a supplier, if you order, say, 10 strands of AAA white 8mm round pearls, that is what you will get, but you won’t get ten with metallic lustre. You’ll just get 10 strands from the AAA white 8mm bag or hank. Nor will you get pearls like that blue baroque Edison or the ripple gold south sea. They were both one-offs which I had to be there to scoop.
I had all sizes and shapes of loose (that means individual not strands) half drilled pearls on the big list. They had been very short of supply last year and this year was not much better. I don’t think I found any blacks which I wanted to buy in any shape or size. And just a few natural colours. Given that loose pearls are invariably more expensive than pearls in strands you would think that decent pearls would be selected out for this, but it seems not.
Bead Nucleated freshwater pearls continue their march for pearl world domination, with non-Edison branded pearls now very close in quality to the originator of the method and with a rapidly expanding portfolio of sizes, colours and surfaces. I saw, not just ripples and smooth big pearls but more of the baby white Edisons (I still have some from last year), smaller coloureds, tiny round 5mm vibrant coloured ones I was told were keishi, and generally more and more ‘routine’ pearls with a bead instead of solid nacre. Are solid nacre freshwater pearls going to disappear or be so rare as to be highly prized a few years into the future?
Finally, we are pawing at the pearls from today once we have caught up with the order backlog (for which we massively apologise) and we will be posting new makes and pearls as soon as we can in a separate section (we have yet to think up a good name for it!) watch not this, but that space