A regular customer recently asked me for a pair of gold round freshwater studs, size around 8m. That sounded pretty straightforward, as I replied. Then I went to look in our stock. Not a single gold, either round or button. She even, and very helpfully, sent me an image of the colour
Where had they gone? Now I know that I tended to buy the more lavender end of the colour range in naturally coloured freshwater pearls. Indeed these were the hard to find ones in a sea of peach, apricot and -frankly – orange up to maybe about three or four years ago. But I would have seen and selected a few really good gold pairs….wouldn’t I? Well apparently not. None in rounds and none in buttons from 7mm to 10mm.
After a rather apologetic email to the client I contacted a couple of reliable wholesalers in Hong Kong to see what they had. Surely they would have plenty. Gold was a really common colour for natural pearls!
Umm, the really big wholesaler had nothing even like in rounds or buttons. The second, family firm, had seven in total out of a huge litre box full of AAA rounds. My contact sent me a photo of them in her hand and said she could make three pairs.
The middle pair is a reasonable colour match but peach and one pearl is larger than the other. The bottom pair doesn’t match at all in colour or size.
None of these fits the brief and I would not have selected any of them to show the client. I will probably keep the top pair, they are a nice vanilla colour, but the other two pairs will be making their return with me. And ask the client to wait, if she can bear it, for me to look in Hong Kong.
So, this is a cheery little anecdote about trying to find a specific colour of pearl for a client. Yes. But it also shows very clearly indeed why I insist on selecting every single pearl (and finding) we offer, either as loose pearls or finished pearl jewellery myself, with my own two eyes, in person.