Articles for June 2010

Pearl farmers string us along…with exotic options

Exerpts from article By Diana Jarrett
Jewellery Business, June 2010

New pearls revitalize devotion to marine gems.

…Vancouver designer Kristen Jones, of Queen Bijoux, is always on the lookout for the unusual in gems. “The newest thing I have fallen in love with,” Jones confesses, “are the Kasumiga freshwater pearls from Japan. These pearls come in quite a range from spherical white to baroques in a purple-bronzy lustre.”

It’s actually their asymmetrical form that goads her inspiration. “I work with the shape of the pearl and use the irregularities to their best advantage. I love wrapping vine tendrils and leaves around the little bumps and lumps in a baroque pearl. I make flower bracts to cap drop pearls.” Many of Jones’ clients are pearl collectors, so they rely on her to add something new and exciting to their collections. Her clients have the basic pearl strand and studs, but as Jones points out, “They have never seen these huge baroque Kasumiga pearls. The size and iridescence on these pearls are unbelievable. I love to see how their eyes light up when I show off my newest acquisitions.”

Unusual pearl varieties like the Kasumiga require designers to double as a teacher. “A lot of educating goes along with designing in pearls,” says Jones. “I am happy to talk with people about where in the world these pearls come from and how they are farmed. (My customers) feel confident in their choice once they have some knowledge.”