Have you noticed that searching for Pearls today feels very much like Johnny Depp’s quest for the Black Pearl
According to one of our vendors, the Japanese pearl beds were hard hit by the tsunamis and subsequent radiation leaks, and it destroyed Japan’s oysters. While there were a couple of initial reports that this “could” be a problem, most reports coming from Japan say that the oyster beds were in the south & west of Japan where the tsunami didn’t have a primary impact. So that still leaves us asking, “Where have all the pearls gone?”
And the Chinese bead producers found a new love – crystal! Crystal – faster to produce than pearls – you don’t have to GROW them – has the sparkle of money. And there are always rocks – they are already there. They just have to be dug out, shaped and polished. And that leaves us with what we saw at the Gem & Jewelry Show this past weekend – nearly every vendor was Chinese and most of them had only low quality “semi-precious” and crystal beads. The pearls that were there appeared to be leftovers from years gone by – very large, weird colors, or extremely rough quality.
Bottom line, enjoy the pearls you have, and expect to pay higher prices for pearls for the foreseeable future, as we all wait to see whether pearls will make a rebound in a few years or not.
1 Stop Bead Shop has a small supply of reasonably priced ($6-$12 strands) ivory freshwater pearls still in stock… while supply lasts.