Tag: Cultured pearl

Tahitian Pearls

Choosing the Perfect Pearl – Your Guide to Making an Informed Decision.

While much of the process of choosing pearls is subjective, and depends on the wearer’s taste, there are a few questions to ask that will ensure that the pearls you choose will be of the highest quality. Just like diamonds have their “4C’s”, pearls have common properties that should be considered as you shop.

 Color

A pearl’s color is more a matter of personal taste than one of quality, but naturally colored pearls will typically weather trends and fads better than those that have been artificially dyed. Beware especially bright or garish pearls, as these are almost certainly the result of manmade color processes and the dye can be prone to fading or even wearing off onto skin or clothing. Strong colors may sometimes indicate a lower-quality pearl, as the dye may have been used to disguise unsightly color variations in the surface of the pearl.

Pearl Colors

Orient and Overtone

There are very small differences between orient and overtone. The orient of a pearl is the beautiful iridescent shimmer of color that spreads across its surface. Often, this causes a ‘rainbow’ effect on the surface of the pearl. This color is not the same as the color of the pearl itself, but the iridescence that may seem to dance and move across the pearl as you turn it. In contrast, the overtone of a pearl is the secondary impression of color from a pearl as it is viewed against a white background. For example, a black pearl may seem to have a subtle blush of green. This color, unlike the orient, does not shimmer, but may differ depending on which side of the pearl is viewed, due to the refraction of light within the pearl.

Examples of Overtone on a White Pearl

Overtone on White Pearl

Examples of Overtone on a Black Pearl

Overtone on Black Pearl

Black Pearls Displaying Excellent Orient

Black Pearls with Excellent Orient

Size

The larger the pearl, the longer it had to remain in the oyster’s shell, and as a result, these are usually more costly. Very large pearls are a rarity, due to the cost of producing them. Consider that the oysters must be kept healthy and safe from predators, parasites, and destruction of their natural habitat for several years while the pearl is allowed to form. Additionally, the extra time in the shell increases the likelihood of blemishes forming on the pearl as small imperfections in the nacre are magnified as they are coated. Flawless pearls of a large size will command very high prices.

Pearl Size

Surface

Surface indicates the perfection of the exterior of the pearl itself. Higher quality surfaces have very few marks, bumps, ripples, or blemishes, indicating that the oyster was very well cared-for during the cultivation process. Pearls that show little to no variation in their surfaces will typically cost more than those with a few marks here and there.

Pearl Surface

Regularity

Regularity refers to the shape of a pearl. The more spherical the pearl, the more regular it is said to be. No pearl is perfectly round, but some come close to being spherical. The best pearls are typically smooth and even. Do not pay for a pearl that is absolutely spherical and has no defining marks unless it is certified, as these are probably synthetic, and therefore of low value.

Pearl Regularity

Luster

A pearl’s luster, or shine, is determined by the layers of ‘nacre,’ the substance pearls are made of, that coats its central nucleus. Usually, more nacre results in higher luster. The surface curvature of a pearl can also have an effect on the luster, as light passes through the delicate outer layers and refracts off of the aragonite crystals in the pearl, giving the pearl its signature glow. This causes the highly desirable translucent appearance that very fine pearls display.

Pearl Luster

Authenticity

A genuine pearl will typically show minor variations in shape, color, and surface. Truly perfect pearls are rarely real, but may be simply convincing fakes. One way to test their authenticity (although this test can be fooled) is to gently rub the pearl on the edge of your tooth. Genuine pearls will feel very slightly gritty, due to their crystalline structure, while faux pearls and glass pearls will feel smooth and silky. The exception to this rule is composite, or “shell” pearls, which are created by grinding low-quality pearls into a powder and then reconstituting them using epoxy or acrylic. Due to their nacre content, these will feel gritty to the teeth, but since they are usually perfectly round, they are easy to spot and avoid.

Real vs Shell Pearl

Other fake pearl types to look out for:

  • Plastic: Ultra-shiny, easy to chip the paint. Very lightweight. Usually unknotted. Smooth to the tooth.
  • Glass: Higher quality, usually knotted in between and heavy. Look for paint flaking near the drill-holes. Smooth to the tooth.
  • Mallorca: A specific variety of glass pearl, very high quality and usually difficult to identify. The paint is very similar in luster to real pearls, but if on a strand, will be perfectly uniform. Smooth to the tooth.

Check out our post on Real vs. Faux pearls for more info on Authenticity!

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Angry Ocean

Winds, Waves, and Wonders: Is There Room for Pearls in a Changing World?

(This post is part of our blog series that deals with Pearls International’s take on social and environmental responsibility. For more information on how Pearls International gives back, please click here.)

While the pearl as a gem is one of the oldest jewels known to man, the pearl industry in its currently recognizable form came about only in the last century with the advent of improved pearl culturing methods that made it possible to produce these lovely trinkets on a scale fit for the masses.

While the sudden glut of inexpensive cultured pearls sent the centuries-old natural pearl market into a tailspin, a new buyer appeared. The solidly middle-class families of post-WWII America, newly solvent and looking to make their mark on the world of fashion by keeping up with the Joneses, were at once fascinated by the exotic provenance and mystery of the pearls they saw adorning the necks of Hollywood’s darlings, and charmed by the clever marketing schemes of sellers determined to convince them of the value of gems previously considered counterfeits. Not only did this glamorous gem catch the eye of Americans, the pearl industry began to boom all over the world. Growing economies made for perfect consumers, and today, pearls make up a significant portion of the jewelry market worldwide. In fact, Australia is the leading country in pearl production. In Western Australia alone, the total allowable annual catch of oysters per licensed pearl production company is 572,000 oysters, equaling over $200 million dollars’ worth of pearls!

50s Style

Post-War, business was booming, but not without repercussions to ancient oyster beds, which were rapidly depleted by the sudden demand. Oyster species that ordinarily took several years to mature were now being forced to produce pearls faster and more frequently, leading oyster farmers to breed stock with shells so weak they were flexible to the touch. Due to pollution, over farming, industrialization, and other factors from man made activities, water quality in many marine oyster environments was slipping. These animals are very sensitive, and productivity dropped drastically. Many pearl farmers in coastal China were forced to take their business to cleaner waters in other countries. From this turmoil, the Chinese freshwater pearl business began to grow and become more prominent.

Initially, cultured pearls from China were created from the irritant being implanted into the animal at one year of age. Eventually, in order to increase quality, they made a few changes, including switching the species of mollusk used and waiting until they were two and a half, rather than one year old. These freshwater mussels are raised in former rice paddies that have been flooded to create lakes for pearl farming. They enrich these lakes with manure to increase algae growth, on which the mussels feed. They also add filter-feeding carp to the environment to filter out phytoplankton and prevent algal blooms. This increases the quality of the food source for the mussels. The aim is to raise healthy animals so that they can continue to produce quality gems. However, sometimes the artificially created ecosystem does not function as well as was intended. A few years ago, mussel farming was banned in one province of China due to concerns from questionable levels of manure content in the paddies. While the mussels do benefit from the steps taken to build their habitat, it must be monitored and the water must be kept clean. Just as the lakes the mussels are raised in are affected by outside sources such as pollution, construction, and waste, the surrounding ecosystems are effected by the pearl farms. One pearl farmer was quoted as saying “We must keep a Confucian balance with nature.”

Pearl Farm in Zhuji

 

Chinese pearl farmers may use as many as 10 irritants per mollusk, where many other countries (particularly when producing saltwater pearls) only use 1-2 irritants. In fact, by 2015, it is predicted that China will surpass Australia as the leader in pearl production worldwide. Because they can turn out so many pearls, they sell them at a much lower cost. This has raised fears among other countries that the pearl industry as a whole may become endangered. Chinese workers in pearl farms make a low wage of $15 – $23 a day. Looking to reduce costs even further, some Chinese companies are developing pearl-sorting machines rather than having them chosen and placed with similar pearls by hand. These machines take pictures of the pearl from every angle as it drops, then catches the gem and evaluates it based on size, luster and imperfections. It automatically assigns the pearl to a bin in which it will be kept with similar pearls. As these machines can run day and night and work quickly, they will be able to replace around 15 human workers per machine. This hurts the job market for individuals working in pearl production, and could have drastic effects on the Chinese economy.

Sorting Pearls in China

You could imagine that with such a constantly growing, worldwide industry, there are a lot of people on our planet who are affected by pearl production. Let’s look at French Polynesia, a small group of islands that makes a good bit of its livelihood from pearl farming. Much of their revenue comes from international exports, and 55% of their exports in 2008 were black Tahitian pearls. An estimated 4,000 persons in French Polynesia live from pearl farming, with much of this industry being made up of family-owned businesses.

This booming industry has led to a decrease in emigration from the Gambier and Tuamotu archipelagos to Tahiti, which is what many young people had to do in order to find work previously. Consequently, both the populations of these small islands and the quality of living have increased sufficiently to allow many people to remain living on the islands of their birth. Social and health benefits have arisen from this as well, as many inhabitants of the region enjoy the kind of outdoor physical work provided from pearl farming, as it provides a way of life close to the traditional activities of the population.

On the flip side, not all family-owned pearl farming operations are successful. Many families who try to get into the business without knowledge of entrepreneurship go bankrupt when they are unable to pay back their small business loans. Socially, this creates inequalities among the population, as on some islands the pearl business is booming and on some it is nearly impossible to produce pearls. Some families who are successfully producing pearls are producing low quality jewels and marketing them poorly, leading to many big producers pushing for more regulations on pearl farming in the islands. Also, many local families of the smaller islands face competition from non-locals who have taken over pearl farming on the main island of Tahiti. In addition to local competition, the value of the Tahitian pearl market is being challenged by pearl production companies worldwide, particularly from Chinese freshwater pearls. As Chinese pearls are more cheaply produced, they sell for a much, much lower wholesale cost than saltwater Tahitian pearls. The majority of the buying market would rather buy freshwater pearls at a third of the cost of a similar Tahitian strand.

Tahitian Pearling

Although the competition may be tough, the pearl industry on the French Polynesian islands is still a major point of production on a global scale. In the words of Laurent Cartier, an environmental science Ph.D. who did some work on a research paper on sustainability of pearls, “In the long run, only those producers who work in ecologically responsible ways will continue to produce top-quality pearls.” Cartier believes that the methods used by Chinese pearl farmers can over crowd the mollusks, and ultimately thinks that saltwater pearl farming tends to use more environmentally conscious methods. Kamoka Pearl, one French Polynesian family-owned pearl farm, tells National Geographic about their efforts to remain environmentally conscious in an article published this year. The oysters are kept loosely packed into nets within the lagoon that they are harvested from, in order to be watched over and kept track of by pearl farmers.

A problem that oyster farmers face by keeping them this way is that they then begin to grow barnacles and other organisms on their shells. In order to keep the oyster growing at a normal and healthy rate, and therefore producing high quality pearls, these growths must be cleaned. There are several ways to effectively clean an oyster. The most common method is bringing the nets out of the water and spraying them with a high pressure hose. This is inexpensive and effective, but creates a large amount of organic matter in the water. This decreases the water quality, because it becomes to much for the fish and other marine animals to break down efficiently. Kamoka Pearl, however, has found an environmentally conscious way around this problem. Rather than hosing the oysters off, they move them to shallow areas of the lagoon where fish life is more abundant and varied. After a few days, the fish clean the oysters naturally. Although this isn’t as quick or cheap in means of labor costs, the company prefers to spend the extra money to do what they feel is best for the environment.

Whether or not pearl farming is beneficial or detrimental to the environment depends on the methods used to farm the mollusks and environmental factors from other industries. Research is still underway. New knowledge, methods of farming, and innovations in technology are being discovered day-to-day. The question of whether there is room for pearls in a changing world can safely be assumed as a yes, as long as we leave enough room for the ocean to continue its natural processes. We have seen since the invention of cultured pearls all the way to today that with changes in society, come changes in the pearl industry, and these changes can have varied and lasting effects. It appears that the pearl industry has set itself up to be as timeless as the gems themselves are.

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Beautiful Coral Reef under Threat

Our Oceans Are Depending On Us.

(This post is part of our blog series that deals with Pearls International’s take on social and environmental responsibility. For more information on how Pearls International gives back, please click here.)

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE,
BUT OUR OCEANS NEED YOUR HELP.

This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. We are polluting our oceans, killing off our sea-life and obstructing our very own eco-system. We must make changes. It won’t be long before this planet is taken over by…PLASTIC! This plastic over-pollution issue is a sign of over consumption and we need to bring it to an end, and I believe this is possible simply through awareness. If we can make everyone AWARE of the horrendous consequences of their actions, wouldn’t it only be right to change our actions to create positive consequences?  Before I continue my rant, I’d like to share a few eye-opening  statistics and it is then that I feel you will better grasp the severity of this issue.

Did you know:

  • Ocean pollution affects at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of sea turtle species, 44% of all sea bird species, and 43% of marine mammal species.
  • 60,000 plastic bags are discarded in the US every 5 seconds
  • 1 million plastic cups are used just on airline flights in the US every 6 hours
  • 2 million plastic beverage bottles are used in the US every 5 minutes

saveourshores.org

If that isn’t enough to make want to stop using plastic products forever, what about our helpless marine life? These little guys depend on us to keep their environment clean and safe but we are doing exactly the opposite. We are turning their sanctuaries into deadly trash ridden dump sites in the middle of the ocean!

These are just a few things our sea creatures are having to battle, daily.

Ingestion: Many birds mistake pieces of plastic for tiny fish. Once the birds ingest the plastic their bodies are unable to digest it. Because the plastic does not get digestion, the bird feels full eventually resulting in malnutrition.

Suffocation: Animals will make the mistake of thinking that six-pack holder and plastic bag you left behind on the beach is their dinner. Once the plastic is ingested the plastic blocks airways resulting in suffocation or inhibiting its growth patterns. A sea turtles favorite meal is jellyfish…often plastic bags look just like this tasty treat. Lucky for the jellyfish, but poor turtles!

Entanglement: This most often is a result from fishing line and plastic material left from 6-packs. Once the animal become entangled their breathing is restricted along with their ability to eat and swim.

What about us? This over consumption of plastic affects us too!

Plastic is made of petroleum which would be oil or natural gas, but plastic also consists of harmful checmicals not found on labels. Time to expose these bad boys.

First, we have Phthalates: chemicals used to create soft and flexible plastics that are commonly used in the in food and construction industries, as well as in beauty products, pesticides, wood finishes, insect repellents, and solvents. Studies have found abnormal male sexual development, infertility, premature breast development, cancer, miscarriage, premature birth and asthma all associated with exposure to phthalates (saveourshores.org).

Second, there is  Bisphenol-A (BPA) is the chemical name for polycarbonate plastics, found in everything from 5-gallon water jugs, baby bottles, and the lining in many cans of food, including baby formula. Studies of Bisphenol-A show it is an estrogen disrupter with the ability to migrate into liquids and foods that it comes into contact with (Earth Resource, 2000). Numerous studies have found unsafe levels of BPA in children, adults, baby bottles, water bottles, teethers, baby formula, and other common household items.

Plastic more than likely isn’t going to disappear (anytime soon), but by bringing awareness to the catastrophic effects it has on our Planet I hope the next time you go grocery shopping you remember to bring your own bag and say “No Thanks” to plastic!

Even our decisions on what jewelry we wear is effecting mother earth!  One eco-friendly option we suggest… PEARLS! The pearl industry is proud to say that they are more eco-friendly than your typical mined gem. Pearl farmers are working harder than ever to constantly find new ways to make the pearl farming industry more eco- friendly. Ultimately, to keep this precious gem on the market without destroying nature. Although pearls are not mined,  that does not mean pearl farming is 100% harmless. Aquaculture can damage the environment from the use of high-powered hoses that are used to clean the oysters. Solution? Pearl farmers are using tropical fish to clean the oysters (saveourshores.org)! Resources, lets use all of our resources! Stay tuned for our next installment in the sustainability project to find out, ‘Are pearls threatened?’

 

 


Pearling Lugger

Pearls from ‘Down Under’

The world’s most sought after mother-of-pearl shell, which sparked an industry in commercial button manufacture, was harvested first in the mid-1950’s in the small, bustling town of Broome, in the Kimberley region of Northwest Australia.

At that time, if a pearl happened to be found inside an oyster gathered for its shell, it was considered a bonus of sorts and to shell gatherers, would have been considered “Winning the Lottery.” With the high value of truly natural pearls at the time, it would have permanently altered the finder’s (financial) destiny.

noritsugu-ejiri-last-hard-hat-diver-049

The pearl’s mystique has long inspired men the world over to risk their lives, braving icy waters, drowning, and shark attacks for the chance to find the perfect gem. Setting out on small wooden luggers, sailing ships that were often at the mercy of strong winds and cyclones, an ongoing treasure hunt sent helmeted pearl divers to an unknown fate in the depths of the mysterious open waters in hopes of a great find.

Booming since the 1950’s, the town of Broome has been able to keep up the pace making itself a hub of pearling operations. As Australia’s pearl industry has expanded over the years, their reputation for quality and purity in their gems has grown.

Australian pearls captivate the true natural beauty of pearls from the moment they are taken from their oysters. These Australian pearls are of such high grade that common enhancing processes such has bleaching, dying and tinting are rendered unnecessary. Harvested by hand and cleansed with sea salt, the beauty of an Australian pearl will never fade, lasting generation after generation.

www.costellos.com

Baroque Pearl Pendant with Wire Wrap

Pearl Spotlight: Baroque Pearls

Baroque pearls are a subcategory of pearls given their name due to their non-symmetrical shapes. They often have uneven surfaces with anywhere from minor to severe lumps, ridges, and curves. In today’s market, the more round a pearl is, the more valuable it is considered to be.  Consumers expect to pay more for a rounder pearl, and particularly for larger round pearls.  Therefore, most baroque pearls have been fairly inexpensive due to their “imperfections,” even in the larger sizes.  Baroque pearls, however, have become extremely popular in recent times due to their uniqueness and artistic allure, so we are seeing rising prices due to increased demand.  Now is the time to buy baroques!

Baroque Pearl Pendant with Swarovski Crystal

Baroque pearls are generally cultured freshwater pearls that are mantle-tissue nucleated, meaning a tiny piece of mantle tissue from one oyster is placed in another oyster to form the irritant which gets the pearl started. This is perhaps the closest humans have come to imitating nature in pearl cultivation because a pearl that forms in nature is usually started from some type of non-uniform organic debris that gets lodged inside an oyster.  The wild oyster makes itself more comfortable by coating the debris with nacre to make (usually) an irregular-shaped pearl!

The one-of-a-kind beauty that is seen in a baroque pearl can provide a great centerpiece for expensive and highly sought-after jewelry.  Their completely unique shapes are often used en solo or for the centerpiece of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to show off their distinctive shapes.

Baroque pearls are often a favorite among pearl lovers due to their exclusive forms.  No two are remotely alike!  They are powerful enough to adorn formal wear, but can also be worn with casual outfits as an artistic piece without seeming overdressed.

The House a Necklace Bought

In my search for unique pearls, I came across an inspiring story about the origins of the famous Cartier building in New York City. The story is told that in 1915 Louis Cartier made history with the first natural, double-stranded Oriental pearl necklace costing $1.2 million ($16 million today). This necklace was placed on exhibition all over the world including Paris, London, and New York City. In the fall of 1916, the necklace’s appearance in New York reportedly caused a huge uproar with women from all over coming to admire them. Among these ladies was Mae “Maisie” Plant. At the time Cartier’s New York Salon was on the second floor of a small building in an inconspicuous part of town. Coincidently, Maisie had just placed her $1.2 million mansion up for sale. Knowing she wanted to sell her mansion anyway, Maisie approached Cartier and proposed a trade…the mansion for the pearl necklace. Surprisingly, Cartier accepted. Ever since that exchange, the Cartier firm has been located in the former Plant mansion and has come to be a great landmark for tourists in New York City.

Cartier

Regrettably, things did not go as well for Maisie as with Cartier. Seeing how she didn’t anticipate the depression, war, or the introduction of cultured pearls her necklace did not end up being an even trade. Maisie died in 1956 and in 1957, her $1.2 million necklace was sold at auction for a mere $170,000; the current value of the Fifth Avenue mansion I’ll leave to your imagination. More recently, in 2004, a similar natural, double-strand pearl necklace sold at Christie’s for $3.1 million. Because only one gem-quality pearl is uncovered from every 25,000 wild oysters found in the ocean, these pearls are considered the rarest in the world today. If only Plants’ heirs had held on to her necklace for a few more decades, they could have sold Maisie’s pearls for much more!

Maisie Plant and her fabulous double strand of natural pearls from Cartier.
Maisie Plant and her fabulous double strand of natural pearls from Cartier.
Fashion girls

5 Fashion Must Haves

Just like an LBD (little black dress) is a closet must-have for every lady, there are also some jewelry basics every woman must have stashed away for certain occasions. Jewelry boxes can fascinate and entertain women of all ages. Women love to accessorize and what better way than with something that glistens and shines!

  • Class Pearl Strand: An 18 inch pearl necklace is the perfect addition to any outfit. As the quintessential pearl accessory this is what most people think of when they hear “pearls.” Perfect for business casual, a night out on the town, or even with causal blue jeans.
  • Pearl Pendant:  A simple yet elegant pendant with a white pearl in the center of a sterling silver setting can be paired with V-necks, rounded collars, or even high necked tops for the chance to dress up or dress down.
  • Pearl stud earrings: A classic pair of white pearl stud earrings can be great for formal evenings or every day, and would complement any pearl necklace or pendant in white. For a more dressy spin on the classic white pearl studs, try our White Freshwater Pearl w/Swarovski Stud Earrings.
  • Long pearl necklace: A long necklace works well for any season.  With the ability to shorten or lengthen the length depending on individual body type, the 78″ Gunmetal Gray Freshwater Pearl Rope is a great addition with a fun and artsy way to display pearls. With endless ways to wear this necklace, friends and onlookers will see a new necklace every day!
  • Pearl dangle earrings: Another artsy way to display fashion sense, pearl dangle earrings can help put a more personalized feel when added with pearl pendants or necklaces.

Next time a shopping spree is needed, instead of adorning a closet with new shoes, purses, wallets, and dresses, try stopping into Pearls International to spice up that jewelry box! With new and ever-changing inventory, Pearl’s International always has the latest and greatest ways to help keep stylish accessories for every jewelry need!

Freshwater Pearl Rings

Promise with a Pearl

Did you know the most popular time to get engaged is between Christmas and Valentine’s Day? If you’re not ready to get engaged, how about a Promise Ring? The Promise Ring is a way to symbolize a commitment often, but not always, pre-engagement. Promise rings can be worn on any finger, but those symbolizing pre-engagement are generally worn on the left ring finger; sometimes, the left middle finger or right ring finger is used instead to prevent confusion with an actual engagement ring. The Promise Ring is an icon of any type of promise between two people either romantic or platonic, and can be given to a man or a woman.

Here are some common promises sealed with a Promise Ring:

  • Promise to monogamy: in a serious relationship that is not quite ready for an engagement ring, the Promise ring expresses a strong commitment to the relationship and a promise for the future together and as a mutual sign for monogamy
  • Promise to abstain: Promise rings are also called “purity rings” and can be given by a parent to a child as a symbolic promise by the child to the parent to remain a virgin until marriage, or to remain substance free. The Promise ring acts as a constant reminder that a sexual relationship can wait for marriage
  • Promise of Intimacy and Closeness: If a friend is living in another, the Promise ring can signify to both wearers that they will always be there for each other

A pearl is an excellent ring to use as a Promise ring for nearly any type of promise. Since pearls represent purity and harmony, a solitaire pearl ring can represent a relationship promise, or the promise of a child to his or her parent.

Nevertheless, when giving a Promise Ring it is important to be up-front about the terms of the promise. A handwritten note accompanying the ring, read prior to opening the gift, can clarify the sentiments and reasoning behind the ring.

Stop on in to Pearls International, Daytona Beach, for a Promise Ring for that special someone between now and Valentines Day to prolong the wait for an engagement ring!

Santa's Secrets

SANTA SPILLS HIS SECRETS! Pearls International sits down with the Merry Old Elf Himself.

PI: Thanks for being with us today. Haven’t seen you in a while. You probably don’t remember, but I sat on your lap at a mall once when I was seven.

Mr. Claus: I’m happy to be here. Hope you weren’t too disappointed by that lump of coal. Good thing your behavior has improved since then.

PI: Ahem. We’re excited to get to ask you a bit about your process. Would you consider what you do more of an art or a science?

Mr. Claus: A little of both, really. With most people it’s pretty cut and dried. They want a pony. Tickets to the Superbowl. Maybe a nice set of potholders. But then there are those few who get very difficult. They’re the ones who just go and buy what they want, instead of waiting for someone to gift it to them. With them, it’s more of an art form. You have to find something that really makes them stop and say “Wow!”

PI: Are you usually able to find just the right thing?

Mr. Claus: For a while there, it was touch and go. I had a few near misses, but I think I’ve finally got the right recipe.

PI: Care to share it with us mortals?

Mr. Claus:  Well, it’s generally very important to get just the right combination of unique and sparkly. If you get those proportions correct, things usually work out just fine. If you’re just a little bit off, though, you’re headed for disaster.

PI: What do you suggest as the best way to avoid a worst-case scenario?

Mr. Claus: As you know, I’ve stopped by your store a few times over the past couple of years. I’ve always managed to find something that will work. The best part is that I still have some cash leftover to buy presents for everybody else when I’m done. I’m always pleasantly surprised that I can get so much stuff for under $100.

PI: I thought the elves did most of the toy making. When did you start buying gifts?

Mr. Claus: The elves have been a bit preoccupied with Facebook lately, their work was a little lackluster. It seemed reasonable in this economy to support small businesses and buy American-made goods.

PI: Thanks. We appreciate that. What’s your best go-to gift from Pearls International?

Mr. Claus: I always shop the sales — the $10 earring sale you’re doing this week is great. I’d have to say I’ve had the most luck with some of your pendants, and an earring and necklace combo is always a pinch hit. I also like to give kids the Wish Pearl Gift Kit. It’s inexpensive and educational. It’s nice that you’re doing free gift wrap until Christmas, it saves me a lot of time.

PI: Great, I know what to get for my niece now. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us! 

Mr. Claus: You’re very welcome. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to get back. If the reindeer don’t get walked, they tend to bite.

High Fashion Pearls

The Beyoncé Effect?

According to SmartMoney.com, this sluggish economy is not affecting consumers’ holiday wish lists, well… at least not the ladies’ lists! One study showed that jewelry ranks higher on holiday wish lists than laptops, smartphones, digital cameras or TV’s this year. Not to mention jewelry was the only category to grow more desirable since last year AND more and more women are saying they wouldn’t mind if he “put a ring on it” this holiday season!

We say forget that iPad or laptop that will be outdated next year, and buy something that will cherished for a lifetime. Women love jewelry, and no matter how much we own I think we can all agree it’s never too much! Pearls are timeless and versatile, how can you go wrong?

If  you are shopping for the earrings to complete that lustrous set, something that will someday become a family heirloom or you’re in the market for that ‘special’ ring, Pearls International is the place to visit! If you are in the Daytona Beach area stop in and see us or visit us online. Rest assured we will take care of all your holiday needs and make this Christmas something magical!