Pearls: Front-to-Back Studs, Bead-Nucleated Baroques & More



Back to the Front

As pearl brands continue to spread their fashion-forward message, Yoko London makes good on those claims in its Duet earrings, featuring two lustrous pearls that seesaw on long gold posts. The front-to-back look is undoubtedly growing in popularity; in February, New York City vendor United Gemco told JCK that its diamond-studded styles (shown on our JCK May cover) were among its best sellers.

Yoko London debuted its pearl versions—offered in color combinations including pink and white, black and white, and gray and white freshwaters, Tahitians, white South Sea pearls, and dyed brown pearls, plus custom variations—at Baselworld. “We think these are classic and edgy at the same time,” says Yoko PR and marketing executive Isabella Daniels. “Americans have responded well because they love to accessorize.”

Nuclear Alert

An FNC BIO bead-nucleated baroque pearl that looks like a keshi

When Jeremy Shepherd saw a strand of lustrous and uncommonly large 20 mm Tahitian keshi—or so he thought—at the AGTA GemFair in February, the PearlParadise.com founder and CEO was intrigued. How could keshi (non-nucleated pearls that are 100 percent nacre and a byproduct of pearl cultivation) be that big and richly hued?

Quite simply, they couldn’t. The pearls were bead-nucleated baroques. Shepherd discovered they were grown with proprietary shell-bead nuclei from Japan’s Imai Seikaku Co Ltd., whose patented FNC BIO nuclei use natural proteins to enhance cellular adhesion and quicken development of pearl layers.

The nuclei, says Shepherd, “induce even a small young pearl oyster to grow a large pearl sac where an equally large nucleus can be placed.” To ensure fair prices and full disclosure, retailers should ask about any too-good-to-be-true pearls that could be bead-nucleated.

For more pearls of wisdom