JCK exhibitors who did not have time to shop the jewelry shows themselves may now be in Hong Kong for the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair to do some serious gem-hunting from some of the world’s most prestigious suppliers. The show kicks off tomorrow at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), and according to a press release for the show, it’s pearl heaven across all categories, including the calcareous concretion that’s captured my fancy in a big way: conch.
Finished conch pearl jewelry will also be on offer from exhibitors like Tara Pearls out of New York (booth 3G-226). According to company vice president Akash C. Sethi, the firm will be debuting necklaces, cuff bangles (a gorgeous one is showcased below), and brooches set with conch pearls in a spectrum of pinks to orange and café au lait.
A few reasons why conch could be a solid buy for retailers and for designers looking for extraordinary gems for special one-of-a-kind pieces:
• Pearls are hot right now. The more exotic, and divergent from the standard options, the better.
• Remember when we predicted the popularity of pink opal back in January? Conch pearls can be thought of as the connoisseur-level answer to the more plentiful gem favored by agenda-setting designers like Irene Neuwirth and Cathy Waterman. In an era when lab-created gems dominate conversations, there’s something completely enchanting about the all-natural provenance of conch pearls—their storied rarity means they’re found in one out of every 10,000–20,000 queen conch shells. And only a very few of those are suitable for jewelry.
• Below are 12 more reasons, beautifully expressed by some of our industry’s most famous conch pearl practitioners, including a pair of earrings by Arunashi that won first runner-up in the 2018 Couture Awards pearl category.
Earrings with conch pearls, South Sea cultured pearls, and marquise and pearl-shape diamonds in platinum, $296,000; Assael
Ring with two natural conch pearls and 4.51 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $150,000; Assael
Alexandria earrings with conch pearls, diamond beads, rose-cut and round brilliant diamonds, price on request; Anna Hu
Enchanted Orchid ring with conch pearl, diamond briolettes, rose-cut and round brilliant diamonds, price on request; Anna Hu
Conch pearl earrings with pink coral inlay and diamonds in titanium, price on request; Arunashi
Bracelet with natural conch pearls, rubies, and fancy color and white diamonds in 18k white gold, $79,485; Tara Pearls
Chandelier earrings with salmon-pink conch pearls, rose-cut and pavé diamonds, and diamond beads in purple titanium and 18k white gold, price on request; Moussaieff
Earrings with conch pearls and 24.74 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $250,000; Mikimoto
Necklace with conch pearls and 4.5 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $160,000; Mikimoto
Paradis earrings with conch pearls and diamonds in platinum and 18k rose gold, price on request; Sarah Ho
Persica necklace with 13 conch pearls, 13 pearls, and 10.36 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k white gold, price on request; Sarah Ho
Earrings with conch pearls and pink spinels set in 18k white gold and copper, price on request; Hemmerle
Top: Carlo Barberis conch pearl earrings (image via @carlo_barberis_fine_jewellery)
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