JPEA sponsors first-ever pearl auction

South Sea pearl auctions, Tahitian pearl auctions, it would appear that there would be little room for anymore. However, on the horizon looms another auction that organizers say will set itself apart from the rest.

On September 14 and 15, the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association (JPEA) will hold its first ever International Pearl Auction in Kobe, Japan.

While pearl industry members may be scratching their heads pondering the reason for another new pearl auction, JPEA organizers claim that this event will truly be one of a kind in that all three varieties of pearls, Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian will be offered. Additionally Kobe pearl officials and JPEA say they intend to offer lots that are better matched in terms of size, color and quality than previous auctions held in other locals.

The organizers (the board members of the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association) appear to be braving the recent changes in the pearl market climate, however the JPEA is relying on it’s solid reputation for superior processing and assembling skills which remain unsurpassed by many producing countries. As far as prices are concerned, the large Japanese companies who traditionally buy over 60% of the world’s production of pearls for re-export purposes, feel that they will be able to offer prices that cannot be matched by other auctions.

A total of 400 lots will be put up for sale. The minimum bidding price for each lot will be yen 500,000, or approximately US$ 4,000 (naturally, many lots will be much higher in value than this minimum price).

For more than 80 years, Kobe has been the capital of the Akoya cultured pearl industry. When white and black SSPs became available a few decades ago, it was a logical choice for Kobe’s pearl companies to use their manufacturing skills on these rather “new” products. As a result, Kobe has become the largest single importer and manufacturer of white and black South Sea pearls. It is estimated that this year alone Japan produces approximately 60,000 to 70,000 strands of SSPs (black and white).

For registration, further information and assistance for hotel bookings, wholesalers are invited to contact the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association in Kobe (Fax +81-78-331-4345 or e-mail:

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