Pearl World Sees Too Many Pearls

A headline in the April/May/June 2003 issue of Pearl World exclaims, “It’s The Supply, Stupid!” The article, by editor Richard “Bo” Torrey, reports that an overabundance of pearls has driven down prices and qualities almost across the board.

“The major problem is that Tahitian and Chinese freshwater pearl farmers have simply been producing too much for the pipeline,” Torrey writes. And he includes most white South Sea pearls as well as top-quality Tahitians: “Only high-end [Japanese] akoya seemed to retain a semblance of price stability, and that was probably because the plethora of akoya dealers has declined over the past four or five years.” That plus the lack of supply from Mother Nature has affected availability and value.