Pearls: The CPAA Hits Las Vegas, Honora Gets Inspired by New York City

The Wide World of Pearls

Visitors to the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s booth at JCK Las Vegas will get a whirlwind tour of nearly every pearl-­producing nation on the globe without leaving Mandalay Bay.

A reimagined CPAA pavilion (B2028) is designed to mimic the shape and sheen of a pearl, with screen-printed images of pearls and their native environments on a half-round, dome-shape fabric shell with a vaulted ceiling. Inside, five stations with headsets attached to television screens play audio and video of the new CPAA-produced documentary, The Journey of the Pearl (see “Fantastic Voyage,” JCK May 2012).

“We wanted to give the feeling of traveling to the different countries that our team did during the documentary,” explains Kathy Grenier, marketing director of CPAA and Imperial Pearl in East Providence, R.I.

Zig Zibits

Booth visitors are encouraged to start at one end of the display and work their way around to the other, seeing snapshots of countries and the pearls they produce: akoya (Japan), golden South Seas (Philippines), freshwater (China), Tahitian (Tahiti), and white South Seas (Australia). At each station, an 18-foot by 18-foot glass display case will house an oyster shell, loose pearls, a strand, and a suite of finished jewelry.

“This is the last stage in the journey—when pearls become jewelry displayed in showcases,” Grenier says.

Staffers will be on hand at each station and at the ­centrally located Concierge center to relate the pearl story and distribute informational pamphlets. “Our intention is to elevate awareness for all varieties of pearls and share educational material,” says ­Grenier. And, undoubtedly, to send a few retailers on an armchair voyage: DVD copies of the multi-disc ­Journey documentary will be available at the CPAA booth for $49.95.

Sign of the Times Square

Times Square collection Double Finger ring in silver with freshwater pearls; $200; Honora, New York City; 212-371-1515;

New York City–based Honora has updated its classic Pallini dot motif just in time for JCK Las Vegas. The repetitive dot pattern conjures a disco ball—or the giant ­sparkling sphere that drops every Dec. 31 in Manhattan. Fittingly, Honora dubbed the pieces the Times Square Collection.

“By flattening the beads and connecting them with a dash, the signature texture looks like the silhouette of a pearl strand,” says Joel Schechter, CEO of the 60-year-old pearl jewelry manufacturer. The line comprises 27 SKUs in high-polish and oxidized sterling silver with freshwater pearls and some woven macramé and leather in bracelets. Retail prices start at $200.

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