Skip to main content

Supplier of the Year - UK Jewellery Awards 2023

A Story of Buying – ‘Sparking Joy’ Pearl by Pearl

We are often asked how we go about selecting every single pearl in our broad range. On our recent buying trip to mainland China, Miranda put pen to paper to record her experience whilst selecting 12 vibrant baroque cultured pearl necklaces…

Sally and my Father, Jonathan selecting pearls

“Today we spent time looking in an office where they specialise in baroque material, they have very little round stock. Much of this, almost all, is not suitable for our client. Something of a needle in a haystack … an ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ mission.

Our selections laid out in the workshop

Sometimes it’s frustrating … you’ve bought and sold something beautiful, stunning in fact; it flew out of the door 6 months ago, but can you find it again? No. This is the nature of pearl farming and pearl buying though; in some years we see a certain size and colour everywhere – mountains have been produced – although of mixed quality. Trying to find this again is near impossible. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Having found a particular style we like; we sit and start to make strands. These pearls are in huge containers, they aren’t drilled, and some are more beautiful than others. Some have pits and we wouldn’t select them, others have the most wonderful colour, interesting overtones, bright overall and skins with charm and character. These aren’t smooth but the lustre, mix of colours, the beauty … they will be popular at a price.

The pearls being drilled in our workshop

We spend the afternoon selecting pearl by pearl, graduating each necklace a little, getting the colour mixes right and checking to avoid any major markings. We look at where we might drill the hole … probably through a mark.

We buy in a team of three – all skilled and practised in different ways, all having different clients to consider, and all having slightly different natural tastes. Sally loves the dusky pinks we buy, but it’s important we level out the stock; our customers, like our team, will all ‘spark joy’ at different items.

“the most wonderful colour, interesting overtones, bright overall and skins with charm and character”

It takes us a few hours to select 12 necklaces – we will drill these in the workshop in Somerset.

We then move on to the next item …

The journey of a necklace coming together is long and wonderful, with a passion for beautiful pearls at it’s heart. I can’t wait to get home to show these – I love that moment when my customer almost jumps over the desk to grab something special, something that has been a labour of love.”

The finished necklace

Email [email protected] to enquire about this necklace or similar items.