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  1. #1
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    Default Hello and Question/Advice please!

    Hello everyone!

    I am Hannah and I live in Alaska (originally from Oregon). I will try to keep this concise! So, I came across this forum while researching about pearl parties on Facebook that I recently discovered through a friend. I have friend most of your discussions here about that topic so I understand the general disposition on that subject! I was hoping to get some advice, however!

    My friend shared this live feed and I was curious, naturally. So I tuned in and I knew instantly that the oysters being opened were awfully strange for oysters (I was not familiar with Akoya species... please excuse me not using the scientific nomenclature, i can't remember at the moment). I have a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science, so I am somewhat familiar with various animal species and such. I did some research about it and discovered a lot of information! Honestly, I felt inspired to do this business myself, but not working for another company. Except!!! I do NOT and would NOT want to be dishonest and unethical! I would definitely not want to be sued and take part in anything that is immoral, illegal, etc.. Anyway, so as part of my research to unlock the truth about these parties or verify if they were being honest, I discovered the truth.. that the oysters being opened probably are Akoya oyster species but that the pearls inside are not genuine saltwater Akoya pearls. Partly I found out because some of the suppliers I did research with in Asia were honest about their products on that end and clearly stated that the pearls themselves ARE freshwater.

    I also found this forum and have been researching all the types of pearls and everything I can about them. On the same token that I want to be weary of doing anything dishonest if I was to start my own business, I want to be fully honest (not claiming Akoya pearls, disclosing the truth about the dark colored pearls being dyed, when dyed, and explaining/providing real information about the process and such.)

    With all that said, would it be "okay" for me to move forward with my small business (i already have a small business online with my license and everything but its very much a side income thing) to switch to offering these oyster/mollusc openings for freshwater pearls? Obviously any business venture can be risky and has risks, some more than others. I have thought about everything I possibly can, as a business owner.. the potential pitfalls and such..

    I guess, as knowledgable pearl people, do you believe people would purchase from my business, knowing they are all freshwater pearls (which in my opinion are just as beautiful if not sometimes more beautiful than saltwater!) that they are purchasing? I likely will not sell any jewelry because I could not find anything that was not plated and gross that I felt comfortable selling to my customer base. I may get some cages to give as a complimentary thing with pearls..

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Okay, first thing. You are an environmental biologist. With your degree, can you justify rearing an oyster, just to kill it with chemicals only to shuck it on camera with an artificially embedded pearl for all to see? Does your ethic toward good stewardship of aquatic resources allow you to purchase and resell mollusks that have been grown in over-polluted waters in China? Does handling toxic bio waste (fecal coliform, antibiotics, hormones and lord knows what) appeal to you? Does selling a 50 cent pearl for 30 dollars sound like a fair trade for both parties in the transaction? What's to be taught or learned by selling these?

    Second, are there no other fields in pearl science that have your interest? I'm a self taught layman and don't have enough hours in the day or months in a year to even scratch the surface of my research potential.

    Is your's a dead end that causes you to undertake a carnival activity that any trailer trash can perform?
    Last edited by Lagoon Island Pearls; 02-15-2017 at 06:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sanippy's Avatar
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    Excellent response Dave.

    I'm not tying to be rude but for someone with your background and experience it really sounds like you are sticking your head in the sand. For me the main issues with this 'business' are as follows:

    1. Oysters are unnecessarily killed for the sake of silly entertainment. This is cruel and wasteful. In addition, unless you explicitly state this in both your advertising and during parties you are intentionally misleading your customers. They need to know that (a) their pearl was not made by the host oyster and (b) the host oyster was cruelly sacrificed for their entertainment

    2. It is unhygenic and disgusting. You are placing pearls in dead oysters, transporting them without refrigeration and opening them. Gross.

    3. It's a massive rip off. You are selling cheap, worthless pearls for a hefty mark up. Unsuspecting customers are then lead to setting these cheap pearls in relatively expensive settings.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    I would certainly hope that people wouldn't buy these pearls from you and you will drop the idea of going into this shady business. Let's say someone gets a little crazy excited and at $20 each spends $1000 (it happens). They will have 50 unmatched, undrilled pearls of unknown quality, who knows what size, shape and miscellaneous colors, which probably can not even be made into a necklace. Just suppose they are friends and family~they do a little research themselves, and this is what they will find:

    For roughly $100 - $200 they could get a gorgeous, high quality cultured freshwater pearl necklace, in a color they wanted, drilled, knotted and ready to wear! Are they going to feel you cheated and misled them? A handful of mismatched pearls? Whatever thrill they might have felt will not last nearly as long as the damage to your reputation. It's a rip-off scheme.

    Like Dave, I feel shocked that your training as an environmental biologist would allow you to even consider this venture for a nano-second.
    Pattye


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  5. #5
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanadama View Post
    Excellent response Dave.

    I'm not tying to be rude but for someone with your background and experience it really sounds like you are sticking your head in the sand.
    I have to agree. I'm not trying to be rude either, because I'm certain Hannah's concerns are genuine, albeit naive. I never had the opportunity, no less the patience to earn a degree in my youth. I learned slowly, by attending post-secondary courses and reading biological texts. More than anything, by observation, analysis and collaboration with others. I've always believed when you build a better mousetrap, the world beats a path to your door.

    Hannah lives in Alaska, probably one of the more diverse ecosystems on the planet. It saddens me that with a good education she'd option to cast it aside, when another could have valued it for a lifetime. Not just for herself, but for those around her and even those afar.

    I'd strongly suggest Hannah read anything from Ed Ricketts. Perhaps she'd learn crass commercialism is never worth settling upon when the educated mind and fit body is capable of so much more.

  6. #6
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Depressing that someone with a degree can't manage proper english. Reminds me of the style of Ms pearl chic..

    Odd also that with all the threads she can't work out what our answer would be to her rambling post

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestarphyr View Post
    as knowledgable pearl people, do you believe people would purchase from my business, knowing they are all freshwater pearls (which in my opinion are just as beautiful if not sometimes more beautiful than saltwater!) that they are purchasing? I likely will not sell any jewelry because I could not find anything that was not plated and gross that I felt comfortable selling to my customer base. I may get some cages to give as a complimentary thing with pearls..

    Thank you!
    Perhaps you might ask yourself... If you were a snake oil salesman, how much snake oil would you sell with your pitch being it's not really made from snakes and had no documented medicinal properties.

    The only reason why these sell like hotcakes is because most people are ignorant. I'm not just picking on party hosts or their customers. I've also made no bones about the high level of secrecy and non-disclosure of the pearl industry being an inadvertent, yet major contributing factor in this recent sham.

    I grew non beaded cultured pearls in saltwater mussels as early as 1987, but China co-opted that technology and applied it to unregulated freshwater operations, causing my operation to cease dead in it's tracks. I've only since revisited the industry because I have non-luxury clients who are primarily interested in other aspects of aquaculture.

    The pearl party sham is causing irreparable harm to otherwise legitimate farmers, who at great risk and expense lay it all on the line to produce a genuine, sustainable product. I scarcely doubt any user group is more acutely aware of pollution, climate change and state of our aquatic resources. It's a slap in the face to decency and a free pass to underhandedness.

  8. #8
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Hannah, I hope you realize you've just received excellent advice from Dave, Pattye, hanadama, and pearlescence. Each of these experts has articulated all of the issues surrounding this disgusting endeavor. Your message reads as if you are aware of the issues, but looking here to PG, for justication to pursue this silliness. I encourage you to dismiss this notion and use your capabilities for more worthwhile efforts.

  9. #9
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    No one wants to be mean, but we are sick to death of this scam. May it burn out quickly.
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  10. #10
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    From your lips, GemGeek....let's hope so!
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  11. #11
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member lilliefuzzysocks's Avatar
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    I read many forums and occasionally someone will post something written similarly and we find out later that this was a assignment from a college Psychology class.

  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    That's interesting lilliefuzzysocks. The OP has not logged back in to P-G since she originally posted.

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