Here is part two of my three part GIA Pearl Tour diary. I'll be posting it in sections, so read on.
We arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand late morning after a fifteen hour flight delay. After taking a vote, we agreed to have lunch and proceed with our activities in whatever way they could be rescheduled. GIA Tour leader Akira Hyatt is my hero. She made it possible to see and do everything we had planned, in spite of the time gap.
We arrived at Roger Beattie’s home which included a small farm and their Eyris Blue Pearl processing operation.
Roger is attempting to revive the endangered local Weka population with breeding pairs on his property. The Weka is a small flightless bird native to New Zealand.
Here Roger is feeding them. What do they eat? Puppy Chow, of course.
On to the processing center, where we were shown samples of B grade pearls cut out of the Paua abalone shells, but unprocessed. You can tell they’ll be colorful when they’re finished.
Roger then showed us the first step - a rough cut mabe pearl.