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Broome Pearling Industry

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  • Broome Pearling Industry

    Does anyone have any information about the history of pearling in Broome? I am hoping to write an paper on the history of the South Sea pearl. Our manual is very limited, and I do not have a lot of time to order a book.
    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Harvesting of pearls from Broome has less of a history than most people think. Pearls were not cultured in this part of Western Australia until the late 20th century.
    The small town of Broome grew and became famous as the pearling industry grew in the 1860's. While pearls were not the prize harvesters seeked, the famous Pinctada Maxima mother of pearl (M.O.P) was reaching its height of popularity. This shell was used for buttons, art, cutlery, combs, jewelry, and a myriad of other products.
    In 1956, Pearls Pty. Ltd, set up a joint pearling venture in Broome. This was beginning of pearl farming in the region.
    Kevin Canning
    Pearls Of Joy
    www.PearlsOfJoy.com
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    • #3
      I think it is also very important to bring up "The Star of the West", also known as "The Broome Pearl".

      This is a pearl that was found by a Japanese diver in 1917. He was working the James Clark, considered by many to be the pearl king of his time. That natural pearl weighed 6.48 grams. Focus on your home with the furniture deals from Freedom Furniture Catalogue. Improve your home with Stratco Catalogue.

      You will also find in a lot of older books, stories upon stories of the pearlers in the early 20th century. Pearlsofjoy is right about the pearl farming, but as early as 1910 Broome was thought to be the Pearl Capital of the world. Divers came from Japan by the hundreds, as did treasure hunters hoping to strike it rich finding that one large pearl.

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      • #4
        Another important thing to note is that the pearling industry nearly disappeared in Broome during the first and second world wars.

        When WWI was announced the shell prices immediately tanked. It barely started coming back before WWII decimated it again. Broome was actually bombed by the Japanese in 1942.

        However, immediately proceeding the second war the Broome Pearl shell business soared. This is because the pre-war Japanese ships were all gone!

        But alas, something as simple as the plastic button was invented in the 1950's, and the shell industry was irreversibly damaged.

        PearlsOfJoy.com
        Kevin Canning
        Pearls Of Joy
        www.PearlsOfJoy.com
        Read My Blog
        FaceBook Fan Page
        1-800-451-1411

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        • #5
          Thanks for the information!
          This gives me a lot of information to research and put into my paper. I have been having some trouble finding a good place to start.

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          • #6
            No problem, I hope the info will help you out.

            Best what kind of course are you taking that requires in-depth knowledge of Broome? I assume by your name you are a GIA student I do not remember doing papers like this during my studies.
            Kevin Canning
            Pearls Of Joy
            www.PearlsOfJoy.com
            Read My Blog
            FaceBook Fan Page
            1-800-451-1411

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            • #7
              Good question!

              I am actually a grad student at UCLA. I am pursuing my GG via correspodence at the same time. You know us students have so much extra time

              I have always had a passion for the jewelry industry, and I have been pursuing business courses for the last half-decade!

              About one year ago I heard Mr. Jeremy Shepherd from Pearl Paradise on the radio on the Marketwatch Show. He was being interviewed in China. I heard the interviews daily for almost a week (I am an avid listener!). I decided at that time that I wanted to do something similar, it sounded like the ultimate career!

              Anyway, here I am a year later and I am nearly finished!

              I am so glad I found this site, by the way. I wish I knew about it a long time ago. I have really learned a lot!

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              • #8
                By the way, I know that this Site is strictly about pearls, but it is such a great site I wish there was one like this about diamonds or other stones as well...

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                • #9
                  Jeremy Shepherd is actually a member here! I am going to forward this thread to him. I am sure he would be happy to hear about your career choice!
                  Kevin Canning
                  Pearls Of Joy
                  www.PearlsOfJoy.com
                  Read My Blog
                  FaceBook Fan Page
                  1-800-451-1411

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                  • #10
                    Yes, I know he is a member on this forum. He actually invited me to this forum. We have been emailing for a few weeks now.

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                    • #11
                      Australian Pearls (resources)

                      There are a number of interesting books that cover the Broome industry.

                      Cannibal Nights by a Captain Raab is one, a colorful anecdotal history of sorts. Suggest also The Pearl Trader (by a dealer) and Pearl Diver These are all biographies written in the early 20th Century and can be purchased fairly inexpensively from sites that specialize in rare and out of print books. Try www.bookfinder.com,

                      For someone with your interests may I also humbly suggest my own book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones www.secretsofthegemtrade.com

                      Richard W. Wise

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                      • #12
                        Richard,

                        I ordered your book yesterday on Amazon.com. I saw there was a large section on pearls in the book, and I look forward to seeing what 'secrets' it may contain! I love to read new things about pearls and pearl history. I promise to let you know what I think of it after I read it!
                        Jeremy Shepherd
                        President and Founder
                        PearlParadise.com, Inc.
                        The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
                        PearlParadise.com on Flickr
                        PearlParadise.com on Facebook
                        Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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                        • #13
                          Secrets of The Gem Trade

                          Jeremy,

                          Thanks for the order. Reviews have been all positive. Guess they should lower the price at www.secretsofthegemtrade.com. The chapters on Pearls are one of my largest sections. I see that you have done some pretty extensive traveling. I visited the pearl farms in Tahiti in the mid-eighties. Put a lot of time and effort into the book. Will be particularly interested in your opinion of "sympatico"

                          Will be pleased to hear an experts opinion.

                          Richard

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                          • #14
                            I read the introduction and overview section today during lunch. I like the way you tell the story of the trip, while educating on what you had learned. This differs from so many other pearl books I have read in the past, and gives it more of a story line. I like it so far.
                            Jeremy Shepherd
                            President and Founder
                            PearlParadise.com, Inc.
                            The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
                            PearlParadise.com on Flickr
                            PearlParadise.com on Facebook
                            Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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                            • #15
                              You coined the phrase 'Simpatico' for the book, right? Very interesting...I thought about it for a while, trying to determine whether I could come up with another word that was commonly used and I could not. Typically we just try to explain the meaning to customers. If you do not mind I would like to try and use it. I also think this Site should have a page explaining the use to make it more commonly understood.
                              Jeremy Shepherd
                              President and Founder
                              PearlParadise.com, Inc.
                              The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
                              PearlParadise.com on Flickr
                              PearlParadise.com on Facebook
                              Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

                              Comment

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