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  1. #1
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Default Interesting Article from Japan Times

    Hi everyone, my son sent me this article to read and I thought it might be of interest to others as well. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/20...earl-industry/
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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    That was interesting, JerseyPearl. Thank you for posting it.

  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    JP, thanks to your son for this article! Five farms? Wow, I don't know what to say. Sounds like no actual production. Any authenticated Biwa Pearls on the market would probably be vintage material. (Pearls from China were co-mingled with Biwa Pearls.) We are fortunate to have access to the rare and exquisite Japanese Kasumi pearls through our Sarah Canizzaro at KojimaPearl.com. Sarah buys directly from the pearl farmers and has shared fascinating stories and photos over the years.
    Pattye


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  4. #4
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Very interesting; Thanks, JerseyPearl and Thank your son for us too
    Cathy

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  5. #5
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Good read. Makes me treasure my pearls even more.

  6. #6
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    JP, thanks to your son for this article! Five farms? Wow, I don't know what to say. Sounds like no actual production. Any authenticated Biwa Pearls on the market would probably be vintage material. (Pearls from China were co-mingled with Biwa Pearls.) We are fortunate to have access to the rare and exquisite Japanese Kasumi pearls through our Sarah Canizzaro at KojimaPearl.com. Sarah buys directly from the pearl farmers and has shared fascinating stories and photos over the years.
    One of the highlights of going to Tucson is visiting with Sarah and drooling over her kasumi pearls.
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  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Very interesting article and thank you for posting JP!

  8. #8
    Once upon a Cortez Pearl... Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CortezPearls's Avatar
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    Wow. It is very, very interesting!
    I have to say that I turned Vegan 4 years ago, but my son Kevin says that I am only an herbivore because I used to produce pearls and I still collect and gift them.
    I firmly believe cultured pearls are Ethical and Sustainable so I would disagree with the people from "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals". When you really get to know and understand this industry and how it can operate with such intimacy with Nature, then you know it is a very "Blue Industry" and all the GOOD it can do unto our World.
    This would actually make for a great thread.
    Loved the story about the plight of Biwa! Thank you for the share!
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  9. #9
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Just saw this thread. Thanks for sharing JerseyPearl and for your insights, Douglas.

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Douglas, congrats on your new role!

    And I couldn't agree more with your words.
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  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member kojimapearl's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the whole article.

    I am sorry that they only mentioned Japan Kasumi pearls for three sentences ! Doh!

    Most of that first sentence was also false.

    It is true that some farmers moved from Biwa to Kasumi ga Ura after Biwa's demise.. however there was already a long standing pearl production going on there.
    Lake Kasumi Ga Ura pearl producers were DRIVING live shells to the already floundering production at Lake Biwa.. the demand was SO great and the price paid so high. A HUGE majority of the fresh water pearls produced in Lake Biwa (because of their lack of hard shell nucleus, and baroque shapes were sold DIRECTLY to OPEC nations where they were absorbed and marketed as NATURAL pearls. This is a part of the early fresh water pearl industry in Japan that is almost NEVER mentioned, but may well have contributed greatly to the demise of Lake Biwa's production all together (well that and environmental downfall of course).

    The second sentence is true... the farmers at Lake Kasumi ga Ura DID travel far and wide to find a suitable hybrid mussel which is WHY there are Japan Kasumi pearls being produced today. (they also did a tremendous amount of work around Lake Kasumi ga Ura to stop pollution and worked with local government to protect that delta. I have seen a preserved example of one of the earliest examples of production within that hybrid mussel. It's spooky looking, but for pearl nerds it means something to hybrid an animal, preserve the environment and continue on with your generations old craft!!!


    The Ethics section is "shaking my head" amazing. I am ALL for doing no harm, I am ALL for being vegan (wink wink Douglas et all).. AND... if you are going to attack anything in the jewelry industry and you mention pearls anywhere near the top.. I will always have something like this to say!
    (as per my instagram comment to Japan Times last February)

    "BAHHHH" Pearls are the ONLY gem that is actually good for the environment. As demonstrated in Lake Biwa, you cannot grow pearls in polluted water, check #JapanKasumi or #Cortezpearls for examples of small pearl farms who actually care about the environment and the community. Jason if you want to clean up the jewelry industry ... PLEASE start with diamonds, and the unethical treatment of indentured miners and children!!
    Gahhh, oysters and mollusks before impoverished people risking their lives so you can wear a diamond? "
    Sarah Canizzaro
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  12. #12
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Thank you Sarah Kasumi Queen!!!

  13. #13
    Once upon a Cortez Pearl... Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CortezPearls's Avatar
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    Fantastic information dear Sarah! I will even copy it for storing...this is really good information for a presentation and I recently co-wrote an article about freshwater pearls and I wish I could have known this before
    Do you think this Kasumigaura hybrid mussel is the same as the "new" Chinese hybrid mussel???
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  14. #14
    Once upon a Cortez Pearl... Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CortezPearls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojimapearl View Post
    The Ethics section is "shaking my head" amazing. I am ALL for doing no harm, I am ALL for being vegan (wink wink Douglas et all).. AND... if you are going to attack anything in the jewelry industry and you mention pearls anywhere near the top.. I will always have something like this to say! (as per my instagram comment to Japan Times last February)

    "BAHHHH" Pearls are the ONLY gem that is actually good for the environment. As demonstrated in Lake Biwa, you cannot grow pearls in polluted water, check #JapanKasumi or #Cortezpearls for examples of small pearl farms who actually care about the environment and the community. Jason if you want to clean up the jewelry industry ... PLEASE start with diamonds, and the unethical treatment of indentured miners and children!!
    Gahhh, oysters and mollusks before impoverished people risking their lives so you can wear a diamond? "
    I agree. Just look at mining operations...and fortunately we are starting to see the Fair Trade Gems movement picking up some momentum! But the most "successful" ventures are usually also the ones with a higher impact on the environment and communities.
    Pearls -for the most part- are a success story on the positive impact on both the environment and communities worldwide. Just look at the examples set by Jewelmer, Kamoka Pearls, Kasumiga Pearls and J Hunter Pearls to cite a few!
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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  15. #15
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    We should also add CortezPearls to that courageous group of pearl farmers!

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