From the archives of Pacific Pearls


Well-known member
Feb 13, 2007
I haven't had a chance to check in on Pearl-Guide for quite some time... but I thought you all might enjoy this article written by Rudolf Voll aka "Pearl Admirer" (Fuji's father) from the Asahi Evening News Tuesday June 4th 1968.
I love unearthing his old photos and writings... such a legacy of pearls and opinions!:)

To the Editor:
It must have puzzled your readers to find in your May 27 (p. 3) issue that a world famous pearl company "might meet bankruptcy, if present circumstances (decreasing export sales) were allowed to go on," while on May 28 (p. 12) you report that the export trade in pearls "is picking up again."
In any event, it sounds incredible that a symbol of Japan's most unique and exclusive business should be mentioned in such an alarming report.
To the insider, however, it is simply the inevitable consequence of a one-color-policy, similar to the diamond retailers' one hoping to increase sales by outmoding previously sold gems.
The pushing of "blue-white" diamonds that rarely occur (and most of those are only called so) brought on a trend that could not be satisfied-- and entailed expensive advertising campaigns on the part of the Syndicate to brainwash the public off the new blue-white preference, and to teach them that the presence of "body color" makes for more fire and actually suits the wearer better.
Now the pearl industry's dilemma is similar but not as easily remedied by simple mind-changing. It should be common knowledge that cultured pearls from the ocean come in predominantly creamish, greenish and blueish colors. the white-pink tones that most retailers recommend as the only "right" color practically never occur naturally, but are a product of chemical change after harvesting the pearls.
Pearls are bleached by peroxide or other agents; they can be colored with water-, alcohol- or oil-soluble dyes. Some are even subjected to "bombardment" ("bakudan" is the industry's term) or to radiation by isotopes (for turning gold tones blue), or lastly by treating them with nitric acid to make them black. As in any other field, "what Lola wants, Lola gets."
At the root of the problem lies the fact that most importers in foreign lands are no pearl experts and, like any other businessman, are interested in quick turnover without much extra work of promoting. One found that the lighter colors were the best sellers, an hence demand was limited to just those types.
Since only the few naturally light-colored and the rather thinly-coated pearls could be "color-corrected" to suit the dealers' orders, the large bulk of fine creams, greens and blues that won't give up their original color to chemistry's endeavors were made practically worthless, and their original production costs had to be added to the few that could be turned white-pink.
The consequences are obvious: if the white-pink pearl is the only "right" one, as one can learn from the world's leading jewelers, then who wants the others? After all, pearls are ornaments and are not utility items. It all adds up to an increase in cost for the desirable few, which runs exactly counter to the industry's founder's dream of "putting a pearl necklace around every woman's neck."
Moreover, it does not take into account the obvious fact that very few women have white enough skins for the bleached white-pinks to look good on; actually the warmer skin-sympathetic cream tones would suit the majority perfectly, especially elderly ladies, who are the ones who could afford the cost of an expensive pearl necklace.
It follows that color is NOT the measure of quality, as we know that the presently most desirable one is artificially dyed.
Although the industry has done a sad job of nearly destroying itself by the one-color-policy, there is still time to change the tide and do a little work of re-educating.
When only one color is "The Thing," sales are kept small.
Women don't own one-color mink coats. They have dozens, all of them desirable.
Providing there are equal surface and luster conditions, no color should be discriminated against by a convenient quick-sale formula like "white-pink only."
In fact, when shown, most people like the gold and green tones because of their wonderful luster, but are afraid to buy because of the industry's disastrous policy of self-disqualifying its own fine gems.

Blessed to be busier than ever... and I hope you all are enjoying your pearls whatever color they are!
Cheers, Sarah
Thank you for sharing this masterpiece Sarah...I just wish more people would read it. Could I translate it into Spanish???
Awesome... Im glad you all enjoyed it! I thought was hilarious, because i could hear his voice in the words. Douglas... Was that " could" as in permission... Or could in ability ;)
Mais oui, mon ami... Have at it.
As far as I 'm concerned it should be translated in every language. Hope this finds you all GREAT!
A tid bit more I dug up from the vast Pacific Pearls archives. Here is a photo of Fuji at the age of 3 at the short lived Pacific Pearls farm in Japan. They quickly decided selling pearls was a lot easier than trying to culture them! (with a tip of the pearly hat to you farmers out there :) Thankfully Fuji's father was REALLY into little stickers and put the date on absolutely everything!
More to come!


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Mr R Voll sure was ahead of his time!

Thanks for doing this Sarah.
Ha yes he would.. But I'm not you'd want to listen to him rant about it ;)
Thanks you guys! I just love these old photos.. So great to have a place to put them up online!
more Pacific Pearls archive photos

more Pacific Pearls archive photos

Here are a few more photos I found today while searching through old photos. The first is Rudolph Voll in a really great pearl print tie! What style! The second is a random photo he took in New York City in the late 40's or early 50's of a department store window.. I just love the bunny hopping elegance in that one. The third photo is of the Pacific Pearls staff and family in Hong Kong in the 70's ... Fuji is on the left. I hope I'm not repeating any of these.
I am in the process of starting to bring to market the sizeable collection of jadeite carvings hand chosen by Rudolph Voll in Hong Kong and China between the 60's and 90's .. It is a daunting and exciting task. I'm learning alot and hope that if any of you pearl lovers know anything about Jade.. you will inbox me any suggestions as I start to slowly upload the collection.
Finding these old photos mixed in is providing a nice break!
I hope this finds you all GREAT!
Cheers, Sarah


  • Lovely little bracelet I got today HK freshwater - about Dhs250 (about EUR45 or USD$63) - size about
    Lovely little bracelet I got today HK freshwater - about Dhs250 (about EUR45 or USD$63) - size about
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Sarah, I just searched your web-site for the pictures of the carvings, but there do not seem to be any out there yet. I am anxiously waitng for a sneak preview. Jade is my second-largest passion after pearls and you got me sooo curious.

Anything you could share yet?
Hi Dizzie, Yes sorry... we are in the gathering of information and preparing to upload stages of the Jade marketing. Here is a link to a bunch of photos of a few of the pieces
Currently trying to decide the best "other" place to list them besides our website: Ebay, Amazon, RubyLane, Etsy? any suggestions? Despite my feelings about it as a marketplace, right now we are leaning towards Ebay.
On many of the pieces there is a small sticker, which includes the date the Jade was originally purchased. The collection is kind of overwhelming.... but my darling cousin has flown to my rescue and will hopefully be handling most of the uploading and selling so I can continue to focus on the pearls.
Thanks Dizzie... I hope you will enjoy what you see... So glad to know there is someone on Pearl-Guide that is really in love with Jade too.
Hi Sarah, the jade pieces are gorgeous. Do update us when you decide on which platform you will be selling them on.
Woooooow, Sarah, so beautiful. There are some, I have literally fallen in love with.

As for the selling channel, I would consider Ruby Lane and Etsy. Ruby lane is well known among the collector of vintage pieces, while Etsy reaches out to the broad set of customers, while at the same time a higher premium is accepted for unique pieces. At least this is my perconal perception of those channels.

Do you have any idea of the pricing yet? May be you could be so kind an PM me once you have a rough estimate?