A Bril­liant Voy­age

From the waters of north­ern Palawan to el­e­gant bou­tiques across the globe, the golden South Sea pearls of Jew­elmer are a tes­ta­ment to su­pe­rior crafts­man­ship and tra­di­tion

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Art Of Luxury -

The pearl tells the story of cul­tures across the ages.

There are tribes whose liveli­hoods have his­tor­i­cally been shaped by pearls, like the Ama who have kept Ja­pan’s cen­turies-old tra­di­tion of free div­ing for shells, and the Bad­jao, the sea gyp­sies who have sailed the Sulu- Su­lawesi Seas in search of these gleam­ing gems.

In its myr­iad in­car­na­tions, the white, the black, and the golden va­ri­ety, the pearl tells the his­tory of tra­di­tions that have en­dured through time’s re­lent­less for­ward march— from the first tribes who have coaxed these lus­trous gems into vivid life, to the iconic de­signs of pearl jew­ellery out­last­ing fash­ion’s pass­ing trends.

In the pris­tine waters of north­ern Palawan, large Pinc­tada max­ima oys­ters sleep be­neath the waves, await­ing the har­vest that will trans­form the pearls within into stun­ning jew­ellery cre­ations by ded­i­cated ar­ti­sans at Jew­elmer Joail­lerie.

Set­ting the Gold Stan­dard

Prized for their in­tense colour, bright lus­tre, and sharp re­flec­tion, Jew­elmer’s pearls are a prod­uct of decades of re­search and de­vel­op­ment in Palawan’s un­touched shores.

The French-Filipino jew­ellery brand had ini­tially de­cided to cul­ture the white pearl va­ri­ety, yet as they saw that Philip­pine oys­ters bore a nat­u­rally gold shade, the brand for­ayed into cul­tur­ing what is now known as Jew­elmer’s iconic gem: the golden South Sea pearl.

It took Jew­elmer 10 years to breed their own gold-lipped Pinc­tada max­ima oys­ters, with the aid of bi­ol­o­gists from France, Myan­mar, Ja­pan, and the Philip­pines. Jew­elmer has then fo­cused on this op­por­tu­nity to cul­ture the cream of the crop— high­light­ing what na­ture pro­duces if al­lowed to thrive.

Pearls Around the World

Hav­ing cul­tured pearls of a nat­u­ral colour gold, the brand for­ayed into mak­ing jew­ellery in­spired by the crafts­man­ship of Place Ven­dome.

Jew­elmer’s South Sea pearls have since at­tracted a global fol­low­ing. As Jew­elmer Joail­lerie’s In­ter­na­tional Sales Man­ager Franck Fer­rari points out, fash­ion and de­sign trends con­stantly spring from New York, Paris, Dubai, and ma­jor cap­i­tals across South Amer­ica, then trickle down to the rest of the world.

In the mid­dle of each of these mega cities’ highly com­pet­i­tive jew­ellery scene, Palawan’s golden South Sea pearls are revered as time­less trea­sures. Over the past decades, ow­ing to its in­nate qual­ity and the en­dur­ing na­ture of French aes­thet­ics, the golden South Sea pearl has carved a niche in the dy­namic fine jew­ellery in­dus­try.

De­spite in­tense global com­pe­ti­tion, Fer­rari is thank­ful that the golden South Sea pearl “had a story we did not need to cre­ate; rather, it was al­ready wo­ven into our DNA.” This growth blos­somed at “a

time where jew­ellery houses of­fered white pearls, di­a­monds, and coloured gems. What we pre­sented was a unique dis­cov­ery.”

In the South Amer­i­cas, mean­while, golden South Sea pearls have also be­daz­zled the famed “El Do­rado of Gem­stones,” a cadre of pre­cious stone afi­ciona­dos from Peru, Colom­bia, Brazil, and Ar­gentina.

Truth be told, these gems have held their own in a re­gion duly fa­mous for the crafts­man­ship of In­can gold­smith, in­tri­cately carved South Amer­i­can jade and turquoise, as well as the elab­o­rate mo­saics of a peo­ple with a long his­tory in ex­quis­ite jew­ellery.

The Roots of Pearl Jew­ellery

In the East, the rar­ity of the golden pearl’s colour and sheen en­hanced by Jew­elmer’s French crafts­man­ship has sim­i­larly found a wel­com­ing au­di­ence in the jew­ellery dis­plays of Mel­bourne and Tokyo.

“Ja­pan is to the pearl what Switzer­land is to the watch in­dus­try,” says Fer­rari. In Ja­pan, white pearls are the gems that dom­i­nate the mar­ket. Along with Aus­tralia, Ja­pan has been pro­duc­ing white South Sea pearls for decades. The French-Filipino brand, how­ever, saw this as an op­por­tu­nity. “The Ja­panese mar­ket is one of the most ed­u­cated when it comes to un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­at­ing the true qual­ity of a pearl,” says Fer­rari, for in Ja­pan where pearl farm­ing found its roots, a pearl sig­ni­fies not only a fash­ion­able gem but a cul­tural em­blem. “It rep­re­sents the pin­na­cle of pearl jew­ellery. There­fore for our brand to be wel­comed on that stage is a great honour.”

Whether in Eastern shores where pearls de­rived their ori­gins or in West­ern waters where the world’s finest jew­ellery held sway, Jew­elmer Joail­lerie’s South Sea pearl re­mains a sym­bol of a last­ing her­itage—the pearl’s grand voy­age across coun­tries and cen­turies of tra­di­tion.

PEARL OF THE ORI­ENT The Pinc­tada max­ima or gi­ant oys­ter from which golden pearls are sourced can grow up to 30cm in di­am­e­ter.

the sun never sets Clock­wise: Pearl Har­vest; Jew­elmer in New York and re­tail­ers in China and Mit­sukoshi, Ja­pan. Inset: Palawan has the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment for cul­tured golden pearls

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