This innocent looking piece of paper is very important…
It's an official document from the Government of French Polynesia, that states these pearls have passed inspection and are legal for export.
Since 1998 the French Polynesia government (Maison de la Perliculture) has mandated that all exported Tahitian pearls must be inspected(via X-ray) and certified to have at least .8mm of nacre on each side of the pearl.
Pearls not up to snuff are destroyed.
Hard to watch if you’re the pearl farmer, but important to guarantee a certain standard of product.
This spring(2016) Tahiti passed a new law that would see the nacre thickness requirement removed.
Tides Of Change
Starting January 2017 Tahitian pearls will no longer be subject to inspection before export.
What does this mean for the future of Tahitian pearls?
I'm not sure yet...
But I worry some farmers will stop focusing on quality and opt for shorter growth cycles.
Meaning we may have less top quality pearls on the market – and prices would go up.
At the very least I expect to see a flood of thin nacre Tahitians hitting the likes of Amazon and E-Bay.
The Time To Buy...
Not one to watch from the sidelines, I believe there is an opportunity here.
So I reached out to friend in French Polynesia(see Rikitea Bribe) and told him:
“I want in… I want ALL-IN, before the law changes. What can you do for me?”
Carefully measuring his words he told me
“Listen Kevin, most farmers are waiting for the next auction to try their luck.”
Not willing to give up I replied, “I know… But I have cash and I’m ready to buy.”
The phone went quiet for a minute... I quickly looked at my phone to make sure we were still connected.
With a little hesitation, he finally answered.
“Ok… I know a farmer in Tuamotus that has some big lots. They’re graded, inspected and ready for export. But can’t promise anything. I'm pretty sure he's waitin' on auction”
That’s all I needed to hear.
Several late night skype calls, some tough negotiating, and over $200,000 in “single-origin” loose Tahitian pearls were in my office for final approval.
Some pearls didn't make the cut, but the vast majority were:
- AA – AAA quality
- A Wide range of colors
- Had shapes ranging from round to baroque
- Govt. certified .8mm+ nacre thickness.
So for the last two weeks I’ve been chained to my work bench. Sorting, matching, drilling and preparing strands for a massive promotion.
If you'd like to find out when this Tahitian pearl sale launches, join my email list now.
In the meantime... If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment below.
I personal read and respond to each one.
President, Pearls Of Joy
P.S. - Just for fun, here's a cool slo-mo video of $100,000+ of Tuamotu archipelago silver Tahitian Pearls