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The Rise Of The Ripple

Posted by on 8/7/2014 to General
Over the last few years we’ve seen a lot of big changes in the pearl industry, never before have women had so many options when it comes to pearls. Overall we’ve seen a major shift from modest white, round pearls to large funky shaped pearls with impossible colors. Freshwater souffle pearls, fireball pearls and Ripples are clearly here to stay.

the wild shapes and colors of freshwater ripple pearls

Tradition be damned! The wild shapes and colors possible with Freshwater Ripples.

One of the most interesting developments has been the rise of the Freshwater Ripple pearl. By some accounts these pearls are “rejects “, intended to be round and smooth, bead nucleated pearls. Somewhere between nucleation and harvesting the humble freshwater mussel decides she has different plans. Instead of a perfectly round pearl, she creates a pearl with wrinkled skin, wild baroque shapes and in the best examples, crazy orient and luster.

amazing luster and orient freshwater ripple pearls

An example of the intense natural colors on the very best Freshwater Ripples.

Almost a year ago I made my first wholesale purchase of these Kasumi pearl look a likes, the price was right and I was looking for something different. At that point I only found them available from one producer and at the time he told me “nobody wants these, they want round pearl”, I replied “we’ll see” and took his “rejects” off his hands.

Fast forward to the June 2014 Hong Kong Gem Show and ripples are everywhere, no longer are they seen as rejects, instead they are a class of pearl all their own. While there is a large supply of ripples available, only a few suppliers have anything of quality. The supply of ripple pearls with metallic luster, good color and strong orient is very limited. Out of the 1000’s of loose strands available at the June show, only a few dozen had that “wow” factor.

Kasumi-Like Ripple Pearls, with the WOW factor

Far from your classic white pearls, these strands aren't for the timid.

Since I expect to get requests on the strands posted here, I'll let everybody know that they will be on sale next week. I'll have a small collection of single strands, doubles and even a few ropes available. As usual watch the blog and our facebook page for details.

loose hanks of freshwater pearls

Loose Ripple pearl strands ready to be sent to the stringers.

Bonus pics of our new Ripples

champagne colored ripple pearls AAA grade ripple pearls nearly round ripple pearls, some would call them amazing luster and color freshwater ripple pearls freshwater ripple pearls with gorgeous colors

Reader Comments

Date 8/8/2014
Tanya Oliver
These are my favourite pearls. Look forward to seeing them on your site for sale!
Date 8/9/2014
Cynthia Dayco
Lovely! Is the coloration more intense than your new multicolor metallics?
Date 8/11/2014
Claire D.
Simply Amazing! When are they on sale?
Date 10/6/2014
Elena Tsvetkova
I want to buy this
Date 7/2/2015
Ronna Perrin
I'm very interested in purchasing these
Date 7/2/2015
Ronna Perrin
I'm very interested in purchasing these ropes
Date 9/12/2015
Date 9/29/2015
Deirdre Neill
Love your ripple pearls in polish gold
Date 9/29/2015
Deirdre Neill
Love your ripple pearls in polish gold
Date 10/14/2015
Nancy Kimmons
Beautiful, love these. Also interested in Baroque.
Date 2/5/2016
Kevin, how about some pendants and earrings? The ripples would be beautiful prices. Thanks so much. Hope to see some soon.
Date 2/9/2016
Donna Nelson
Hi Kevin, I agree they are really lovely and really make a statement. I would also like to see something in earrings, pendent and ring. Kudos to your find.... Happy Trails, Donna Nelson
Date 2/9/2016
Kevin Canning
Hey Donna, The problem is it's not easy to find quality loose ripple pearls. They seem to mainly used in necklaces at this point, sometimes in ripple earring pairs. As they get better and better at producing round pearls, we're seeing less of these accidental ripple pearls available.

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