Alana and I arrived late last night, feeling tired but excited to be back in Hong Kong. Without question the gem shows are a lot of work but it's always fun to spend the days buying pearls the evenings looking for our next favorite restaurant.
Usually on the first day we start by doing a few laps around the show floor, saying hi to familiar faces and getting our bearings. Once we get a lay of the land I like to pull out my wish list and try to pick up a few items for ladies I know have been waiting patiently.
The first item on the wish list was a handful of large(20mm+) souffle pearls for a few customers looking to make pendants. For Pearl Guide members it might seem that souffle pearls are common but the truth is there are only one major producer that carry them and supply is inconsistent at best. With that said, we did find a handful of large beautiful pearls that I'm sure will make a few ladies very happy.
Next up on the wish list were large purple Edison pearls. While there are other suppliers that produce bead nucleated freshwater pearls(generic Edison pearls), those in the know, know that Grace always has the best selection of top grade pearls. The sales assistant that usually helps us wasn't available today, but we had the pleasure of working with another girl who is not only super charming but also recognized us from the blog. I promised her I'd give her a shout out, so thanks for all the help yesterday Cicie, I hope you're reading this!
After sorting through a couple hundred of their best 12-13mm pearls we found a half dozen stunning pearls from deep purple to metallic silver white. Also, since Alana works so hard for me when she comes to these shows I also bought her a fun little tin-cup bracelet made with ripple pearls(the one one on the left 8 photos down).
12-13mm bead nucleated drops with crazy dark colors, not just one color, but multiple bands of color. I've seen this sort of banding on the odd pearl before, but never quite this intense or on this many pearls. After seeing these I have to think that true natural "black" freshwater pearls may be coming down the pipe. Maybe not dark Tahitian greens, but dark reds and purples seem inevitable.
With a good start to day one we called it a day and ended the night with a huge dim sum feast. Shortly after jet lag kicked in and we both passed out by 8:30pm.