The Saori C. Jewelry Designs buying team recently returned from a pearl buying trip to Tokyo. When it comes to cultured saltwater pearls, we use only the best, and to get the best, you have to go to the source: Japan.
Tokyo's pearl district, an area known as Okachimachi, is a fascinating place - there are literally dozens of pearl wholesalers and retailers within a couple of square kilometers, catering to all different tastes and price ranges. We were looking for top-quality white pearls for bridal jewelry, so that's what we were focusing on. We talked to several wholesalers in the area, and in addition to establishing some great connections and getting some great product, we also picked up a lot of insider insight into the cultured saltwater pearl business.
We were also extremely lucky to score a meeting with the head of one of the largest pearl wholesalers in Japan, who kindly shared his wealth of knowledge with us, not only about the industry, but about pearls and the pearl making process. Turns out a lot of what you think you know about pearls is probably wrong. Stay tuned. :)