While diamonds used to be a girl’s best friend, pearls may now be the wiser purchase because we are in the middle of a Pearl Renaissance and everyone from Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Ellen DeGeneres, Kris Jenner, and Angelina Jolie to Rihanna and Keira Knightly are sporting the pearl look.
While pearls are soaring in popularity, so is their price. You should buy them now, as they show no signs of slowing down, experts say. “It’s the perfect storm for pearl prices, and it’s happening right now,” says Leon Rbibo, President of The Pearl Source, an online retailer doing $10 million annually in pearl jewelry sales.
But why? Rbibo points to the following:
1) Escalations in the South China Sea – Some of the world’s most valuable and high quality pearls come from this region, and unfortunately things are very tense there. The main players – China, the Philippines, the U.S., Vietnam and Malaysia – have conflicting views on to whom that territory belongs, and that equals bad news for trade/importing.
2) The Environment – Natural, high quality pearls are becoming scarcer on the market. Oceans that are growing increasingly acidic are making it very difficult to cultivate high quality gemstones. Put simply, oyster/pearl farms aren’t producing what they used to, putting a premium on the good stuff.
3) Demand – The gemstone has never been more popular in the fashion world. Celebrities are using pearls to build new, edgier looks using different colors and shades: white, black, pink, peach, green, gold and peacock.
For the Silo, Susan Mackasey.