International Pearl Exposition and Auction has recently been held in Guangzhou, China. Merchants and bidders, both at home and abroad, were deeply impressed by the rare and valuable pearl jewelry from all over the world. However, it¡¯s hard to find the well-known domestic Zhejiang freshwater pearls among the glittering jewels.
With the fame as the "No. 1 global bidding", International Pearl Exposition and Auction is held two or three times every year. This year, we had the honor to hold the exposition and auction in Guangzhou. It should have been a very good opportunity for the local sellers to display their pearls without traveling abroad. Nevertheless, some 40 local buyers came just to bid with those of the same trade.
"Most of the displayed pearls are from oversea producer." Said Mark Wu from Topearl Jewlery Inc. "China leads the world in production of saltwater akoya pearls, freshwater pearls also account for 90 percent of the world¡¯s output. But we had very few qualified entries." This is nothing new but a reflection of the current situation of the international pearl market. Since medium and low grade pearls are in the majority in China, we only hold 10 percent of trading volume in the world¡¯s pearl market. Each year, China mainly exported low-valued un-finished pearl beads and strands, not high added-value pearl jewelry such as pearl necklace, bracelet and pearl earrings etc. The absence of Zhejiang Pearls simply reflected our embarrassment among the general Chinese pearl industry.
How to upgrade Chinese Pearls including Zhejiang Pearls becomes our main concern. China has good weather and temperature for the pearl cultivation. Based on these good natural conditions, our pearls have good quality themselves. Therefore, low added value is the root of the problem. Compared with the international technology, we still have a long way to go in pearl processing and treatment, such as bleaching, polishing and design.
Although we fall a little behind, we see a very good chance to increase the value of our pearls. Union of Asian Jewelry has already been founded in Guangzhou. And from now on, the International Pearl Exposition and Auction will be held in Guangzhou every year. Jiangsu and Zhejiang, China¡¯s bases of freshwater pearls and pearl jewelry, will have own platform for pearl exhibits.
Editor: canton fair