From Volume I of the 2023 #thisispearl digital magazine
This new year kicks off with much promise for pearls; demand is unprecedented and so are prices. The jewelry industry has seen an amazing increase in demand for pearls and pearl jewelry, boosting popularity and sales these past few years. It’s a positive occurrence, but not one without challenges.
When there was a lack of travel during COVID, consumers turned discretionary dollars over to jewelers instead of airlines. It was a pleasant problem, but travel and staffing at remote cultured pearl farms made production such a challenge that the industry is still suffering the effects. There’s a shortage of high-quality pearls and a ravenous appetite for these goods in Asia, making U.S. acquisitions a tricky matter. Sourcing the right goods comes at a cost, so expect some price volatility for the foreseeable future.
On the positive side, this dilemma demonstrates the increased value of pearls and that they are appreciated as true gems. Pearls also continue to dominate the pop culture spotlight. Men are wearing strands; J. Lo wore white pearls on her wedding day; and runway designers continually affix them to clothes, shoes, and bags. At jewelry shows, it’s clear that up-and-coming designers are devoted to making modern pearl heirloom pieces that will be passed down to family generations.
We will continue to see the pearl’s popularity grow among all generations, and as challenging as market conditions currently are, CPAA members remain at the forefront of major sourcing opportunities. Need help determining what to stock? Get suggestions from CPAA members at the Tucson shows (see the list on page 14).
Demand for pearls is strong! We invite you to learn more about CPAA and discover all the benefits of membership at cpaa.org.
Anil Maloo is a GIA graduate gemologist, the founder of Baggins Jewelry, and the current board president of the CPAA. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.