From the December 2020 issue of #thisispearl digital magazine
Television host Lemar Scott earned his Pearls As One (PAO) specialist certificate in 2019 to be a more knowledgeable source for his jewelry-loving viewers. As the gem and style expert for the Home Shopping Network (HSN), where he helps shape shoppers’ habits and purchasing decisions, Scott took PAO because of the depth of information, including history, varieties, and quality characteristics, the course covers. “As a TV host, everything I say on air needs to hold truth and merit, especially with live broadcasts,” he says.
Read on to learn more about Scott’s experience with PAO.
Did you have any knowledge of pearls prior to taking the course?
I’ve been in the jewelry industry for a long time, and pearls have consistently been a fixture. However, years ago I was hosting a trunk show for a jewelry line when I overheard a woman quibbling over the price of a pearl necklace. The sales associate squarely looked at her and very plainly said. “These are South Sea pearls, ma’am.” At the time, I didn’t know why that specification made any difference in price or value. That was the day I committed to gaining as much knowledge as I could so as to never find myself in that situation again.
Why was it important for you to take PAO?
Being a gem expert and jewelry consultant means knowing your material! I needed to take PAO if I was to be a credible and reliable professional. Furthermore, most people never get or take the opportunity to really dive into pearls. There is so much to unpack, and PAO gave me an opportunity to explore every remarkable detail.
How did the course improve your career skills?
One of the biggest takeaways for me was knowing what questions to ask. Before I completed the course, I remember sharing with a friend how involved and interesting the curriculum was, from regulating water temperatures, to mollusk species, and experimental implant material. All of these specifics have given me a complete understanding of pearls and what questions to ask when shopping (or coaching others on how to shop).
What is your favorite piece of pearl jewelry (it doesn’t need to be your own)?
Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Golden South Sea Pearl necklace is unequivocally my favorite piece of pearl jewelry. Not only does it feature exquisite pearls, but the 37-year history connected to matching each pearl is astounding. This really paints a picture of the exacting and meticulous effort that goes into pearl matching and creating something of true prestige.
The Palawan strand from Jewelmer comprises 16- to 18-mm flawless round golden pearls matched according to shape, size, color, and luster gathered over a span of 37 years.
Photo courtesy Jewelmer
What is your favorite variety/type of pearl and why?
I adore soufflé pearls and fireball pearls. These “happy mistakes” challenge what we think a pearl should be and embrace the majesty and unpredictability of nature. The organic and undefined shape of these pearls hold my interest and excite my senses more than a perfect, uniform sphere. I also love Tahitian pearls with peacock overtones. I’ve always valued the rare and unusual, and these pearls showcase some of the most majestic colors, much like the national bird of India itself, which I fell in love with on a gem-cutting trip to Jaipur years ago.
To you, what is the most iconic look in pearls?
I think the classic strand of white pearls that defined the 1940s will always be the most iconic, both graduated and uniform. However, I encourage pearl fans to try something different. A pearl still carries great esteem outside of its classic form. Unconventional lengths, shapes, and new colors are equally as worth wearing.