The rising popularity of contemporary pearl jewellery designs is driving the demand for Tahitian pearls in Greater China.
According to the Tahitian Pearl Association in Hong Kong (TPAHK), positive market response at international trade fairs, coupled with good auction sales, is indicative of buyers taking a more optimistic stance with regards to demand.
“Tahitian pearls are versatile, and it is this versatility that enhances these gems’ appeal to a wide range of consumers,” TPAHK General Manager Ida Wong said. “Designers and jewellers love Tahitian pearls because of the richness of the material. They can create virtually every design that they can imagine, especially with baroque pearls.”
Jewellers are also offering collections across a wide range of price points, she continued.
“What’s exciting is that we are seeing designers creating edgy, trendy pieces set with Tahitian pearl centre gems,” Wong said. “Their collections are sophisticated and timeless but contemporary at the same time. Tahitian pearl jewellery also has that elegance and lustre, which can stylishly and seamlessly take your outfit from day to evening.”
The association is expecting Tahitian pearl demand in 2017 to remain stable, bolstered by the growing awareness of bolder and more fanciful collections.
Extremely tight supplies of top-quality goods, however, are anticipated to continue driving up prices. “The prices of large-sized, top-round gems have always been firm due to limited supply,” Wong said.
Going forward, supply, in general, will remain a challenge due to the shortage in the availability of baby oysters. “The government of French Polynesia is studying the feasibility of implementing a regulation concerning the volume of pearls that could be exported by pearl farms. The goal is to push for the production of quality pearls,” she said.
Wong also noted that although buyers from Greater China remain partial to round-shaped Tahitian pearls, many are raring to launch collections set with baroque and circle pearls. “Dragon’s Pearl recently highlighted a necklace set with baroque Tahitian pearls in its advertisement,” she said. “Rio Pearl also launched Toucan-inspired pieces using baroque pearls.”
In an earlier interview, Wong said TPAHK will continue to work closely with designers to spur on demand for Tahitian pearls. Last year, the association was one of the key supporters of the JMA International Jewellery Design Competition, SJDA (Shenzhen Jewelry Designer Association) Tahitian Pearl Design Salon & Forum, and the China (International) Pearl Jewelry Design Competition.