In a recent buying trip, the manufacturer discovered pearl farmers’ production capacity has suffered as a result of storms in the region and Japan’s 2010 Tohoku tsunami.
Oyster production is essential before the culturing process which creates the pearls can begin, and production can require around 3 to 5 years of front-end investment.
The tsunami also brought the threat of contamination of current crops, a problem compounded by the adverse effects of the rising temperature of water in the ocean due to global warming.
In a statement, Raw Pearls said: “The result is a lack of confidence on behalf of the farmers many of whom have reduced production or made investments elsewhere, property being a common option.”
According to Raw Pearls, the slowdown in production has driven up the price of oyster pearls in the trade, prompting the company to offer river pearls in addition, “which has a similar look, but at a smaller cost.”
The company has also announced that in collaboration with Holts Academy of Jewellery, it will be running a seminar providing an overview of pearls for training staff at retail outlets.
“Retailers often express a sense of mystery regarding pearls, leading to a lack of confidence when buying,” the company said in a statement.
The overview will include information on the types of pearls available, culturing techniques and how to value pearls. The seminar will take place between 4pm and 6pm on 21st May, 2012.
Anyone wishing to book a place should call the Student Services department at Holts on 020 7405 0197.