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Impeccable Pearls from the Japan Pearl Exporters' Association

11 June 2018

By Bernardette Sto. Domingo   

Tahitian pearl pendant and heart-shaped golden South Sea pearl ring

Mabe pearl necklace and earrings; and heart-shaped golden South Sea pearl ring

Tahitian pearl ring in platinum; pearl necklace with diamonds; and double-strand necklace with an emerald centre stone

Earrings, necklace and ring with Tahitian pearls and diamonds

Keshi pearl necklace and bracelet with briolette-cut gemstones


A country of vast richness, artistry and tradition, Japan is heavily promoting its expertise not only in the loose pearls sector but in pearl jewellery production as well. Lustrous, captivating pearls take centre stage in these fine jewellery pieces by Japan’s most prolific pearl jewellery manufacturers.

Pearls have a rich history in the gemstone and jewellery world. Pristine and refined, these gems adorn some of the most luxurious crown jewels belonging to royal families while influential figures and celebrities favour pearl jewellery as heirlooms or investment pieces.

Over the years, jewellery embellished with pearls has become one of the most sought-after items in the global jewellery sector.

Japan – home of the famous Japanese Akoya pearl – is at the forefront of an ever growing interest in pearl jewellery.

Citing the pearl’s understated elegance, Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association (JPEA) Chairman Yoshihiro Shimizu said women are turning to pearls not only as a classic, go-to jewellery piece but as a means to express their style and individuality.

“Pearl jewellery doesn’t have to be ostentatious to stand out. It commands attention because of its sheer beauty and subtle sophistication,” noted Shimizu. “Japanese ladies, in particular, are partial to simple, conservative designs because these go well with almost anything and can be easily paired with other jewellery pieces.”

This trend is likewise growing among foreign buyers in Japan who are primarily price-conscious, continued the JPEA official.

“Majority of Japanese pearl jewellery manufacturers opt for minimalist designs in response to market demand. For foreigners who travel to Japan, price is a major consideration apart from the design. They would often go for items that cost US$500 to US$1,000 per piece,” revealed Shimizu.

The more expensive range, which carries a price tag of US$10,000 a piece or up, is likewise attractive to a few select buyers who are looking for top-quality pearls and exceptional designs.

Spotlight on pearls

To further provide impetus to Japan’s pearl promotion initiatives, JPEA is hosting the Japan Pearl Jewellery Pavilion (JPJP) at the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. A total of 16 companies are exhibiting at the pavilion.

The JPJP made its debut at this year’s March Hong Kong Fair with a bigger delegation of 27 companies.

“The June show is relatively smaller so we have fewer companies, but we are expecting a bigger group at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. We expect the number of participants to be even higher in the coming years,” explained Shimizu. “We may also obtain government support for upcoming shows in 2019 so we anticipate a more active participation from pearl jewellery companies.”

JPEA is also unveiling a catalogue of pearl jewellery pieces at the June Fair. “Our focus this year is to actively promote jewellery with pearls as the centrepiece – not only Japanese Akoya but South Sea and Tahitian pearls as well,” he added.

Shimizu also said more gemstone jewellery companies are starting to expand their product portfolios to include pearl jewellery collections.

“Pearls and pearl jewellery have consistently gained traction, not only in Japan but worldwide. We want to drive up demand among a wider range of buyers globally,” remarked Shimizu.

He added that Asian clients, particularly those from China, are likely to fuel the pearl business in 2018. Fine-quality Japanese Akoya, golden and white South Sea, and Tahitian pearls and even commercial-range products are seen to perform well on the back of steady demand and stable prices, the JPEA official said.


Art Direction & Styling: Irene Foo

Styling Assistant: Tingo Ko

Photography: Kim Ham

Make Up: Chi Nip

Hair: Yan Chan @ Sassy Hair

Model: Amanda G (Quest)

Wardrobe: SAU LEE

All jewellery from

Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association