Pearls

PEARLS AND PEARL CULTURE

By Pearl Specialist Kira Kampmann / Marc’Harit

Pearls are the most ancient and sought after gem in the world with a history which has always been strongly interconnected with the one of mankind.

The strongly growing demand of pearls up through the Middle Age had severe consequences on the number of pearl oysters in the seas. After the European discovery of the Polynesian secrets of the South Pacific islands in the 18th century, the intensified catch of oysters in the lagoons resulted in an almost extinction of the black-lipped oyster in just 150 years. Hence, thanks to the  breakthrough and initiation of the pearling culture, first in Japan around 1904, then in Australia in 1954 and since in French Polynesia in 1963, the pearl oysters around the world were able to survive.

Through this perspective we now live with a mutual dependency between nature, man, and the pearl. With the purpose of ensuring a stable future both for a naturally healthy environment and the source of income for the people working within the industry, the perception of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), is a movement towards better conditions for both the workers and their environment.

Pearl culture can be found in different places in the world, which therefore might lead to some difficulties is determining the exact origin of the pearl and thereby under which conditions it has been cultured. Only through regular visits directly at the pearl farms and through a close relationship with the pearl dealers, I can certify the authenticity for the cultured pearls in our collections. Marc’Harit only work with the best of pearls whether it be white or golden South Sea pearls or Tahiti Cultured Pearls. And large parts of our collections have been cultured according to fair trade regulations.

Fair trade pearls signify a culturing process which both comprises a social and an environmental responsibility, yet also an environmental proactivity. Thus, the pearl farmers from both French Polynesia and Australia are compelled to follow a set of industry related directives put forward by the government of the individual countries. These regulations control the boundaries of the pearl culture thus enhancing the sense of balance between the necessities of the workers, being employed in the industry on one side, and the balance of the eco-system on the other side.

Fair trade or CSR requirements in their full state of performance are however still challenging to obtain within pearl culture. Only pearls which comply with the entire set of requirements, composing a special collection at Marc’Harit, are certified fair trade pearls.

SUSTAINABLE PEARLS

By Torben Skov / Torben Skov Pearls

For Fairtradejewllers it is a matter of course that their suppliers cultivate their pearls according to modern principles of sustainability. Those who buy pearls at “Torben Skov Pearls” can rest assured that the highest consideration has been taken with regard to people, animals and nature all the way through the production. Not only do the pearl farmers bring to life beautiful and unique pearls, they also take care that the environment is protected as good as possible. To give you an example they show consideration to turtles and other sea animals. Also, the way they cultivate their pearl is so gentle to the environment that the quality of the sea water isn’t harmed.

In Fiji the pearl farmers have advanced considerably, when it comes to these new future oriented ways of cultivating pearls. But also in Tahiti, where 90 pct. of the world’s black pearls come from, the pearl farmers have increasingly turned their attention to the environment. “Torben Skov Pearls” cooperate exclusively with pearls farmers who approve the idea that pearls should be cultivated and traded in a way so future generations can also experience the joy of the most beautiful jewellery in the world.

Naturally fair trade is a part of these principles. This means a guarantee that the employers work under decent conditions, that they are being payed a fair salary, and that they get a fair price for their products. Everybody in the local community must benefit from the production, and several pearls farmers support kids through donations to schools and sport clubs. Sustainability and fair trade would not count much, if jewellers and customers could not trust that the principles have been complied to. Because of that it is of great importance to “Torben Skov Pearls” that we are able to document that our pearls are sustainable. Our pearls farmers in Fiji can conscientiously guarantee that their pearls have been made in respect for nature and the people who directly or indirectly cultivate the world’s oldest jewellery.

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