The Matryoshka Cortez Pearl Necklace

About five years ago, Pearl Paradise began hosting the Ruckus, an annual weekend event every summer when pearl farmers, vendors and enthusiasts come together from all over the world to celebrate all things pearl. The first two parties were held in the PP office.  The staff turned the entire office into a party room bringing in furniture, décor, caterers and servers to welcome the pearl guests.  The second Ruckus was Japan themed and we brought in a Sushi chef, served sake and traditional sweets. I even taught myself how to wear a kimono for the evening.

The night of the second annual party, Jeremy bought an extraordinary pearl.  The pearl was purchased from Douglas McLaurin of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm.  The Sea of Cortez pearl farm is located in Guaymas, Mexico, on the eastern side of Baja, California. The Cortez pearl farm is the only pearl farm in Central America. This small farm produces only 4,000 loose pearls per year. The pearls are cultivated in Rainbow lipped mollusk (Pteria sterna), which produces an array of pearl colors including: silver, golden-bronze, olive-green and deep violet with exotic overtones of green, pink and blue. The operation of the farm is small in scale but the pearls that are produced are very high in quality.

During the party people were crowding in the photo studio. Everyone was oohing and aahing over a single pearl that Douglas was holding.  This pearl had the richest violet-pink body color with green overtone with beautifully symmetrical shape. Douglas had named the pearl “Matryoshka” because the shape of the pearl reminded him of the Russian dolls.

When Jeremy saw the pearl he purchased it that night.

Jeremy gave this special pearl to me and it took me two years to come up with a design. I knew that I wanted to keep the theme around Matryoshka. Within the two years I launched my silhouette collection and one day realized that incorporating the idea of silhouettes and the Matryoshka pearl were the perfect way to design. I sketched out my design, met up with my good friend and PearlParadise’s custom jeweler, Takayas Mizuno to realize my sketch into CAD design. I sourced out the colored stones that mimicked the rich body colors and overtones of the pearl at Hong Kong show. After months of refining the design the Matryoshka was completed. Taking the silhouette of the pearl as an outline of the links for the chain, the links becomes smaller and smaller just like the Russian dolls. The pearl is framed with colorful sapphire stones with each stone reflecting the colors of the pearl. The links are made of 22 karat yellow gold and the clasp was custom made by Takayas in 18 karat gold. The length is 15.5 inches. We were able to have the necklace done in time to show Enrique and Douglas from Sea of Cortez and the Pearl Guiders at the Tucson gem show. Douglas, the “Father of Pearl” was unable to see the finished piece in person but was very pleased with the outcome. This was by far the most sophisticated pearl design challenge I’ve ever attempted.

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