Thursday, July 01, 2010

Strand Sensation: Creating lustrous harmony

There’s a lot more to finding perfectly matched gems to make exquisite South Sea pearl jewelry than meets the eye.

A PAIR of glowing South Sea pearl studs to frame a beautiful face, or a strand necklace of seemingly identical pearls that is a prized possession, a treasured gift, or a classic addition to every woman’s jewelry box. Perfectly matched pearls are indeed a joy to behold.

What few people are aware of, however, is the painstaking process behind each of these pieces of jewelry, and how the daunting task of creating a harmonious whole from many lovely parts falls in the hands of industry experts known as master graders. At Jewelmer International Corporation—the prestigious pearl farmers, manufacturers, designers, and sellers who have been bringing this unique gem to the world, from oyster to fine jewelry, for over 30 years—the best master graders in the field oversee the delicate process of pearl grading and matching.

It is an exercise in patience, focus, and discipline, as well as a feat for the eyes, to go through anywhere from a few dozens to sometimes thousands of pearls to find a match. “The most challenging part is coming up with consistently well-matched earrings, necklaces, rings and earrings, and strands, especially with limited supply,” says Abelardo A. Mondoñedo, senior sales manager and master grader, who has worked with Jewelmer for 27 years. “You have to be patient, but at the same time, you have to be able to work fast.” The differences and similarities can be subtle, and it takes at least four to five years of training to master the skill of matching pearls of the same size, color, and grade.

On a good day, and with a good harvest, a pearl grader can match as many as 40 to 50 pairs of classic pearl earrings, and 10 to 15 strand necklaces. A pearl strand is particularly unique and precious, when one considers the time and effort that goes into its creation. From the time an oyster is bred and raised, to its nucleation, the first step towards the creation of a pearl, can take as long as two years. For another four to five years, the nucleated oyster is then carefully cared for until its treasure is ready to be harvested. Based on Jewelmer’s years of experience, a round, clean golden pearl, the kind for which the company has become known, comes only once in every 1,000 oysters. With each strand made of about 35 pearls, it thus takes some 35,000 oysters to produce one perfect strand!

With a growing market of accomplished young women seeking substance as well as style, and buying pearls for themselves for pleasure as well as investment, Jewelmer and its master graders must continually work to keep these discriminating buyers happy. “Our goal is jewelry that is, as much as possible, perfectly matched,” says Mondoñedo, “so that our clients are perfectly satisfied.”

Be part of the Strand Sensation from June 1 to August 30 with lustrous Palawan South Sea pearls necklaces by Jewelmer.

Visit any showroom and to learn more about this special offer. Showrooms are located at:

EDSA Shangri-La Hotel (02.9107571),
Makati Shangri-La Hotel (02.7577447),
Manila Peninsula Hotel (02.5015862),
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel (02.8341468),
Alabang Town Center (02.7723529),
Glorietta IV (02.7296735),
Shangri-la Plaza Mall (02.6375146),
SM Megamall (02.6335068),
SM Mall of Asia (02.5566344),
Trinoma (02.9015823),

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