INTERVIEW – Japanese Akoya and South Sea pearls markets surging

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Prices of Japanese Akoya and South Sea pearls are soaring, driven by low oyster seeding during the pandemic and by robust Chinese demand, Daniel Vecht, Managing Director of London Pearl, a leading UK-based cultured pearls supplier, told Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.

How is the cultured pearls market?

The general demand for cultured pearls is slightly up from last year.

Which types of pearls are seeing the biggest price rises?

All Japanese Akoya pearls have seen stratospheric increases with smaller sizes particularly affected. Most items have doubled or tripled in price since the start of the year. Clean white South Sea goods have also seen similar price rises. There is very little supply to be found in Japan.

Why is the market so constructive? Why have Japanese and South Sea pearls fared so strongly?

There is reduced supply due to low oyster seeding during Covid and heavy Chinese demand coupled with reasonable demand once again from Europe.

What are your expectations for the HK June show, at which you will be exhibiting?

We are expecting robust demand for pearls especially where the market is clearly short of stock. We will be specifically offering all the items that are in short supply including fine South Sea necklaces and pairs in all sizes, with necklaces of up to 18-20mm and up to 18mm in pairs, hundreds of Akoya necklaces in all sizes from 3mm to 11mm – with a large stock of 3 and 4mm necklaces which are particularly scarce in the market as well as fine necklaces in every size.  (London Pearl will be exhibiting on stand 5G715 at the Hong Kong show (June 22-25). 

INTERVIEW – Japanese Akoya and South Sea pearls markets surging

Image courtesy of London Pearl. “Extreme” multi colour (all natural colours).

What is the market outlook?

We feel that the there is going to be a steady demand this year. The supply shortages will continue for at least a year or two with future price rises looking inevitable.
INTERVIEW – Japanese Akoya and South Sea pearls markets surging
Image courtesy of London Pearl. “Extreme” multi colour (all natural colours).