How Jewelmer Transforms Philippine Golden South Sea Pearls Into Beautiful Pieces of Jewellery
Pearls are among the many things Filipinos can be proud of. As a country that's known as the "Pearl of the Orient Seas", it's no surprise that our very own are among some of the best and most lustrous in the world. Luxury pearl producer, Jewelmer, was among the first to see its potential over forty years ago. As a pioneer in the field, they've managed to create some of the most amazing pieces of jewellery that highlight the elegance of the golden south sea pearl.
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Of course, to create something this beautiful takes more than just ingenuity — it also takes patience. In this case, 4-5 years. Cultivating these gorgeous objects, and further refining them to achieve Jewelmer standards, takes great care. The process begins at their hatchery in Palawan, where parent oysters are carefully selected to breed more gold-lipped Pinctada maxima oysters.
These animals are first bred in a hatchery. Upon reaching a certain age, the young oysters are sent out to sea for the first time to grow out. This usually takes two to three years.
The next step involves grafting where a master grafter inserts a bead nucleus and a piece of mantle into the gonad of the would-be parent oyster. The mantle will eventually transform to become a pearl sac that will eventually become the pearl itself. The oysters will then be placed into baskets and allowed to convalesce for three months underwater.
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In two to three years' time, the pearl will have been fully formed. Within these years, the oysters, kept in baskets, are regularly turned over and cleaned to ensure its health before harvesting.
Once harvested, the pearls are then categorised according to size, lustre, shape, colour, and skin purity. Only the best of the best make it to Jewelmer pieces — ensuring wearers that their jewellery pieces are truly one of a kind and proudly made local. The first step in this process is obviously design. Artists at Jewelmer take inspiration from nature to craft an inspired piece that is able to celebrate the beauty of a golden South Sea pearl. Wax sculpting follows, where the artisan is able to further refine his or her design before being turned over to the model making process.
Making the piece's model is crucial because it allows the artisan to visualise the creation — how the piece will cascade on the body, or how the pearls will catch the light. Once this is perfected, lustrous gold is sculpted and assembled to create the artist's imagined masterpiece. It will then be carefully inspected to ensure that every angle and detail is in harmony with the design and best shows off the golden pearls.
This rigorous process at Jewelmer pearl farms and design houses is what keeps the brand at the top of its game. More than just gorgeous pieces of jewellery, Jewelmer has created a piece of culture that the Philippines can be proud to wear, everywhere.
Revisit Tatler's trip to Jewelmer's farm in Palawan in the video below: