What Are Japanese Industry Pearl Auctions?

What Are Japanese Industry Pearl Auctions?

To get pearls to our retail market, pearls must go through a series of auctions to brokers to finisher factories. The. most mysterious are the pearl auctions.

Pearl farmers usually harvest in the winter months. This new harvest is called hamage. Hamage are the unfinished akoya pearls. They consist of all qualities at this point. Only 15-25 percent of these pearls are of good quality and only 5 percent are very good quality.

Pearls are then sorted into 3 categories, good, medium and low before they go to auction. These hamage auctions take place in several locations in Japan. 

There are previews in which the buyers can peruse the quality of the pearls in these auctions. The buyers are pearl factories, brokers, and exporters who have their own factories. Over the years a tight network has developed between the farmers and the buyers despite government regulations. About 90 percent of farmers have fixed buyers.

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