During the 1990's, China, as the first country to develop cultured pearls, had been facing an awkward situation which still exists today to a certain degree: the pearls China produces are 95 per cent of the word total, but only have 10% of the value ( the Chinese pearl price is too cheap). The reasons are as followed: The market demand of pearls reduced rapidly due to Asian economic crisis and wars, while the pearl production did not stop increasing.
Inappropriate pearl trade policy became a barrier for pearl export development.Pearl jewelry design was too uncreative.
When promoting, Chinese producers emphasize too much about the low price instead of brand names or quality.
Mainly because of these reasons, China's achievement in the world pearl industry has not been 100% acknowledged despite China being one of the leaders of "sea pearls" for thousands of years.
With the global economic revival in the new century, the pearl demand is increasingly growing back. Globalization also has helped us introduce advanced production technology. The Chinese pearl jewelry industry has been in dramatic growth.
Excitingly, Chinese freshwater pearls are still considered as the best in their category. The Chinese freshwater pearl jewelry craft and design have also reached a world class level. Now our freshwater pearls are so much better in shape and size and have so much more color variety. "The Chinese freshwater pearl has become an entrenched alternative to the Japanese akoya pearl," a comment published on the popular "Modern Jeweler" website. The website also referred to the words of Eve Alfille, an American pearl specialist, "I found Chinese 10 to 11 millimeter freshwater strands for $800 each that are just as lovely and will prove far more lasting." She compared Chinese freshwater pearls with the 9 to 10 millimeter stands of Japanese akoya pearls she bought.
Pleasingly, China never gave up promoting sea pearl development. Chinese pearl jewelry producers already recognized quality as the priority. Especially for pearls which are a kind of jewel that always relates to beauty, dignity and elegance. When facing so much international competition, they also realize the quality is not the only essential thing, but design is the factor that always gives the "first impression", which decides if the jewelry will attract consumers. Some creative designers even combine jade, a kind of Chinese traditional gemstone, with pearls, to reflect an old saying "pearl and jade---a perfect pair".
Now, the Chinese pearl jewelry industry is facing a bright future. Chinese pearl quality is improving dramatically, and the price is relatively low due to the cheap labor. Globalization provides a good chance for China to enter the international market. In this market, China can use all kinds of methods to promote their products, such as advertising and attending to world's exhibitions. Even the low pricing is also one of their main methods---charging a low price to attract more customers. Now more and more people get to know and accept Chinese pearl products. The coming Beijing Olympic Games is another opportunity for China. Chinese pearl jewelry producers already started working out their secret plans to win the international competition battle.
PS: Recent and coming exhibition events:
- Malaysia International Jewelry & Gems Fair 2007 (Shanghai China, 23/3/2006-26/3/2007)
- Shanghai International Gem Jewelry Fair (Shanghai China 10-13/4/2007)
Munich Jewelry Exposition (Munich Germany)
- 8th International Gem Jewelry Exhibition 2007 (Chengdu China, 25-28/5/2007)
- 1st Hong Kong Gem Exhibition (Wanzai Hong Kong, 23-27/9/2007)
- 13th Malaysia Jewelry Fair (Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 4-7/10/2007)
- Shanghai Gold & Gem Exhibition (Shanghai China, 11/29-12/2/2007)