Importing freshwater pearls from China has replaced the need to import more expensive Japanese pearls because the largest pearl producing farms in the world are now located in China, especially Zhejiang province where the area is called the “country of freshwater pearls”. The companies that have developed cultured pearl farming from the techniques of the original Japanese growers, have now surpassed their teachers by creating efficient farms that can deliver millions of high quality organic gems and deliver to wholesale and retail buyers around the world through excellent shipping channels.
The key to the success of the Chinese cultured pearl market is that the people who grow, harvest, sort and grade the pearls also create jewelry or have formed alliances with local jewelers who are experts in the field and provide international buyers with all-inclusive English-language ordering systems and easy shipping options. Most of the freshwater pearl necklace, ring, bracelet and earring manufacturers are either a division of the pearl farm operation or have formed exclusive strategic partnerships that work directly with the local Chinese growers, which means middlemen have been eliminated and the savings are passed onto wholesale and retail customers in North America, Europe and around the world. This strategy of growing, harvesting, sorting, grading and creating jewelry all in one area in China means that while the price of a freshwater pearl necklace or earring set has gone down, the quality has gone up.
Just how affordable has it become to import freshwater pearl necklace, rings, bracelets and earrings directly from the farms in China? As an example, it’s possible to order necklace strands of 5-6mm pearls for under $5, and 9-10mm pearls in sets of thirty pieces cost as little as ninety cents each. Freshwater pearl necklace strands with delicate clasps and matching earrings and bracelets can be imported for under $2 a piece. These prices often include free international shipping on orders of fifty or fewer pieces.
Retail items, such as pearl bridal jewelry sets, crafted with 14k / 18k gold accents are also available through direct importers, who ship single items from China to international buyers. Most pieces are priced between $9.99 and $355. Pearl pendant necklaces, pearl rings, bracelets, drop pearl earrings and even brooches made from Chinese freshwater pearls are as beautifully crafted and gorgeously packaged as anything available in expensive jewelry shops, but for a fraction of the price.