Pearl Closeup - The Philippine Pearl

Our Vision

The Company / Origins

Jewelmer is the journey of Jacques Branellec and Manuel Cojuangco, two forward-thinking individuals who met through the beauty of the rare South Sea Pearl, a symbol of harmony between man and nature.

They shared a vision to create an original, respectful and fully integrated luxury brand with a strong sense of humanity.

The Philippine Pearl - Palawan Provenance

Palawan Provenance

The Company / Origins

For over two generations, Jewelmer has coaxed the finest South Sea pearls into existence at its state-of-the-art farm in southern Palawan.

The Philippines’ “last frontier” boasts an environment that has remained largely
pristine, allowing pearls to grow in peace and perfection. It is a jewel sustained by respect for nature and harmony with the world.

The Philippine Pearl - Palawan Gypsies

Gypsies

The Company / Origins

No one understands the ancient nature of pearls quite like the Badjao, the sea gypsies who sail the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas across three nations and make their living from its bounty. The gentle Badjaos perfected the retrieval method of wild oysters from the deep. This unique method produced the parent oysters from which all of Jewelmer’s hatchery-bred oysters hail from.

Miracle of the Golden Pearl

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

Jewelmer is a pioneer pearl producer that has successfully cultivated pearls with a rich, natural golden color. Through decades of research and biotechnology, Jewelmer has perfected the breeding process that produces gold-lipped Pinctada maxima pearl oysters capa le of growing large, lustrous, golden pearls. This deep gold color is characteristic of the South Sea pearls produced in the Philippines.

Message from the Company

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

“The pearl is an indicator of the health of the planet. Upon its lustrous surface, every typhoon, every change in water temperature, every current caused by a dynamite blast, and every nuance in the cleanliness of the water is recorded. It falls on the highly-skilled pearl farmer to act as a steward of creation. That’s why sharing with clients and helping them understand pearls and their
relationship with nature is important.”

Jacques Branellec, managing director.

A Nation’s Pride

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

In 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos concretized the ptearl’s role in Philippine culture through the Presidential Proclamation No. 905, acknowledging the South Sea pearl’s role in the country’s socio-economic and cultural tradition.

Jewelmer Joaillerie - south sea pearls

Pearl Production Process

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

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Cultured Pearls

The Philippines South Sea Pearl

The pearl is a bio-crystal which is the result of the transformation of a soft living tissue from a living organism into a unique mineral composed of multitude of aragonite crystal layers. Those crystals will arrange beside each other in multiple concentric layers. The arrangement of those layers will create a unique optical effect.

Different Cultured Pearl Varieties

The Philippines South Sea Pearl

The pearl is a bio-crystal which is the result of the transformation of a soft living tissue from a living organism into a unique mineral composed of multitude of aragonite crystal layers. Those crystals will arrange beside each other in multiple concentric layers. The arrangement of those layers will create a unique optical effect.

Saltwater vs. Fresh

Freshwater pearls are grown in mollusks usually grown in ponds, lakes, and rivers in China. Unlike their South Sea counterparts, one mollusk can produce up to 50 pearls at one time during a cultivation period of one year.

Meanwhile, pearls produced by saltwater bivalves require a longer cultivation period of 2-6 years with one oyster being able to produce only one pearl at a time.

Saltwater pearls, particularly South Sea, require a pristine marine environment for their survival, which is not the case for freshwater pearls.

South Sea Varieties

Akoya pearls
• Country of origin: Japan
• Oyster: Pinctada fucata
• Size: 2mm to 11mm; average 6mm to 8mm
• Color: pink to white

South Sea pearls
• Country of origin: Australia, Indonesia,
Myammar, Philippines
• Oyster: Pinctada maxima
(Gold and Silver lipped varieties)
• Size: 8mm to 20mm; average 13mm
• Color: white, cream, silver, crème trose,
champagne, gold

Tahitian pearls
• Country of origin: Tahiti
• Oyster: Pinctada margaritifera
• Size: 9mm to 14mm; average 9.5mm
• Color: black, gray, brown, green

Pearl Value Factors

The Philippines South Sea Pearl

COLOR

Philippine South Sea pearls are produced by gold-lipped Pinctada Maxima oysters and come in warm, natural colors that range from white, crème rose, champagne, and deep, rich gold.

SHAPE

Shape is one of the distinguishing characteristics of pearls. Philippine South Sea pearls come in different shapes including drop, oval, button, baroque, semi-baroque or circled, with round being the rarest.
Keshis are non-nucleated, irregularly shaped pearls that are produced serendipitously during the culturing process in the same oyster with the South Sea pearl.

SIZE

Philippine South Sea pearls are the largest in the world with their diameter ranging from 10mm to 12mm on average and as big as 16mm and up, on very rare occasions.

SKIN PURITY

A gem created by nature, the surface of the Philippine South Sea pearl sometimes possesses irregularities on its surface. While having a flawless surface is ideal, these “imperfections” are part of a pearl’s natural characteristics that are used to authenticate them.

LUSTER

A Philippine South Sea pearl possesses a rich luster that is created by a combination of its outer sheen and surface brilliance, which enhances the inner glow of the wearer.

For pearl experts, another more prized quality of the Palawan South Sea pearl is its unique Orient, or the inner glow of the pearl. The Orient is created by a refraction of light as it penetrates through regular layers of aragonite crystals reflected from the core and bounced back to its surface, giving it a fiery rainbow-like effect.

Book Publications

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

Ultimate Orient

Extract: Get a fish-eye view of the world of the beautiful Philippine South Sea Pearl, and how its creation is a grand and harmonious collaboration between man and nature in The Ultimate Orient, Philippine South Sea Pearls, featuring the underwater lensman Scott Tuason.

Pearl Road

Extract: Rediscover the magnificent and historic pearl trade routes in the incredible tale of the Pandanan Wreck, as told in The Pearl Road: A Tale of Treasure Ships in the Philippines by Christophe Loviny.

Golden Book

Extract: The Miracle of the Golden Pearl posits this living gem as the centerpiece of collections from storied jewelry houses around the world.  It also takes readers on a journey back to its exotic provenance in the crystal blue waters of Palawan, Philippines.

Jewelmer in the World

The Company / The Philippines South Sea Pearl

The world knows three variants of saltwater pearls. Black Tahitian pearls hail from the waters of French Polynesia, while white South Sea pearls are primarily cultured on the coast of Australia. In the 1970s, Jewelmer pioneered the culturing of golden South Sea pearls, the rarest in their category. Today, Jewelmer remains the top producer of golden South Sea pearls worldwide.

Learn more about Pearls

View our Pearl Glossary