I have spotted several cherry blossom trees in bloom over the weekend which can only mean one thing- Spring is officially here! For those acquainted with my pearl earrings, it’s time to take out the classic pearl studs and adorn the Keshi!
What is Keshi, you say? Keshi, also known as “poppy” in Japanese for their petal like shape, are small non-nucleated pearls that are formed in the shell as a by-product to Japanese Akoya pearls. Interestingly, as Keshi pearls do not have a nucleus, they are composed entirely of nacre, the same iridescent material that coats pearls and are found in Mother of Pearl.
What I love about these pearls is that they really remind me of the petals of a cherry blossom flower. I was lucky to have spent my childhood in Tokyo, growing up in Shinjuku and frequenting the Shinjuku Gyoen at the weekend with friends and family during the cherry blossom season. When the petals started to fall from the trees, my friends and I would collect them in handfuls and throw them at each other like confetti snow balls!
I started working with Keshi pearls three years ago, when my pearl supplier had been inundated with Keshi pearls in their pearl harvest and encouraged me to try them out. I had seen Keshi pearls used in jewellery pieces, notably bracelets, but felt that the irregular and petal like shape would make great earrings. I soon learned that Keshi pearls are very fiddly to work with, and unfortunately there were a few sacrifices made before I was able to compile the Keshi pearl and gold vermeil (9 carat gold coated sterling silver) stud earrings I sell today!
If you are interested in purchasing a pair, here’s the link on the website!