‘The Pearl Man’ returns to Vail
Ryan Summerlin December 21, 2011
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, pearl expert, Koji Kawamoto returns to Karats, a working studio gallery of fine art jewelry in Vail, for an exhibition of pearls from around the world. The artist is affectionately known here in the Vail community as “Koji The Pearl Man,” and goes by Koji for short.
Karats owner, Dan Telleen, enjoys Koji’s shows because he brings something different into the Vail Valley every time. “
This is always great fun,” Telleen said. “I always learn something new. I encourage people to come and speak with him about the exciting world of pearls. Koji is one of the best there is. He is a valuable resource for anyone interested in pearls.”
Throughout his show, Koji will present the latest additions to his collection from his travels around the world; black and green Tahitian pearls, white pearls from Australia, golden pearls from the South Seas of Indonesia and of course, the classic white Akoya pearls from Japan. Koji is an expert not only in deciphering the level of perfection of his pearls by their color, shape, luster and surface clarity, he also possesses a unique ability to match pearls to the skin tones of the women who wear them.
“There is often a progression in acquiring pearls,” Koji said. “If someone is just starting out, I might recommend the Japanese Akoya pearl because it’s the most classic pearl. If they already have Akoya pearls, I would suggest the Tahitian or South Sea pearls, or maybe try what we call ‘Baroque’ pearls. These are freshwater pearls, which are much larger in size than the traditional Akoya and a bit more daring because their unique shape and coloring – often a lustrous mix of pink, peach and lavender. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. We have many beautiful multi-colored strands that showcase white, gold, black and green pearls to dazzling effect.”