Karats Vail hosts pearl expert and jeweler Koji Kawamoto, July 29-30 | VailDaily.com

Karats Vail hosts pearl expert and jeweler Koji Kawamoto, July 29-30

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

As a modern-day pearl expert and jewelry designer, Koji Kawamoto has a special gift for picking out each person’s perfect pearls.

VAIL — Many of the most beautiful things in this world were not created quickly. Pearls, before they are strung for a necklace or fastened for a ring, begin as layered deposits of calcium carbonate within a living shelled mollusk. Those that are picked from their colorful shells become prized gemstones, objects of rarity, value and timeless admiration.

There's a story within all the patience and elegance of each pretty pearl before it lands among others on a string. It's a narrative that is as individual as your own.

As author Joyce Hilfer once wrote, "Life is made up of a few moments all strung together like pearls. Each moment is a pearl, and it is up to us to pick the ones with the highest luster."

This weekend, pearl specialist Koji Kawamoto will be at Karats in Vail Village, featuring an international variety of loose pearls, necklaces, pendants, earrings and rings.

Kawamoto is from Mie Prefecture, a small village in Japan where the process of culturing pearls was first discovered in 1893 using the native Akoya oysters. As a modern-day pearl expert and jewelry designer, he has a special gift for picking out each person's perfect pearls. "You never know which color is best for you," he said, "but I can assist you to pick your best matching color."

It's what Kawamoto calls "matchmaking" — finding the perfect pearls for someone with his keen eye for pairing a piece with the wearer's skin tone, eye color and overall energetic presence, or "atmosphere." By combining his stylistic eye with his inherent intuition, Kawamoto can find that magical cohesion.

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He is bringing Akoya pearls from his hometown in Japan, large white and silver South Sea pearls from Australia, golden South Sea pearls from the Philippines and Indonesia, Tahitian black, green, aubergine and blue South Sea pearls from French Polynesia and freshwater pearls from Japan and China in shades of pink, white and copper.

Kawamoto also combines different variations of pearls styles and colors for unique pieces.

"If you have Akoya, pinkish white, big white South Sea, golden South Sea and Tahitian pearl necklaces, what do you want next? A beautiful multicolor necklace could be an answer," he said.

Beneath the story and beauty of each pearl is something special that runs a little deeper, according to Kawamoto's Japanese heritage. Pearls, he said, are amulets — if you wear them, you and your family are protected.

In Vail, Kawamoto is in town to watch over the selection of your next piece. Choose round pearls or baroque shapes; try on the classic or the colorful. You really can't go wrong under the guidance of Kawamoto, as he continues to offer his gift of connecting every person to his or her perfect pearls.

Owners and collectors can bring in the pieces they already own, as well.

"If you have any questions, this is a great opportunity," he said. "I can tell you how to distinguish real pearls from fake pearls. Any kinds of questions you have, I will be happy to answer them."

If you go …

What: Pearl expert and jeweler Koji Kawamoto.

When: Friday, July 29, through Sunday, July 31; gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Karats Vail, 122 E. Meadow Drive, Vail Village.

Cost: Admission is free; pearls available for purchase.

More information: Visit http://www.karatsvail.com.