Art, I can understand, but most jewelry is not being prized as art. Instead, it is the material that is being prized, not the craftsmanship. After all, what craftsmanship is involved in stringing pearls together? So, it was with a chuckle that I read in the New York Times that:
A Chinese half-inch pearl now sells for $4 to $8 at wholesale, which is typically less than half of the retail price. A Tahitian pearl of similar size sells at wholesale for $25 to $35.The reason for falling prices is not just China's low-cost workforce, but technical innovation. Pearl prices are falling as the technology to cultivate larger and more lustrous pearls improves.