They’re pearls – but not as you know them, and nothing like your Grandma used to wear. Say hello to Keshis, the slightly edgy, wearable, effortless yet equally luxurious gemstone gaining popularity in modern jewellery.
“The style this season is very organic and earthy, with a focus on getting 'back to nature' and embracing a more casual vibe,” says Matthew Ely.
“With their freeform shape and distinctive form, Keshi pearls absolutely fit the bill. They’re a great alternative to classic round South Sea Pearl necklaces, and increasingly popular with a younger generation.”
What are Keshi Pearls?
Named after the Japanese word for ‘poppy seed', Keshi pearls are generally small in size and irregular in shape. These very individual gems are “nature's accidents”, formed as a by-product of the pearl culturing process. They are as close as we get to natural pearls on the farm environment, with an allure very different to that of a nucleated, cultured pearl.
A non-beaded South Sea pearl, the Keshi is created by chance when the oyster rejects the implanted nucleus but retains the mantle tissue that was originally inserted for the creation of the pearl sac. This enables the oyster to continue to secrete nacre, which forms the Keshi pearl.
What makes Keshi Pearls so unique?
“Being made of pure nacre, Keshi pearls have a truly remarkable lustre,” says Matthew.
“That incredible shimmer, combined with their uniquely irregular shapes, will continue to drive their popularity.
“We’ve got a unique Keshi pearl ring and a number of different sized Keshi pearl earrings in store. There’s even a matching pair of Keshi earrings, which is incredibly rare and hard to find."
Iluka: 42 Remarkable Keshi Pearls
There is no piece that heroes Keshi pearls quite like Iluka.
One of the largest and longest known strands of Keshis in existence, this necklace has been 17 years in the making; 13 years spent sourcing the pearls and another 4 years of handcrafting.
Iluka consists of 42 incredibly rare South Sea Keshi pearls, sourced from off the coast of Broome. Each of these pearls measures 14.33mm to 19.43mm, more than double the size of an average large Keshi.
Find out more about Iluka here.