This is turning out to be quite a year for the Paspaley Pearls. It turns out that the fire did little to no damage. According to a friend in Broome, the warehouse was filled with useless old farming material stock. But it seems the good news ends there.
Is Paspaley beginning to implode? Is family turning on family? It seems no management at any level is safe. The Hong Kong sales manager has left. Did she resign or was she fired? Within a few days we will hear of the fate of the CEO – John Kelly is getting the boot. He received his marching orders some time ago, and has now been demoted to pearl-farm management duties until his time is up.
Talk is up that the Aston Martin-driving brothers are lining up to take over. This scares folk in Japan. Change is not always welcome, and disarray combined with lacklustre sales and low executive morale does not paint a pretty picture of days to come.
Finally, word is out that Paspaley are dumping their natural pearl stock on the market. Why? Is this financial crisis affecting them more than immediately evident? Paspaley’s pearls have historically sold at premium. Their pearls are the best and there is no producer arguing this. They have never been the sort to sell product for less than they believe its value. So why are they rapidly selling off their cache of natural pearls, collected o’er the last 50 years, for less than half market value? Pondering that question, I can only wonder if we’re seeing an act of protectionism for their cultured production, staying afloat making a quick buck by selling off their naturals.