Oh, that’s hot!
Paris Hilton spent a week in French Polynesia and left with a $130,000 strand of pearls from Robert Wan. Why is this significant? Ms Hilton may have just done for the Tahitian pearl industry what GIEPDT spent millions of pearl farmers’ francs trying to do for years. Leave it to a dumb blonde to help save a flailing industry.
It seems the Tahitians are now proactively addressing the maladies of the industry. First, the recent reinstating of the 200 FCP per gram tax on all exports and the retro-tax of 50 pence being levied on the freeloaders of 2008/2009, and second, new plans to set up a sort of Pearl Centre, which aims to act as a sort of centralised buying and selling organisation. In other words, centralised control.
Production is set to halve in the next two years, which is expected to eventually drain the pipeline that has backed up, further destabilising prices. The government is also planning to regulate the import of nuclei in an effort to control rampant over production. Once things are back under control, pearls will be funneled through the Pearl Centre where pricing will be determined and controlled.
Many of the new initiatives are with Mr Wan at the helm. The most prolific and well-known producer of Tahiti is widely considered to be leveraged past his eyeballs, struggling to keep his own empire afloat, attempting to sell at least one farm while prices have hit an all-time low.
Centralised control is a lofty goal, but truly the only chance the industry has. But this will mean, Mr Wan, if this is going to work, it will only work if all producers are aligned with the same goal. That also means no more flying shit-grade pearls off the atolls and over to the Cooks, driving circle prices below the cost of export.
One more thing I just have to point out. Finding a picture of Paris and Mr Wan was not difficult. It seems that blond bimbo hits every rag site the second she steps out the front door. But if you scroll to the second picture of Paris with Wan the caption is certain to draw a laugh.
“Paris with dude who sold her the pearls.”
Oh, that’s hot!