By Brecken Branstrator
Milan--There’s a trend happening online where cultured pearls are being described as natural, according to CIBJO’s Pearl Commission.

CIBJO has released its seventh special report, just ahead of its 2017 Congress event slated for Nov. 5 to 7 in Bangkok.

Prepared by Kenneth Scarratt, president of the organization’s Pearl Commission, the report states that there is a “worrying trend” online where marketers are inaccurately describing cultured pearls as natural.

Typically, Scarratt said, the commission has seen sellers omit the word “cultured” from product descriptions of cultured pearls.

But now, he said, there are more instances of colored freshwater pearls being described as “natural pearls” when they are sold online.

Scarratt said when confronted, the individuals making such incorrect statements admitted that what they’re actually referring to in these instances is the natural color of the cultured pearls, rather than their growth origin.

“However, this hardly excuses the unprofessional marketing tactics being employed,” he said, adding that the strategy appeared to be to “find and use the best wording that sells the product, and pay little attention to whether or not such statements are deceptive.”

Scarratt said the commission needs to review its strategy again regarding the outreaches it makes to educate the community, noting that this will be an agenda item for the Congress next month.

The full report, which also covers those in the pearl industry recognized by the 2017 JNA awards and Bahrain’s recent announcement that it will grant new pearl fishing licenses within its waters, can be found at

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