7 Feb 2006

Training of Cook Islands pearl farmers in jewellery-making could result in huge moneyspinner

2:14 pm on 7 February 2006

The organiser of a newly-formed guild in the Cook Islands representing people in the black pearl industry, says the sector has the potential to be a huge money-earner for the country.

Brent Fisher, a jeweller in Rarotonga, says at present, many of the black pearls are sent offshore to be made into jewellery.

He says if local pearl farmers can also learn to make the jewellery that holds the stone, like rings and chains, the industry could flourish.

"In our opinion we produce the nicest black pearls in the world and now what we want to do is not only produce black pearls as a raw product but have a value-added product with the jewellery, and have the Cook Islands known as some of the world's best jewellers."

The organiser of a newly-formed Cook Islands guild for the manufacturers of black pearls, Brent Fisher.