Pearl expert visits Karats in Vail Village

VAIL, Colorado — Koji Kawamoto the pearl man is coming to Vail. For the past 20 years, Kawamoto has studied and sold pearls. The sea-born treasures are his life expertise. Kawamoto hails from a Japanese family who harvested pearls for generations. He's learned and taught the pearl cultivation trade and now flies around the world for trunk shows, carrying a collection of pearls whose variety would rival even a museum's collection. This weekend, Karats in Vail Village hosts Kawamoto and his trunk full of sea marbles Friday, Saturday and Sunday from open to close.

Kawamoto brings with him all types of pearls in different shades, from the black, green and purple Tahitian pearls to the traditional lustrous white Akoya pearls to the feminine-hued South Sea pearls and the asymmetrical baroque pearls. But not every pearl looks good on every woman, Kawamoto says.

“Choosing the right strand for the woman is an art,” says Dan Telleen, owner of Karats.

You have to consider skin tone, color of teeth, color of eyes, whites of eyes, hair color and even the personality of a woman. Lucky for the ladies (and gift buying men) Kawamoto is an accomplished matchmaker. He'll be on hand this weekend to answer any questions and to help pair the pearl with the girl.

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