Open the first few pages of any high fashion glossy and you’re sure to be mesmerised by a spread of perfect pearls from this iconic Australian brand. Paspaley was the latest instalment of Sparke’s Soirees last night in Sydney.
An intimate group of 32 wonderful women enjoyed the luxury and beauty of Paspaley pearls with Collet champagne on ice and a delicious canapé menu from Harvest Catering that paid homage to the stars of the evening—pearl meat tartare with salted cucumber, chervil peal jelly, salmon roe and seared pearl meat, roasted ginger, green mango, cashew with toasted coconut salad.
Corporate & Commercial National Practice Group Leader Shannon Platt opened the evening and introduced Paspaley Creative Director, Christine Salter—one of the founder’s six grandchildren who work for the company.
Christine spoke to the family history and the story of Paspaley. Her grandfather arrived in Australia in 1919 as a World War 1 refugee from Greece. As diving was one of the few viable industries on the Indian Ocean Coast of Western Australia, Nicholas Paspaley learned the challenging trade. By 1932, at the age of 18, he was at the helm of his own pearling lugger and founded the Paspaley company in 1935.
The unspoiled waters of the Australian coast were, and still are, home to the world’s largest beds of prized pearl oysters, known as the giant Pinctada maxima. Australian pearls are the best and most valuable in the world, known for their size, thickness, lustre and rarity—and the Pinctada maxima, with its lustrous mother-of-pearl shell is the rarest of them all.
Today, the Paspaley Group remains family-owned with an 85-year heritage. While the family has diversified, pearling remains at the heart of Paspaley as they aim to innovate, design and manufacture in a unique way in what is essentially a boutique market.
This was a truly special opportunity to visit the vault and see first-hand the wholesale pearl collection as well as the grading/sorting rooms and the Paspaley family’s personal pearl collection—not to mention an incredible treat to be able to try on some of the exquisite pieces.