Dive Into The World of Pearl Pioneer Tasaki

June 5, 2024   |  Alex O Dea
Tasaki book

A new book celebrates the expertise and artistry of the Japanese luxury pearl jewelry brand, which marks its 70th anniversary in 2024.

“Tasaki’s standards of material sourcing and production are so high; it is as if no human hand had touched the jewels. It is astonishing that they are able to make my jewelry just as I had imagined it and this gives me such creative freedom.” So says designer Melanie Georgacopoulos in new book Tasaki: Balance. Her partnership with the jeweler has seen pearls sliced, faceted, drilled and even hollowed out, as it seeks to push the boundaries of design.

With 2024 marking 70 years of Tasaki, this is an appropriate time to delve into its world with a new book that looks at its evolution from humble pearl farmer to global luxury brand. Author Maria Doulton begins the story in 1930s Japan, when Tasaki’s founder, Shunsaku Tasaki, assisted his parents on their pearl farm, before starting his own business in 1954, selling first pearls, then jewelry.

Subsequent chapters explore the business’s transformation into a global brand and design innovator in a series of interviews with the creative visionaries behind its iconic pieces. These include the brand’s first creative director, Thakoon Panichgul (who balanced pearls on a bar of gold and also gave them diamond fangs) and Prabal Gurung, who took over as global creative director in 2017 and launched Tasaki Atelier, which pairs pearls with colored gemstones in dazzling haute joaillerie creations. Their insights into the creative process are accompanied by sumptuous photography that lets the jewelry do the talking and showcases Tasaki’s mastery of techniques such as invisibly securing pearls onto jewels and setting diamonds into pearls.

Key to the execution of all of these designs is Tasaki’s knowledge of pearls and the skill of its mastercraftspeople. “Each perfect jewel is not the work of one person, but demonstrates a deeply ingrained and near reverential respect for each and every stage of the creation process,” writes Doulton, as the book delivers a behind-the-scenes look at Tasaki’s own diamond-cutting facilities; the expertise of its pearl sorters, who are tasked with grading up to 20,000 pearls a day; and its jewelry workshops, where high jewelry pieces can take hundreds of hours to complete.

The result is a fascinating deep-dive into the world of a pearl pioneer.

Tasaki: Balance by Tasaki and Maria Doulton was published by Rizzoli in April 2024.

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