Rosario Autore stringing pearls
“Our aim has always been to push the boundaries of pearl jewellery design and I feel that we have been successful in not only contemporising pearl jewellery but also inspiring young designers to continually apply their skills to develop new styles and concepts using South Sea pearls” – Rosario Autore direct quote.
I have spoken to the owner of one of the world's largest pearl companies, Rosario Autore, who shares the secrets of success and passion for the pearling industry. Rosario says that the success of the business is also a reflection of the commitment and dedication of his loyal team, some of which have been with the business since the beginning (almost 30 years!). He has developed a world-renowned and vertically integrated empire with interests in pearl farming, wholesaling, valuation, jewellery design, and manufacture In the nearly 30 years. This is evident in every department of the group from farming this natural product, to the commitment in producing some of the most exquisite and best quality strands in the world, to finally presenting some unique and extraordinary jewellery collections.
Rosario adds that this commitment, combined with quality, distinction and professionalism are vital attributes to the company’s success. Whether it is cultivating a pearl oyster, grading a pearl by hand and eye, or designing a beautiful piece of bespoke jewellery, these are the important elements that are essential in what we do.
You can read the interview here and enjoy it ;-))
Jewellery Pursuer; Rosario Autore, you are now the owner of one of the world's largest pearl companies. Can you share how this journey in the pearl industry has started for you?
Rosario Autore; Pearls have always been a passion for me, and it has lead me to where I am today. I started in the Industry working for a pearl business in Japan. I worked for the company for 4 years and quickly progressed to a senior role, Managing Director of the Australian operations of the company.
I was inspired to start my business as i felt as though there was a gap in the industry whereby there wasn’t a direct line of supply for Australian pearl farmers to sell to the international market. I initially acted as a broker for Australian pearl farmers, and later invested in pearl farming operations. From there we developed the jewellery production and design department and today what we know as the Autore Group.
Stars and Galaxies Collection, South Sea Pearls with Gemstones and Diamonds set in white gold, Autore
JP: When did you first fall in love with pearls?
RA: Whilst working for the company in Japan, one of my job requirements was to go to Broome, Western Australia. Seeing the remote, pristine waters which were the location of some of the most beautiful pearl farms capitated me. The process, labour and love that goes into growing a pearl is truly amazing.
JP: Can you share the secrets of your success and the joys and surprises of harvesting pearls?
RA: Pearl farming is a labour of love, with each pearl requiring an immense amount of TLC. There are various factors that can impact the quality of a pearl including weather conditions, regular cleaning, the skill of the pearl technician and the pearl shell itself. At the Autore farms we try to give each shell the best opportunity to create a beautiful pearl but ultimately it is up to nature. It’s a beautiful moment when the harvest comes in from the farm and we get to finally see the pearls we have been waiting for.
Orchid Collection, South Sea Pearls, Diamonds set in yellow gold, Autore
JP: What's your signature pearls look? RA: “Our aim has always been to push the boundaries of pearl jewellery design and I feel that we have been successful in not only contemporising pearl jewellery but also inspiring young designers to continually apply their skills to develop new styles and concepts using South Sea pearls” – Rosario Autore direct quote. AUTORE jewellery achieves a wonderful combination of innovative design with timeless elegance – across all price ranges, and for all demographics – the perfect mix for new and emerging markets. We have a strong attention to detail and excellence incorporating multifunctionality, and carefully select precious and semi-precious stones to compliment the hues of the pearl; the pearl is the hero of every piece of Autore Jewellery.
JP: Since the establishment of Autore and opening your own pearl farming operations along Australia’s Northern and Western Coastlines, Autore became a multi-million-pound empire. What do you think the secret is?
RA: Here at AUTORE we thrive first and foremost on the passion for the pearling industry. This is evident in every department of the group from farming this natural product, to the commitment in producing some of the most exquisite and best quality strands in the world, to finally presenting some unique and extraordinary jewellery collections. This commitment, combined with quality, distinction and professionalism are vital attributes to the company’s success. Whether it is cultivating a pearl oyster, grading a pearl by hand and eye, or designing a beautiful piece of bespoke jewellery, these are the important elements that are essential in what we do. The success of the business is also a reflection of the commitment and dedication of our loyal team, some of which have been with us since the beginning (almost 30 years!).
Farming at Autore
JP: In 2001, you have branched out into jewellery design and manufacture, founding Autore. Your designs have since become celebrity favourites. Does this make you feel complete?
RA: AUTORE have created many iconic Jewellery pieces over the years reflecting the majesty and mystery of nature, as well as the great beauty of heritage-based architectural design. It has been a huge testament to the brand that A-list celebrities chose to wear Autore.
JP: In 2007 you have developed the South Sea Cultured Pearls Classification Guide which has been recognised by Gubelin Gem Laboratories. The guide considers the quality of a South Sea Pearl based on its Shine, Surface, Shade, Shape and Size and provides an in-depth explanation to understand pearl classification. How was the idea born? RA: With limited knowledge and no detailed South Sea pearl classification system available for consumers, retailers and wholesalers I aimed to create a guide which was user friendly and easily understood by all in the industry. In developing the guide, AUTORE invested hours of training with pearl sales staff, took hundreds of photos to identify different pearl qualities, and created a comparison master set which was used as a benchmark to classify pearls. During the development process, AUTORE was approached by many gemmology labs, choosing to go with Gubelin Gemmology Laboratory in Switzerland. Gubelin came to Sydney and spent 4 weeks training their staff with AUTORE to establish the parameters that could be used in their gemmological lab. Furthermore, I was approached by a number of jewellery valuer associations where myself and my staff attended seminars to educate and instruct individuals on how to use the Five S’s®. AUTORE also undertook training seminars for retailers and consumers so the concept behind the classification guide was wholly understood at a vertical level, from producer to consumer.
Mediterranean Collection, Autore
JP: What's your advice for someone who's purchasing pearls as a gift?
RA: The Lustre of the pearl, is the glow or the shine of the pearl, and it is the most important characteristic. Lustre has the magic to minimise other imperfections and is considered the soul of the pearl. In terms of the shape, colour and size, a pearls beauty is subjective so pick something that you are drawn to, and the qualities which you find beautiful.