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By succeeding and evolving “Faceted Pearl” which was created employing diamond-polishing techniques, a new global market has been cultivated

| Products & Services | 06/21/2013

Komatsu Cutting Factory: Hana Pearl (Faceted Pearl)

By succeeding and evolving “Faceted Pearl” which was created employing diamond-polishing techniques, a new global market has been cultivated
Source: The Japan Machinery Federation

Defying commonsense that pearls should be in perfect spherical by carving them, thus producing unconventional luster
Hana Shinju (Faceted Pearl), which was created by carving pearls for the first time in the world, has shine and texture completely different from those of original pearls. After 10 years of considerable efforts, Mr. Komatsu’s father, the founder of the company, introduced Hana Shinju into the market. Currently, Mr. Komatsu is engaged in designing pearls. Hana Shinju had hard time being accepted in the Japanese market where people have stereotyped image that pearls should be spherical and smooth. Jewelry makers in the U.S. and Europe first paid attention to Hana Shinju and evaluated it highly. Through presentations at overseas exhibitions, exchanges with parties interested in Hana Shinju increased, and it was adopted by an Italian designer brand Scavia, among many other overseas customers. Mr. Komatsu intends to start manufacturing end products such as necklaces, in addition to selling Hana Shinju to jewelry manufacturers as materials, thus nurturing the business into a brand.

Komatsu Cutting Factory: Diamond CuttingDefying commonsense by carving the surface of pearls has produced unexpected magical luster
No explanation is needed. Just see these photos. Do they look like pearls? They have sharp glare, yet provide wonderful transparency, giving you an impression that another pearl is contained inside. Interestingly, the luster seems to grow in dimly lit space. When rented for a fashion show, they became focus of attention because they reflected the pin spotlight of the venue, making people wonder how on earth a diamond is shining in the pearl.
“I was surprised to find its beauty when I saw the product for the first time because I didn’t intend to produce that effect.”
This unique jewelry was born by carving peals, not by cutting grooves but by faceting pearls into a mirror ball-like shape. In the case of a large pearl, about 160 facets are created and finished by polishing each facet. “Carving” is a difficult task because pearls shine only on the surface down to approximately a few tenths of a millimeter deep, and once the core is exposed, they will be unfit for the market. All the processes are manual procedures.
“Kofu is famous for crystal. As our company name suggests, we have been specializing in diamond cutting. Since weight is one of the important factors, a technique of carving diamonds as thin as possible is essential. The expertise nurtured in diamond cutting is counted on with this product.”
Komatsu Cutting Factory: Faceted PearlKazuo Komatsu, Mr. Komatsu’s father, developed the product. After ten years of efforts for development, the product was first introduced in an international jewelry exhibition held in 1994. The small booth was crowded with a number of people praising the world’s first faceted pearls. However, there were also accusing voices.
“Typical reaction even among the people in the same business was that it’s disgraceful to carve pearls. Pearls should be spherical and smooth, which was a common sense at that time. In the Japanese market gripped with the preconceived notion, the product did not gain much popularity.”
A turning point came in 1996, when an American trader visiting Japan saw the product. Hana Shinju was evaluated highly, released in the U.S. before long, and created a sensation. Non-Japanese people do not have preconceived notion that pearls should be in perfect spherical shape with no flaws, and so the beauty of Hana Shinju was accepted without prejudice. The popularity was then re-imported to Japan, causing Japanese people to change their view drastically. No one regards Hana Shinu as bizarre jewelry any more.

On the day when he first developed a feeling of respect of his father, it occurred to him that he might succeed his father
The factory, which is still on the third floor of Mr. Komatsu’s residence, was his playground when he was young. Mr. Komatsu often helped family business from his junior high school days, and when he was a high-school student, his father told him that by putting some thoughts to the machine used every day, a product no one else can manufacture could be created.
Komatsu Cutting Factory: Faceted Pearl“I cannot disclose the details of the devisal, but it was a great impact to me because I used to operate that machine. I thought “He is a genius” and I respected him for the first time in my life. Although I had helped him, it never occurred to me until then that I would succeed him. The notion “I might have a go” occurred to me for the first time then.
Although his father was pleased to learn his intention to succeed him, the business environment was worsening ever since the collapse of bubble economy. Unable to bear to see his son experience hardship, his father started developing new products, seeking to depart from subcontracting business. One of these new products included Hana Shinju. The decision of the son to succeed family business under the hard business environment and his father’s love, concerning the future of his son, must have produced that unprecedented shine.
“My father has the spirit of a craftsman, boasting that good products attract customers. I think he is right, but that is not sufficient because we live in an age different from that of my father when products of good quality sell well without making efforts to sell.”
While actively placing his products in global exhibitions, he competed in “Jemmys,” an American jewelry-cutting contest by “double refraction cut” based on his thought that in order to appeal to the world, assessment by an authorized third party assessment organization is essential. He achieved the feat of winning the first prize in the cutting category, after all.
“I would like to focus on manufacturing jewelry products such as necklaces from now, in addition to providing pearls as materials, and establish our own brand.
Mr. Komatsu’s dreams never cease to grow.

Komatsu Cutting Factory & Diamond Industry

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