While students at Ole Miss, Fred McGhee, Nathan Burkhalter and Matt Colpitts never thought they would end up owning and running a women’s custom fine jewelry company. The genesis point for Masato Pearls occurred while Colpitts, a Japanese language major at the time, went to study abroad in Japan. While there he met a jewelry store owner, Nishikawa Masato, who was impressed by how well an American was fluently speaking Japanese. Masato, who has close connections to the pearl industry in Mie, offered Colpitts a job in his pearl jewelry business in Japan. While working in the pearl industry in Japan, Colpitts proposed to Masato that they partner up and start a business oversees in the U.S. Colpitts contacted his friends Burkhalter and McGhee. The four men met in Nashville, TN and decided to launch a startup luxury jewelry company that customizes the process of buying pearls. Between his knowledge of pearls, Colpitt's understanding of jewelry production and logistics, Burhalter’s creativity and knowledge of design and McGhee's expertise in marketing and management, they had everything they needed to get Masato pearls running. The group brought on Ralph Colpitts as CFO, and Masato Pearls was officially established in 2009.
Masato Pearls specializes in producing and wholesaling cultured Tahitian, South Sea, and Japanese Akoya pearl jewelry. Production is based in the Mie Prefecture in Japan, where all of the jewelry pieces are handmade. Each pearl is independently inspected for quality and durability before being carefully color-matched and strung by hand. Masato never uses the dyes and luster-enhancing chemical treatments that other pearl companies use. An American company, Masato's headquarters are located in Lake Charles, LA, with offices in Nashville, TN and Nagoya, Japan.
Pearls Jewelers Trust
A passion for high-quality, beautiful pearls drives us to deliver the best pearls that nature has to offer at affordable prices. We cut out middle men who inflate prices in the traditional wholesaling model. Whether you're an individual customer, buying directly from us, or a small jewelry store or business wanting to stock Masato Pearls, we are sure you will love our jewelry. To find out more about how we culture pearls and create fine jewelry, read about Our Pearl Culturing Methods and Our Pearl Selection Process. In addition to these natural culturing processes, we also give back to the coastal lands of the Mie Prefecture in Japan. We help to protect the waters from debris and conserve the local economy, as well as the ecosystem. These efforts reflect our deep connections to the area and the pearl farmers who live and work there.