LIMA — Technology has insinuated itself into several industries, and now, it’s found its way into jewelry.
Pearls, specifically, and local jeweler Vons is carrying the pearls.
A microchip is incorporated into the pearl when it is cultured, and the person who gives the pearl can create a message — audio, video or pictures — for a loved one.
“I think it’s the perfect blend of art, technology and the perfect reason we give jewelry to someone — to celebrate, commemorate special moments in our lives,” said Dennis Vondrell, owner of Vons Diamonds and Jewelry. “The audio components of that, visual components of that added only makes that stronger.”
The pearl comes in necklaces, rings and earrings, and Vons carries necklaces and earrings, with plans to expand its collection of the items.
The pearls went on sale Wednesday at Vons and people purchased them that day, Vondrell said. Though many people don’t know about them yet, it’s something Vondrell and other Vons employees can introduce customers to.
People get “teary-eyed,” when they learn about the pearl and what kind of memories and messages it can hold, Vondrell said.
“They say ‘I wish I would have had that for my daughter’s wedding,’ or, in one case, ‘I’m going to get it for my daughter’s wedding,’” Vondrell said.
The product is made by Galatea: Jewelry by Artist, a company based in California, and the pearls sell for about $350 and up, Vondrell said.
“This is where the future of jewelry begins,” said inventor and Galatea founder Chi Huynh, in a statement. “A person can ‘live’ in this pearl forever, as it holds the voice and memories of a loved one.”
People can also add messages over time, while still preserving previous ones, Vondrell said. Messages are added using a phone application, currently only available on Droid phones, but iPhones are expected to soon be compatible, too.
Vons is the “only [jeweler] in the neighborhood” to carry the pearl, he said, and plans to get more technological products in soon.
“What we enjoy and we look for that’s our specialty, that’s what people look to us for is to have the unusual in jewelry,” Vondrell said. “Not what they see everywhere.”
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.