Alumni Chapter

San Diego Chapter: Beyond the Pearl presented by Betty Sue King

For more than a century, humans harnessed and refined techniques to cultivate pearls in freshwater and marine environments. In the last 50 years, however, global warming and climate change, as well as its consequences for all living organisms, are no longer questionable.

The ramifications of climate changes and pollution for cultured pearls are inevitable. King will clarify the fundamental principles underlying the relationships between the sun, atmosphere, land and ocean, including the cause and effect that are key to understanding ocean acidification and the elements all of which are effecting oysters and mussels.
King will also speak about the sustainability and links between the people (owners, investors and workers), places and pearls in pearling communities. She will also address how oysters also have extensive and far reaching benefits beyond pearls, including potential biomedical applications.
Betty Sue King’s career in the jewelry industry began when she left the teaching profession in 1979 to form her wholesale business, King’s Ransom. She specializes in selecting the most luminous pearls on multiple annual overseas buying trips, and is the source of fine and exceptional pearls for designers, collectors, wholesalers and retailers.
King served 10 years on the American Gem Trade Association Board of Directors. She presents informational and inspiring lectures at industry organizations and conferences, writes articles for trade journals and replenishes the industry with her time and donations. King is also an avid supporter of the GIA Alumni Association, by speaking at chapter meetings, such as this one, and generously donating to the annual Party at the GIA Gem Mine auctions in Tucson.
King received the Shining Star Award from the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) for contributing extraordinary effort and energy to her local chapter and in 2017, was honored with the WJA Award for Excellence for her role as a leader in the jewelry industry to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally.

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