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Commitment to excellence and passion for exquisite pearls is the unique legacy of Salvador Assael. His father James Assael founded the company in the 1920s in Italy. Before the onset of WWII, James moved the family to the United States. Salvador served with distinction in the U.S. Army in Europe and then returned home to work with his father and learn the jewelry trade. Salvador was a man of robust character. He had deep resolve, embracing adventure and opportunity. His intuitive business acumen and his penchant for perfection eventually led to his love affair with pearls. Salvador would travel throughout Southeast Asia and Australia seeking to acquire the very finest specimens.
In the 1960s, Salvador traveled to Tahiti where he was first shown a black pearl. Within its deep, dark, midnight glow, he recognized the inherent beauty and value, as well as the grand possibilities of these exotic treasures. In a world full of snowy pristine cultured pearls, he knew the black pearl would create a remarkable sensation. He passionately pursued the cultivating of a perfect strand of Tahitian pearls, which proved to be quite a challenge. Salvador purchased, constructed a runway and assembled a team of highly trained pearlers. With time, patience and a keen respect for nature, Salvador remained steadfast in his resolve until he achieved perfection.
When Salvador finally felt that he had in his possession a strand that was an exquisite gem necklace, he returned to New York to visit his dear friend Harry Winston. Upon unveiling his masterpiece, he challanged Harry to sell the first-ever Tahitian pearl necklace in America. Within days the necklace was sold for a very high price. From there, history was made. The name Salvador Assael is now legendary as the inspiration behind the Tahitian black pearl industry, the “Pearl King.”