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About Betty Sue
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How Green Are Your Pearls?
Q&A: Betty Sue King, The Pearl Goddess

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Betty Sue King, Biography

Betty Sue King is the owner of King’s Ransom. Specializing in fine & unique pearls, she has over 35 years of experience buying overseas. Known as the Pearl Goddess, clients come to her when they simply must have the most remarkable & fabulous pearls.

She received the Shining Star Award from the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) this year 2013, for having shown extraordinary service to her Chapter and to WJA throughout the year. A popular lecturer, educator and consultant, she is often asked to share her insights & expertise as a pearl specialist. In October 2011 she presented a lecture at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She has spoken at the AGTA Tucson GemFair Seminars, Antique Jewelry & Art Conferences, Los Angeles County Museum, Women’s Jewelry Associations, GIA at Carlsbad and Alumni Associations, SNAG, NAJA, ISA, ASA, and College of Marin. Retailers appreciating their need to be better informed, call on her to train their staff about the wonders of pearls. Appraisers have her on their phone list to consult on current pearl pricing. Editors & writers of trade journals sourcing trends & new products find Betty Sue ready to share the scoop on current products and trends. Her collective knowledge of pearls is frequently quoted in numerous publications.

Donations to charitable organizations go hand in hand with her philosophy of replenishing the community, rejuvenation and abundance. Marin Abused Women’s Services, Society of North American Goldsmiths, Cultured Pearl Association of America, The Crucible in Oakland, CA, American Cancer Society, Grand Circle Foundation, Junior League of San Francisco, and GIA Alumni Association are but some of the beneficiaries of the Pearl Goddess’ treasures and cash contributions. She’s served many holiday meals at Glide Memorial Church of San Francisco and has retired from years of service to the Junior League of San Francisco.

Modern Jeweler, January 2009 published her essay, “How Green Are Your Pearls?” an ecological view of pearl cultivation. In GIA’s Loupe she is quoted often in the January 2009 on line issue “Asia’s Cultured Treats”. Pearl World Journal quoted from her notes on the GIA Pearl Tour of the South Pacific in 2007 and printed her photographs from the 2008 trip. The June 2008 issue of Canada’s Jewellery Business Magazine has her article on “Pearls 101”. She reviewed the book Pearls, A Natural History for the GIA publication, “Gems & Gemology”. Her experiences as one in the trenches in the pearl industry can be read in her chapter in Auction Market Resource, June 2002, “Cultured Pearls Galore: A Tucson Retrospective”. An avid photographer, many of her images have been published in magazines, books and used on the GIA website. She has been an active member of the Northern California Chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association for over 20 years.

Betty Sue is a Firm Member of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), an organization dedicated to professional & ethical business practices. She contributes updates on cultured pearl treatments to the Gemstone and Enhancements Brochure and to CIBJO’s disclosure policies on pearls through the AGTA. She has served on the Board of Directors of the AGTA since 2005, been on the Executive and Membership Committees, and is currently on the Promotions and Spectrum Committees. She particularly enjoys assisting in the Spectrum Award Competition considered the most respected and prestigious creative award in the design and gemstone industry.

Her favorite things are reading the Sunday New York Times, cooking gourmet meals, dining, movies, gardening, orchids, and staying connected with wonderful friendships made traveling throughout the world. Her most recent trip in July-August 2011 was a 25-day safari to countries in Southern Africa. She found it raw, primitive, completely off the grid, fabulous, and humbling experiencing the cultures of indigenous people’s kindness, open hearts and dedicated spirits.

The “Pearl Goddess and More” is known for having pearls that are truly the cream of the crop which extend the boundaries of opulence. “Pearls without limits for designs without boundaries” is her creed. In addition to pearls, Betty Sue has been working with natural diamond crystals long before they were a major trend in jewelry. Beautiful, unusual and seductively sublime pearls and diamond crystals with unique allure are her selection criteria.

You may find her exhibiting at the Tucson GemFair, the SNAG Conference, conducting Roundtables, doing private shows and presenting lectures. Betty Sue travels three times a year seeking inspirational pearls on overseas buying trips. On her return, designers eagerly await to be first in line for new treasures. Clients are welcomed to a relaxed setting in King’s Ransom’s sunny office where design inspiration begins anew.

Betty Sue King’s knowledge, personal service, and passion for pearls fuel the heart and soul of King’s Ransom, the Pearl Goddess and More.


Contact Betty Sue - the Pearl Goddess!
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