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Value of pearl: a consumer study in Japanese market Public Deposited

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  • Pearls are unique fishery products. Their aquaculture production facilities are located in the sea, and their rafts are visible from the land. At the same time, the final products are used as jewelry. The value of pearls thus could include those of jewelry as well as anthropocentric value (namely, gift from the ocean or nature’s benefit to the people). To identify peoples’ evaluations on these values, an online survey targeted for 1,000 persons in Japan was conducted from 27 November to 1 December 2017. Diamond is used as a control material that lacks the value of ocean’s benefit to the people. Respondents were asked to describe pearl and diamond using their own words. The texts obtained from respondents were analyzed using text-mining methods. The results indicated that the respondents frequently used the terms “luxury”, ”beauty”, “accessory” to explain both diamonds and pearls. The terms “shellfish”, “Mikimoto”, “Ise-Bay”, and “ceremonial occasions” were frequently used in explaining pearls. For diamonds, the terms “South Africa”, ”engagement”, and “hard” were frequently used. Our interpretation is that, while diamonds and pearls both represent relational values arising from peoples’ inclination to keep good social relations with others in ceremonial occasions, a distinctive value of pearl was also identified that represents peoples’ awareness of the benefit from the ocean. Valuation of the nature’s benefit to the people has been discussed in various occasions such as meetings of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and these results contribute to advance these discussions.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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