American Bio-Gem was originally formed as Island Pearls, LLC in 1998 by Mr. Paul E. Cross. Island Pearls was established for the purpose of researching and developing the new pearl culturing and pearl nucleus manufacturing technologies that Mr. Cross had developed over the previous decade. This initial research was conducted in conjunction with such prestigious marine research centers as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. The Company changed its name to American Bio-Gem, Inc. in 2005 to commercialize those technologies and bring its new pearl products and services to the global marketplace. The Company is committed to recognizing and responding to unique business opportunities within the global pearl industry. To this end, American Bio-Gem has focused on products and technologies that are designed to minimize pearl culturing costs, increase pearl nucleus availability, bring to the marketplace pearl jewelry that is unique and affordable, and improve yields, quality, and consistency for new and existing pearl aquaculturists.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Paul E. Cross, grew up in the Hawaiian Islands. Mr. Cross began his jewelry career after attending the prestigious Chestnut Art Academy in San Francisco. He soon owned and operated five retail jewelry outlets in Hawaii and Colorado, as well as a wholesale jewelry manufacturing company in Waikiki. In 1981, he turned his focus to the pearl industry. After archival research at the Smithsonian Institution, he found that the heart of the pearl industry is in the center of the Midwest United States. Through painstaking effort, he carefully unraveled one of the best-kept secrets in Japan.
In 1985, Mr. Cross began exhaustive research and development on various nucleus production techniques and related technologies. Together with malacologist Dr. Clifton Coney, curator of mollusks at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Jerry Harasewych of the Smithsonian Institution, he developed techniques for implantation, antibiotics, bio-coating, and anti-rejection devices. As a result of this research and experimentation, Mr. Cross successfully developed an entirely unique technology to cause pearls to form in several species of mollusks.
VISION AND MISSION
American Bio-Gem supports the ecological and economic value that cultured pearls contribute to developing nations, not only through aquaculture and animal husbandry, but through the increased awareness of marine and freshwater ecology that often accompanies the acquisition of pearls. The Company believes that the Icon Pearls concept provides an exceptional opportunity to leverage the existing value associated with already known brands, icons, and images and to extend that value through the realization of those brands in pearl form. We also believe that as much as the traditional cachet of pearls makes our Icon Pearls product desirable, the Icon Pearls concept will, in turn, be good for the traditional pearl market. We believe that the demand for Icon Pearls will be substantial, and that this demand will provide significant earnings and growth opportunities for the Company and our farming partners. Our mission is to develop this unique business opportunity, manage the introduction and initial growth of the market for Icon Pearls with jewelry distributors and brand owners, and build value in the various regional territories where Icon Pearls can be sold.
With respect to consolidation of the pearl nucleus market and the introduction of Vapor-Encapsulated Nucleus, American Bio-Gem believes that we have a window of opportunity to establish the Company as the dominant global provider of nucleus, based in the United States. The Company intends to provide a fully-integrated solution to the nucleus supply chain by purchasing the raw shell material, processing it appropriately, and then distributing the finished nucleus to end users. With the price and volume leverage gained from Vapor-Encapsulated Nucleus, management expects to establish a firm position as the global market leader for cultured pearl nucleus. Additionally, this global commodity can, for the first time, be supplied to pearl growers with consistency of availability, quality, and price stability, creating a positive scenario for all market participants.
LOCATIONS AND FACILITIES
American Bio-Gem is headquartered in Nevada City, California, with offices in La Jolla, California in close proximity to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. From these locations, we manage our global operations and outsourced partnerships. Other facilities with which we have established close working relationships include the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) in Baja California Sur, Mexico, several pearl farms throughout Latin America and the South Pacific Islands region, and freshwater mussel farms in China.
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