2015-Mid-America Jewelry News

Smart Pearls - Pearls of Wisdom

Published: 31 March 2015
Written by Mia Katrin

Chi Galatea Huynh, 21st century Renaissance man

Jewelry is becoming smart and Galatea’s designer Chi Huynh is pioneering the path forward. From Apple’s soon to debut computer wristwatch to fitness tracker bracelets and pendants, jewelry is becoming intelligent and interactive. Galatea’s new Momento collection (www.galateausa.com) uses patent-pending NFC technology, embedding a tiny chip within a Tahitian pearl, which can store voice messages and even video clips. Tapping the pearl to your smartphone activates the chip bringing your memories alive. The possibilities are endless.

Carved Tahitian pearl in 14k Lotus ring from Galatea’s Momento collection.

Carved Tahitian pearl in 14k Lotus ring from Galatea’s Momento collection.

“It’s all about the human connection,” shares Chi in a recent thought-provoking interview. “I could have embedded a tracking chip with GPS in the pearl but wasn’t interested. I wanted something that touches the heart. Jewelry has a treasured tradition of preserving memories - from lockets with pictures of loved ones to rings engraved with special sentiments. As new technology emerges the possibilities expand. You can now record your wedding vows, baby’s first words or even an intimate message from the heart to a loved one along with images, which can be preserved for generations like a time capsule. It’s as if you live on in the pearl. Imagine 100 years from now future generations accessing your family tree through Momento. It gives new meaning to the concept of an heirloom.”

Mia angel pend
14k angel dream keeper pendant with carved Tahitian pearl.

Chi, the creative inspiration behind Momento, has a rich history thinking outside the box from his signature “Diamond in a Pearl” to intricately carved Tahitian pearls and his patented Galatea pearl - a colored gem implanted at the nucleus of a pearl, revealing its color and brilliance as the outer pearl is carved away. Like a modern day da Vinci - who has served as one of his inspirations - Chi spans the gap from scientist to artist with his outpouring of creative inspiration. He’s truly a contemporary Renaissance man.

14k Angel dream keeper pendant with carved Tahitian pearl.

Chi’s background is as universal as his creativity. Fleeing war-torn Vietnam as a young boy with his family decades ago, his family were proverbial “boat people.” His father had been a well-known, respected jeweler in Vietnam. For the young apprentice Chi, the seeds of the trade were planted there. But his passionate desire to express himself as an artist and thirst for knowledge took many forms as he matured.

“I originally began by painting. I was obsessed with it! Then I became a writer, composing poetry. (See his paintings and poetry at www.galateausa.com) All the time I was questioning, “Who am I? What does it all mean?” At a certain point I realized that everything is a reflection of yourself. I felt I was the happiest man in the world!”

“I feel driven to create as an artist. I’ve never been interested in being famous. I chose the name ‘Galatea’ for my company, the mythical being created by Pygmalion who then falls in love with his creation. My name ‘Chi’ - meaning life force - is also a powerful one that I strive to reflect well. I’ve never been interested in business!” Chi shares, although he’s tremendously successful with a team of 150 highly devoted staff both in Vietnam where he has Tahitian pearl farms and factories and here in the US.

Chi’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious. Waxing philosophical he shares: “Spinoza claimed that we can rid ourselves of negative emotions by overriding them with positive ones. Jewelry, especially the new smart jewelry, is a natural vehicle for tapping into and spreading happiness, for bringing good energy into the world. In 2015 we’re in a whole new world. Cosmic energy is in the air. We can create something that brings good energy into the world, that taps into happy emotions and overrides the bad.” Chi desires, like the followers of Buddha, to bring greater compassion to the world. With his universal perspective and full heart the world is his oyster.


14k garnet and freshwater pearl pendant and earring set.

Tapping a Momento pearl to a smartphone activates the embedded voice or video message.