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Pearl Farming


How Does a Pearl Form? Does it come from a Grain of Sand?

Have you ever wondered where do pearls come from?

 

Contrary to popular myth, a pearl does not form from of a grain of sand. In truth, a natural pearl forms when a foreign body - such as a tiny parasite - lodges itself in the soft body of an oyster.

 

The oyster attempts to protect itself by secreting pearl nacre, a smooth crystalline substance that surrounds and ultimately encases the object. As layer upon layer of pearl nacre is added, from the size of a grain of sand on up, until the object becomes larger and larger - the result is a pearl!

 

Natural pearls found "in the wild" - those for which the irritant finds its way into the oyster's shell solely by acts of nature - are extremely rare now, due to ocean pollution and too much pearl harvesting. When found, natural pearls are usually heirloom pieces commanding extraordinarily high prices.

 

 

Pearl Cultivation on Pearl Farms

A little human intervention in the form of pearl farming, or pearl cultivation, has enabled a more controlled method of pearl formation.

 

The rise of the commercial pearl farm has given us cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are formed when a pearl technician inserts a particle called a bead nucleus (usually a small round piece of shell) into an oyster.

 

The pearl oyster is then returned to its habitat and nurtured for up to three or five years, depending on the oyster species. This pearl type represents most pearls on the market today, in the form of Tahitian Black PearlsSouth Sea PearlsGolden PearlsAkoya Cultured Pearls, and Freshwater Pearls.

 

Pearl cultivation itself dates back to the turn of the twelfth century, but it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that pearl farming was done in large volume.

 

 

 

 

Pearl Nucleation - A Skilled Profession

 

Oysters are particularly sensitive creatures, and only about 20% of the pearl cultivation done on pearl farms results in marketable pearls (for example, Anandia Pearls only sells pearls taken from the top 1 - 2% of production.)

 

The skill of the pearl technician is reflected in the quality and quantity of pearls produced by pearl cultivation - the painstaking procedure of implanting the nucleus requires talent and precision.

 

Depending on the health and age of an oyster, it may undergo cultivation up to three times before the pearl farm lets the oyster "out to pasture" to live out its days and produce pearl spat, or baby oysters.

 


One World Trade Center, Ste 800 | Long Beach, CA 90831 (on Ocean Blvd. in Downtown Long Beach)
Private Appointments: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. Pearl and bead stringing and pearl restringing available. 
Serving 90275, 90831, 92625, 92626, 92627, 92628, 92651, 92652, 92657, 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663, Alamitos Beach , Alamitos Heights , Southern California, Balboa Island, Bellflower, Belmont Heights, Belmont Shore , Beverly Hills, Bixby Knolls , Carson, Cerritos, Compton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dolores , Dominguez , Elftman , Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Harbor Pines, Hawaiian Gardens, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Lakewood, Lakewood Gardens , Lakewood Village , Lincoln Village , Lomita, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Los Altos , Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Naples, Naples Island, Newport Coast, Orange County, Palisades, Palos Verdes Estates, Paramount, Point Fermin, Port of Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Highlands, Rossmoor, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Signal Hill, South Shores, Terminal Island, The Gardens, Torrance, Vinegar Hill, Vista del Oro, Watson , West Carson, Wilmington. 
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