There are essentially three types of pearls: natural, cultured and imitation. The reason we are able to find these pearls is because divers are actively looking for shells. Trips like this provide quality times for mother and sons. See our All-American Pearl collection. Where Do American Pearls Come From? Among univalves, the most prominent pearl-producer is probably the common conch or great conch (Stombus gigas) of the West Indies and the Florida coast, which secretes beautiful pink pearls of considerable value. The explorers to the U.S. exported many of the American natural pearls to the European royalty that had funded their expeditions. Soon, it will become incredibly difficult to find any more natural pearls in the U.S. Or, any major supply of them. Instead of leaving their creation to chance, pearl farmers insert irritants into live mollusks and raise them in an environment that will encourage a certain type of pearl to form. The rivers of Europe, and of Asia also, contain numbers of pearl-bearing mussels. Once the process begins, it can take up to three years until the pearls are ready. However, improvements in freshwater pearl farming techniques have narrowed that gap, with freshwater pearls now exhibiting great roundness and deep luster. Now, back home, I so much enjoy showing these untouched pearls to my friends...no holes, just natural, straight from the mother of pearl. Mollusks are fished either primarily for the pearls or for both the pearl and the shell (mother of pearl). Where do pearls come from...see photos of freshly harvested mussels with pearls still in their pearl sacs and see the answer for yourself. This coating is thin and may eventually wear off. Pearl Oysters are fished mainly from Sri Lanka and Venezuela. In Great Britain it is known as the pearl-mussel; in France as the moule or huitre perliere; in Germany as perlenmuschel; in Belgium as perlmussla; in Russia as schemtschuschuaja rakavina, and in Finland as simpsuckan cuosi. The Margaritifera vulgaris is the greatest saltwater pearl-producing oyster and it is mainly found in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Manaar. This industry has declined considerably as the international demand has fallen. Broadly stated, we may hope to find pearls within any mollusk whose shell possesses a nacreous surface; and it is useless to search for them in shells whose interior is dull and opaque, such as the edible oyster for instance. natural pearls are incredibly difficult to find. One can usually tell an imitation by rubbing it across the teeth: Fake pearls glide across your teeth, while the layers of nacre on real pearls feel gritty. Since as early the Roman Empire, people have been making these rare and beautiful stones into saltwater and freshwater pearl jewelry. Where do natural pearls come from? We know that pearls are produced by mollusks such as oysters and mussels. That’s a lot of ocean to cover to track down elusive Conch shells! 5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Scent, 4 Hot Fashion Trends Jewelry Designers Are Pioneering in 2020, What’s the Right Hair Removal Method for You? The giant clam (Tridacna gigas) of tropical waters yields a few large opal-white symmetrical pearls, with a faint luster and of little value. The Island of Mallorca is known for its imitation pearl industry, and the term "Mallorca Pearls" or "Majorica Pearls" is frequently (though inaccurately) used to describe these pearl simulants. Take a class on pearl knotting or grab some friends and design your own class. Mollusks such as the edible oyster have dull, brown shells and while they produce pearls they do not produce good quality, lustrous peals. They are made of calcium carbonate and are the reaction of a mollusk to an irritant within their shell. Your email address will not be published. He'd obviously done this countless times, because of the swiftness of his actions. Allison Skinner Web Design and Development. Copyright © 2017. Peals come in many shapes, sizes and colors and each of these factors affect how much they are worth. There are numerous other species of pearl-oysters, but they are of slight economic importance. It is not just oysters that produce pearls, a variety of bivalve mollusks can produce pearls and they can be created in both saltwater oceans or freshwater streams and rivers. Saltwater mollusks that produce pearls belong to the Margaritiferae family and the freshwater pearl producing mollusks belong to the Unionidae family. ; although it conceded that these were deficient in luster, which is recognized as the characteristic feature of pearls. Follow the international travels of India Rows, The Pearl Girls founder. There have been pearls discovered in the Mississippi River, Tennessee River and many lakes and tributaries. A Quick Guide, What to Expect: Plastic Surgery Recovery 101, How to Trim a Beard: Taking Care of Your Whiskers, Big & Beautiful: 7 Essential Style Tips for the Plus Sized Man, Semi Formal Dresses For Women for All Occasions, Crochet Braids Hairstyles, All Everything You Should Know, Fashionista On a Budget: What Your Clothing Budget Should Be, Top 10 Secrets to Scoring Discount Prices on Top Designer Brands, Why a Gemstone Ring Makes the Perfect Gift for Any Occasion, 3 Top Tips When Learning Kite Surfing for Beginners. Pearls occur also in some univalves, but not so abundantly as in bivalves of the families mentioned. They can form in both saltwater and freshwater mollusk varieties. Their profit comes from speed and efficiency...they'd never had an "observer" before. It’s entirely possible to find a pearl in the wild. A few pearls are also obtained from the sea-wings or wing-shells (Pinna) the silkworms of the sea, found in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the southern coast of America and elsewhere. About five hundred species of American fresh-water mussels have been recognized by conchologists. Go to main natural pearl page after where do natural pearls come from. Where do pearls come from...from mussels like this which have been implanted with mantle tissue to start the pearl growing process. The best examples of the first group are the pearl-oysters of Ceylon and of Venezuela, and to a less extent those of the Persian Gulf, the coast of Japan, and of Sharks Bay, on the Australian coast. But before I could even ask, the owner who had come with us, shocked us by saying, "These are a gift for you!". As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We’ll happily enjoy the beauty of their efforts at self-preservation! Of the pearls produced, only approximately 5% are of sufficient true gem-quality for top jewelry makers, yet a pearl farmer can figure on spending over $100 for every oyster that is farmed, whether a gem-quality pearl is produced or not. Where Do Pearls Come From? The interiors of the shells are iridescent, and vary greatly in tint, exhibiting many delicate shades of color from silvery white to straw color, pink, purple, and brown. If you have a question you can search for the answer below! They also come from the Persian Gulf, the coast of Japan and Shark Bay off the west coast of Australia. It is the third longest river in the world, it is the longest river in Asia and it is significant because it is the longest river that travels, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window). Where Do Pearls Come From The number of pearls visible in one shell surprised us and that is one of the main reasons that freshwater pearls are so affordable, because of the sheer numbers that can be harvested from a single mussel. The window-glass shell (Placuna placenta), the vitre chinoise of some writers, yields a few small, irregularly shaped pearls of a dull leaden color. It may even have you asking the question, “where do pearls come from?”. Until the 1900s they were so rare that they were reserved for royalty. If you’ve ever looked at the inside of a clamshell, you may have noticed its iridescent color. The handful of pearls from only five shells fascinated me and it thrilled me to photograph them. In it was still a hidden pearl. Because of how rare they are, people have developed pearl farms to aid the natural process of producing more pearls … The Margaritifera margaritifera species also produces a large number of pearls and can be found in the tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. A leading species in eastern China, the Dipasas plicatus, has long been extensively employed in the artificial production of pearly objects or culture-pearls. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Pearls of slight luster also occur in the quahog, or had clam (Venus mercenaria), of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. Other species of Unio exist there and in Mongolia, Manchuria, etc., as, for instance, U. mongolicus, U. dahuricus, etc. They are a naturally occurring phenomenon, but they’re hard to find. They prized their freshwater pearl finds as witnessed in the discovery of a burial site in Oklahoma where a bushel basket of pearls were discovered. google_ad_client="pub-9572957380059665";google_ad_slot="7171188295";google_ad_width=336;google_ad_height=280; Back on land, and after laying the muddy mussels on the ground, the pearl harvester worker retrieved a meat cleaver from his shed and forced the shells open with it. How Do Mollusks Make Pearls? What was one kernel of corn? Ranking next to Margaritifera vulgaris in extent of pearl-production is the Margaritifera margaritifera, which is widely distributed about the tropical inshore waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. We hope you enjoyed this article. And for the pearls! Also here is Richard who interpreted for us, (he and my sons had a great time comparing favorite scary movies they've seen), the harvester and the pearl farm owner. All Rights Reserved by wanttoknowit.com. I'm sure there are many uses for the meat.