How Freshwater Pearls Are Formed
The Chinese pearl cultivation methods have completely changed the pearl jewelry industry. Historically to create a cultured pearl, an oyster was chosen, an irritant such as a piece of sand was inserted into the oyster, and after years of care a pearl would form. Each oyster was limited to one, perhaps two pearls.
The Chinese have developed a way to insert an irritant and multiple pieces of mollusk tissue into a healthy mollusk. Much care has to be taken to assure that particles that could attack the mollusk are not introduced into the shell. Each mollusk can have as many as 40 pieces of tissue introduced with the accompanying irritant. This allows each mollusk to produce up to 40 fresh water pearls. The culturing process takes place in fresh water, rather than the salt water oysters require. These mollusks are cared for over a period of up to three years. They must have clean water and adequate nutrients to develop.
Workers check on their crop periodically and clean the individual mollusks to assure a good yield. This is a very labor intensive process. Amazingly, the pearls inside of the individual mollusks are a wide range of colors and shapes, from cinnamon, to ultra white, lavender, pink and plum. One Shell will have multiple shapes such as rounds, button, ovals and drops. Some are even free form.
This process allows the Chinese to produce incredible pearls that can be sold for much, much less than previously done. Now, you can take advantage of this incredible savings and purchase a gift that will be cherished for years and years at a price that no one would have believed possible only a few years ago. Many people still don’t know about this process and are paying huge amounts for a comparable product. Your gift will truly impress those receiving time honored, beautiful pearl jewelry.