A Brief History of Pearls: South Sea Pearl Harvesting

  A brief history of pearls


South Sea pearls usually take between 2 and 3 years to develop, and during that time, they develop an exceptionally thick coating of nacre. In fact, the nacre coating on South Sea pearls may be the thickest of all saltwater cultured pearls.

Harvesting South Sea Pearls

After the cultivation period, the White lipped oysters that produce South Sea pearls are removed from the bays in which they are kept. They're brought ashore and placed in a laboratory-like environment. Technicians pry their shells open to remove the pearls, and in doing so, they must be incredibly careful not to damage the pearls or permanently harm the oyster.

Healthy oysters are implanted with another nucleus so they will produce another pearl. Oysters that die, are not healthy enough or did not produce a quality pearl are discarded. Each healthy oyster may be implanted with a new nucleus up to four more times before it can no longer produce quality pearls.

How pearls form in oysters
How pearls are harvested
How pearls brought to market
Know your Akoya pearls
Akoya Pearl Cultivation
Akoya Pearl Harvesting
Akoya Pearl Processing
Akoya Pearl Evaluation
Quality Factor One: Luster
Luster of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Two: Surface
Surface of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Three: Shape
Shape of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Four: Color
Color of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Five: Size
Size of Akoya Pearls
Know your South Sea pearls
South Sea Pearl Cultivation
South Sea Pearl Harvesting
South Sea Pearl Processing
South Sea Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of South Sea Pearls
Surface of South Sea Pearls
Shape of South Sea Pearls
Color of South Sea Pearls
Size of South Sea Pearls
Know your Tahitian pearls
Tahitian Pearl Cultivation
Tahitian Pearl Harvesting
Tahitian Pearl Processing
Tahitian Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of Tahitian Pearls
Surface of Tahitian Pearls
Shape of Tahitian Pearls
Color of Tahitian Pearls
Size of Tahitian Pearls
Gift Giving Occasions

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