History of Pearls
The first mentions of pearls was found in the 4000 years old writings in China.
In China, cultivation of pearls is an ancient tradition. The Chinese have gathered and grew pearls for more than two thousand years. In China, the first cultured pearls were developed already in 1082.
One of the reasons for large and homogeneous pearls in China is the country’s perfect environment. There’s rarely earthquakes or severe storms so the beads can develop for a long time in peace.
How pearls are born?
Natural pearls are born always coincidentally when a small sand dune or other foreign matter is lost inside the shell. The shell protects itself and secures a hard, plain pommel around the object. As long as the foreign object is inside the mussel, the oyster secretes nacre around it. The pearls born this way are called genuine natural beads.
Natural beads are very rare and valuable. The world’s most expensive natural pearls pay millions of euros.
Both salty and freshwater pearls have been planted pearls for a long time. Besides these, there are so-called imitation pearls (for example, Majorica) which have been produced synthetically and have therefore not developed in the oyster.
Mostly we use cultivated freshwater Biwa pearls. Cultivation was started on Lake Biwa in Japan, where they got their name. They are also grown in the United States and China. The core of freshwater pearls is a chip of shellfish. The pearl is completely nacre and therefore it’s best to use it.
In addition to the rounds, there’s rice-shaped pearls, flat and oblong. The freshwater mussel is considerably larger than the seawater mussel and it can can provide as much as 80 pearls at once. Therefore freshwater pearls are much cheaper than sea pearls.
We also selection of sea pearls that are born from molluscs the live in seawater. These include Akoya and Mabe pearls, both bright and dark South Sea pearls (Tahitian pearls). Unlike freshwater pearls, they are used for the production of foreign core balls.