Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Birth of a Pearl-Photos

Cultured pearls are simply real pearls managed in a semi-controlled environment.The culture of the modern pearl market drives an innovative process to develop pearls with reasonable quality and in quantity.For centuries, people have been trying to unlock the secret of nature and duplicate the mystical work of particular types of mollusk. Actually most pearls today commonly thrive from a breed of mollusk more closely related to the scallop than the oyster of pearl's lore.But it wasn't until 1916, when Kokichi Mikimoto patented his technique for producing round pearls, that the world was offered the means to enjoy and appreciate an abundance of these gems from the sea.Virtually all the pearls you see and purchased today are cultured pearls that have been aided by science.

Planting a mother-of-pearl nucleus into the soft membrane of the "oyster" develops the mollusk's natural protective response which is to secrete a conchiolin (soothing brownish substance) and covered by a nacre coating (the lustrous materials of pearls) to destroy the intruder. The longer it cultivates, the thicker the nacre and usually, the deeper the luster.The deeper the luster, the higher the quality of pearl is produced.

Cultured pearls have literally saved the pearl trade from extinction. If it weren't for cultured pearls, only kings and queens and the fabulously wealthy would be awarded the opportunity to treasure these gems. Thanks to Mr. Mikimoto, we can all marvel at the inner glow and magical beauty of pearls.