Birthstone Of The Month - June


Be amazed by these ten facts about Pearls

  1. Natural pearls have been found in the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf) for at least 5,000 years, while divers have been recovering the June birthstone from the Red Sea since 300 BCE
  2. Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal. A natural pearl of value is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters.
  3. There are three major types of saltwater cultured pearls: Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea. These pearls account for approximately 5% of the total weight of global pearl production. Although they share many of the same characteristics, they can look vastly different as each pearl is sourced from a different species of oyster. These oceanic oysters typically grow only one pearl at a time.
  4. Freshwater pearls account for approximately 95% of total global pearl production but are much less valuable than saltwater pearls. China produces the overwhelming majority of freshwater pearls.
  5. A single freshwater mussel will typically produce between 30 and 50 pearls at a time. 
  6. Kokichi Mikimoto is credited as the first man to create a cultured (or cultivated) pearl. In 1878, he began to methodically test ways to develop these gemstonesin his own oyster beds. After nearly two decades of trial-and-error, he succeeded and received a patent for cultured pearls in 1896. 
  7. An estimated 99% of Pearls on the market today are Cultured
  8. Each type of pearl takes a certain amount of time to develop. In all cases, however, it takes at least six months to produce a pearl. Sometimes, the development process can last as long as 24 months.
  9. The procedure begins when a farmer delicately implants a tiny nucleus inside the mollusc. The growth of the pearlis influenced by how long it takes to recover from the implantation. Once this process is over and the mollusc is fully recovered, the pearl begins to grow as the mollusc covers the nucleus with layers of nacre. Chinese freshwater pearls can grow up to 5mm per year while Japanese Akoya pearls only up to 0.3mm
  10. Measuring in at 26 inches long and weighing nearly 75 pounds the largest pearl that is known to exist is also the most expensive being valued at $100 million.

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