Freshwater pearls are cultivated by pearl farmers in rivers, lakes, ponds etc. They were initially produced in Japan and US, but on small scale, ever since China has entered the market, dealers have been able to meet up with the demands of pearls. There is another form of pearl available in the market which is the saltwater pearl. This pearl is available in ocean and sea. However, their availability is rare which makes it expensive, therefore people are inclined more towards freshwater pearls.
Freshwater pearl stone can be coated in whichever colour you want. This makes it easier and convenient for vendors to provide variety of jewellery and pearl set to customers. PearlsOnly is another e-commerce site that was found in 2003. It brought revolution in the pearl industry after providing variety of trendy jewellery with different colours, shape and size. You can go here to learn more about their business.
Even if freshwater pearls are easily available, it takes at least six months for one shell to form a pearl. Below is the complete detail of processing freshwater pearls –
- Breed Oysters
- Raising Oysters
- Oyster Nucleation
- Grafting and Harvesting
This is the beginning of any pearl production. Farmers collect sperms and eggs of pearl producing oysters and then let them fertilize. It helps in producing oyster larvae.
The larva is released in water to float freely. However, they are monitored well by farmers in proper conditions so that they turn few weeks old. After some months when larvae turn into baby oysters, they are shifted to a special nursery. These baby oysters are looked after for one or two years till they mature and grow large enough to nucleate.
This process is a lengthy process which takes around two years for pearl formation. Under this process a foreign object like a grain is embedded by farmer inside oyster shell. Oyster feels the irritation and starts producing nacre to coat that foreign object until it doesn’t stop irritating. This gradually helps in formation of a pearl.
Grafting and Harvesting
A cut is placed in the host’s mantle or a mantle matter is placed within it. Once nucleating process is over, oysters are left at calm place in water for some weeks to recover from incision. After which they are moved to nets were they are looked after by farmers.
One mussel produces at least 24 to 32 gems in every cycle. It takes at least five years form complete development of pearls, which is later removed from oysters, cleaned and sorted into different categories. It takes lot of effort to develop pearls, therefore instead of just appreciating vendors for delivering such outstanding pieces, thank pearl farmers and those oysters as well.