Pearl farming

Until the late 1800s all pearls were natural and very expensive. Diving techniques were not that developed, so young men would have to risk their life to dive repeatedly in order to collect oysters. Only very few oysters would contain pearls and of those only a tiny fraction would be round flawless pearls, suitable for the desirable classic necklace, that was so sought after in its day. The cost of a good necklace with evenly matched pearls was astronomical. And had things not moved on, oysters would in most likelihood be extinct and a pearl necklace would cost about the same as a six bedroom house in central London.

Public demand for pearls continued despite the rapid decline of natural pearls being found. To fulfil this need Kokichi Mikimoto developed a technique of culturing pearls from oysters. By the 1920s we were able to sustainably quench our desire for pearls without further depleting the world’s natural oyster beds. Pearl culturing meant that, rather than destroying valuable natural ecosystems, they became actively preserved. Pearl farms require clean water and so the farmers make considerable efforts to look after them, creating areas of outstanding biodiversity and natural beauty.

In light of this, it’s fair to say that the invention of cultured pearls has both saved pearl production from extinction and given such a value to the natural environment where they’re grown that it’s protected and encouraged to blossom.

A cultured pearl develops because the irritant that entered the shell was introduced by a person, rather than by chance. Other than that natural pearls and cultured pearls are made in the same way. The mollusc carries out its defence mechanism equally, i.e. it covers the irritant with layers of nacre. Pearl culturing remains subject of external factors that can diminish the crop such as plagues, pollution or climate changes.

Our offer exists of cultured pearls only.