Loose Pearls for Sale : Where Do Pearls Come From?
We are often asked, “What’s the difference between a ‘natural’ pearl and a ‘cultured’ pearl? Is a cultured pearl a real pearl?” The answer is ‘Yes’ – a cultured pearl is a real pearl. In fact, 99% of all pearls you’re likely to see in your lifetime are cultured pearls. In fact, it’s everything we’ve been discussing so far.
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The Decline of Natural Pearls
The difference between “cultured and “natural” is in how the process of pearl formation begins. Natural pearls form when a foreign object, such as a parasite, lodges itself in the soft body of an oyster. The oyster attempts to protect itself by secreting nacre, a smooth crystalline substance that surrounds and ultimately encases the object. As layer upon layer of nacre is added, the object becomes larger and a pearl is formed.However, due to over-harvesting of oysters and ocean pollution, natural pearls have largely disappeared from the world market, and haven’t been seen in any volume since the 1800’s. The extremely rare ones which do exist today tend to be small, or family heirlooms. Fine quality natural pearls can command extraordinarily high prices. (detail info: loose pearls for sale)
The Solution: Cultured Pearls – loose pearls for sale
About a hundred years ago, a little ingenious human intervention enabled a more controlled method of producing high-quality pearls. The result is the cultured pearl, which represents nearly all pearls on the market today. Cultured pearls are formed when a highly skilled pearl technician inserts a particle called a nucleus (usually a small round piece of shell) and/or a piece of oyster tissue mantle into a specific spot inside oyster. It’s considered a delicate surgery. The oyster is then returned to its habitat and nurtured for up to three years, sometimes longer. The process of putting oysters on lines and cages, lifting them up and down to clean and inspect them, is labor intensive and expensive! (detail info: loose pearls for sale)
However, one problem… there is no guarantee that an oyster will ever produce a pearl! Oysters are particularly sensitive creatures; even slight changes in water temperature or nutrition can kill off entire crops. The skill of the pearl technician is reflected in the quality and quantity of pearls produced – the painstaking procedure of implanting the nucleus requires talent and precision. Only about 20% of pearl cultivation results in marketable pearls. Of these, perhaps only 1-2% are of top quality. These rarities are always in high demand. (detail info: loose pearls for sale)
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From The Pearl Farm to You – loose pearls for sale
From the farm, pearls are usually bought by distributors who contract to buy a large volume of loose pearls from the farmer. These distributors may sell the pearls to dealers, or the pearls may be auctioned off at set times throughout the year. One way or the other, pearls usually make their way to either Japan or Hong Kong, where they are parceled up for distribution to the rest of the pearl-loving world. (detail info: loose pearls for sale)
Price is always a factor of quantity purchased, quality, and the relationship between buyer and seller. In general, volume purchasers get better terms than would most retail jewelry stores looking to purchase a smaller amount. As a result, most retailers buy smaller quantities from wholesale distributors. (detail info: loose pearls for sale)