View Full Version : South Sea Pearl prices
02-11-2010, 09:33 PM
Could someone explain why the price of a South Sea pearl jumps so high after the 11 mm size? Are many mollusks not able to survive past that size or what is the reason?
Thanks in advance!
02-11-2010, 09:59 PM
supply and demand
02-13-2010, 03:32 PM
Good answer from Kevin!
But to help out the Young Spat on this... it is harder to produce larger pearls: thus they are less abundant and therefore more valuable.
In the "old days" (up to the 1980's) most South Seas Pearl farmers would have a good supply of wild-caught pearl oysters, many being rather large because of their age (up to 20 cm in diameter). Their larger bodies being able of accommodating a larger nucleus thus producing a larger pearl.
Nowadays, most pearl producers employ lab-reared "spat" (oyster juveniles) and rear them in their farms, and some years later (depending on the species, the site and other factors) the oysters have grown enough to be "seeded" to grow pearls...but they are rarely as big as the wild-caught oysters (10-14 cm), so the first pearls they produce are simply not as big as those of the former... you need more time.
And -as the saying goes- "Time is Money".
02-13-2010, 11:30 PM
Thank you for your replies. Wouldn't it be smart to select larger, older mollusks from and start with a larger nucleus, given the demand for larger sizes?
02-14-2010, 07:48 AM
The point is: from where do you select these older and bigger oysters? As Douglas says, it takes many years for an oyster to grow big and if that oyster is farmed someone has to do the farming and earn a living.
A mature farm will presumably have a stock of older and biggers but all farming is a balance between time and size
02-16-2010, 04:43 PM
Good point, Wendy.
08-29-2010, 06:29 AM
Is there a standard size for a ss pearl nucleus?
08-29-2010, 04:07 PM
No. The size of the nucleus depends on the the particular shell and whether or not it is first (second, third) graft. The nucleus could be as small as two bu or larger than five.
08-30-2010, 01:07 AM
I just saw a show on Discovery channel about the Paspaley shell divers. They gather wild shells and take them to their farms to implant. I never really thought about where the mollusks came from before. Do other farmers start with wild shells, or are they growing their own mollusks as well?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.