Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pearls in the Web of Life - Part 2

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  

  • Pearls in the Web of Life - Part 2

    In a sense, pearl oysters might be a “small ecosystem” of their own, a self-contained biome where a tug of war ensues and leads to eventual stability. But why does this happen? And does it hurt the mollusk? One of my Marine Biology teachers -Dr Fernando Manrique, a friend of Jacques Cousteau- once told us that the Ocean was teeming with Life, and that the hardest thing for many lifeforms to find was an “available apartment”, a place to settle and that would help them avoid being tossed around by waves and water currents. Rocks are the best “condos” in this aquatic world, but oyster shells are a good second place. And because of this, a pearl oyster’s life become that of a patient renter, never asking much and sometimes suffering from being too lenient with its established guests.

    Pearl oysters can become so attractive to other lifeforms that they may become completely covered by these “epibionts” (from the Greek “Epi”, which means “On top” and “Bio” for “Life”) and the mollusks may weaken due to lack of oxygen and food, and this is the main reason why pearl farmers must clean their oysters several times a year, sometimes even on a monthly basis. The traditional cleaning method involves manual labor; thus, oysters are individually scrapped free of these creatures. This is a time consuming and costly operation, and it may stress the oysters just a bit (but much better than leaving them to slowly suffocate).

    In Nature, there are other creatures that clean the oysters and there are more natural strategies to clean them. For instance, Australian pearl farmers may lay their flat-panel baskets, with their valuable pearl-bearing oysters, right on top of the sandy bottom, where these epibionts will suffocate and die; in another pearl farm in Ahe, Tahiti, the oysters will be hanging from ropes and are placed in a reef area, teeming with colorful fishes that will eat-away all the plants and invertebrates off the shells. Both are simple, all-natural and effective methods to clean your oysters and promote their health and growth, to help them produce beautiful pearls.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Callo Ostra y Pepino (1) (Small).JPG
Views:	943
Size:	107.6 KB
ID:	457269


    Black Lipped oysters (Pinctada mazatlanica) in their pearl bed, next to a pen shell (left, Pinna rugosa) and a sea-cucumber (top right, Isostichopus fuscus). Sea cucumbers, and other invertebrates, also eat the “epibionts” (plants and animals) that grow on top of these mollusks.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Categories

    Collapse

    article_tags

    Collapse

    There are no tags yet.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • DIY Project: Make your very own Pearls in Half!
      by CortezPearls
      You have probably seen those photos of beautiful pearls that have been "cut in half" so you can see their inner structure, and you probably wondered how those are worked: are they sawed off? maybe a machete?


      Well, wonder no more! This little video explains in detail how you can make your very own, very nice...pearls in half.

      You will need:
      1. Sandpaper sheets, one of each: 60 (very rough), 80 (medium grit) and 220 (fine grit, also called "water
      ...
      10-26-2021, 07:30 PM
    • Pearls in the Web of Life - Part 2
      by CortezPearls
      In a sense, pearl oysters might be a “small ecosystem” of their own, a self-contained biome where a tug of war ensues and leads to eventual stability. But why does this happen? And does it hurt the mollusk? One of my Marine Biology teachers -Dr Fernando Manrique, a friend of Jacques Cousteau- once told us that the Ocean was teeming with Life, and that the hardest thing for many lifeforms to find was an “available apartment”, a place to settle and that would help them avoid being tossed...
      10-11-2021, 05:12 PM
    • Mabe Pearl Grading - 7) Dome Height
      by CortezPearls
      Part of the beauty of a Mabe pearl comes from its “dome” (height). When a Mabe pearl displays a low dome it most closely resembles a piece of mother-of-pearl shell than an actual pearl. Unfortunately, many Mabe pearls today are grown too flat, due to the intrinsic characteristic of the host shell: Pinctada shells are usually flatter than Pteria shells (the shells being much more concave) which does not allow for the use of tall implants, since these will touch the opposite shell and will cause the...
      08-23-2021, 11:20 PM
    • Mabe Pearl Grading - 6) Nacre Quality
      by CortezPearls
      The most important factor here is nacre thickness. Many Mabe are cultured for short periods of time (4 months) to obtain the most perfect shape, but at the expense of their nacre thickness and durability. On the other hand, there are producers that grown them for too long (over 12 months) and end up having pearls that have thick nacre, but their shapes are not standardized, and they may display one or more of the surface imperfections we discussed in the previous paragraph. There is usually a middle...
      08-23-2021, 03:47 PM
    • Grading Mabe Pearls -5) Surface Quality
      by CortezPearls
      As with other pearls, surface quality is an important attribute: the cleaner the surface is, the more desirable the Mabe is and more valuable too. The usual surface imperfections found in these are:

      • Missing Nacre: whitish, bite shaped marks.
      • Spots, pinpricks: dark or light-colored pin-prick markings.
      • Rippled surface: these are markings caused by the growth of the abductor muscle on top of the blister pearl. This marking causes the appearance of wavy...
      08-23-2021, 03:30 PM
    • Grading Mabe Pearls - 4) Mabe Luster
      by CortezPearls
      Mabe pearls are not very known for their great luster, although many of these pearls may display amazing luster. Mabe usually display a more silky or subdued luster, especially in the Pinctada species and is most shiny in the Pteria species…but luster is usually enhanced by means of a final polishing, done with a high-speed cloth-wheel and a polishing compound, although much care must be taken to avoid excessive polishing that leads to heat and may ultimately damage the pearls by “burning”...
      08-23-2021, 03:26 PM
    Working...
    X