A South Sea pearl is pearl produced by the Pinctada maxima mollusk. They are currently cultured in areas throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, primarily in Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.
South Sea Pearls - Among The Largest In The World
South Sea pearls are among the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13 mm, with most harvests producing a range of sizes from 9 mm to 20 mm...
Mabe Pearls Defined
A Mabe pearl is a worked and assembled blister pearl (attached to the shell). It is typically of hemispherical shape and is grown against the inside of the oyster's shell, rather than within its soft tissues. Natural blister pearls are commonly found in nature.
Cultured Mabe Blisters on their shells. Photo courtesy of Dr. César Lodeiros and his research team in Ecuador.
Are Mabe Pearls Rare?
Mabe pearls are not considered rare or highly valuable, except those grown in...
Keshi Pearls Defined
A keshi pearl is a non-beaded pearl formed by accident, as a by-product of the pearl culturing operation.
Akoya Keshi Pearls
How Keshi Pearls Are Formed
Keshi pearls are formed when the oyster rejects and spits out the implanted nucleus before the culturing process is complete, or the implanted mantle tissue dislodges and forms a separate pearl sac without the nuclei. These pearl sacs eventually produce pearls without a nucleus.
Culturing Tahitian Pearls
By Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearls (KamokaPearls.com).
Tahitian pearls are cultured in lagoons surrounded by atolls in French Polynesia using the Pinctada margaritifera mollusk (pearl oyster).
Collecting the Baby Oysters
Oysters start their lives as free-swimming plankton in the lagoon. After three weeks of swimming, they begin to grow shells and search for a surface onto which they can attach. Farmers set out collectors during strategic times of year (usually...
Kokichi Mikimoto's contribution to the cultured pearl industry cannot be overstated. While he may not have single-handedly invented the industry, he played a pivotal role in its development and widespread acceptance of the Japanese akoya pearl. Born in Toba City, Japan, in 1858, Mikimoto's father sold noodles for a living. Little did he know that his passion for pearls would shape his destiny and revolutionize the world of jewelry.