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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    on a Scottish nature reserve

    Default When were cultured pearls first available to buy?

    Lately I have noticed “reputable” antique and vintage sites offering Victorian,and Edwardian cultured pearls,and sticking dates on like 1900s 1910.I can appreciate that possibly the clasp could be this date, but surely no cultured pearls were available then? Would all early cultured pearls,1920 and later,be from Mikimoto,or were there other entrepreneurs out there producing cultured pearls? Thanks in advance for some enlightenment

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    From our Pearl Education pages....

    "The Early Days of Cultured Pearls
    Harvesting cultured pearls from the oysterModern-day cultured pearls are the result of discoveries made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, by Japanese researchers Tatsuhei Mise, Tokishi Nishikawa, and the son of a noodle maker, Kokichi Mikimoto. Although some cultures had long been able to artificially stimulate freshwater mollusks into producing a type of pearl, the pearls produced in this way were generally hemispherical mabes, rather than completely round pearls.

    "Finally, Producing Round Cultured Pearls
    While early on in Mikimoto's career he focused on mabe production, he eventually produced rounds with a technique involving tissue and bead insertion into the gonad of an akoya mollusk. He patented this technique in 1916."

    There wasn't mass production of cultured pearls until 1916.

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    For a long time, cultured pearls were considered inferior and were often set in fashion jewelry. I have a few pieces from my great-grandmother.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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