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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Default Debunking a myth

    I found this article fascinating and I think everyone here will as well.

    https://www.pearl-guide.com/debunkin...ese-myth.shtml

  2. #2
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Really great article! Can we get issue, volume and date of publication on this, 'cause I know I'm going to get asked! Thanks!
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    January/February/March 2008

    Volume 17, Number 1

    I know it is still only November...

  4. #4
    Ashley
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    Hi Jeremy,

    I thought that article was a real eye-opener! Did Saville-Kent ever have any dealings with the Linneus Society? While I was reading however, I kept wishing the piece went a little more in-depth with some of George's research... Where can we get more information?

  5. #5
    pattye
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    Terrific article, and so appropriate to have it here-----preserved for posterity--

    pattye
    so many pearls, so little time

  6. #6
    Doos
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    Default William Saville-Kent

    Hi,

    I just read the Dennis George report on the Mise-Nishikawa controversy and I must say it's a wonderful read. Thank you for posting that.
    A.J. Harisson wrote a biography on Saville-Kent and his 2nd edition (2005) is published in full on the internet. Especially chapter 9 seems to be in harmony with George's investigations. Surprisingly Harrison does not mention this article by George, but must have read summaries of it in other publications.
    Luckely the standard gemmological textbooks are now also picking up on the, probable, myth that it were Mise and Nishikawa who invented the technique.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I have a full CD of unpublished writing by C. Denis George that I intend to go through after the holiday season. A lot to read! I for one already believe that the discovery was Saville-Kents. I have heard of a photo pre-Mise/Nishikawa (supposed) discovery that showed Sawville-Kent with his cultured whole pearls. Unfortunately he died in 1906 (I believe).

  8. #8
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Glad to see this information up.
    The summary of the summary is that the one and only Saville-Kent, first major explorer of the greaf reef, also developed a method of culturing pearls in his Australian workshop/lab in the first few years of the 20th century.

    He did not seem overly impressed with the necessity of keeping his methods secret or in patenting them. It can be demonstrated that the two Japenese men who ended up sharing a major patent for culturing pearls both had histories going directly back to Saville-Kent's tutelege in his laboratory/pearl farm in Australia.

    I don't so much argue that they got a patent, I just feel strongly that they failed to give credit where credit was due in the development of their methods. In fact they covered up their source thoroughly.

    The story of the invention by Saville-Kent, the patent by the two Japanese, and the elaborate cover-up has never been fully aired. Denis George, whose summary is the source of this information was the most outspoken person in favor of ending the cover up, but his works have been largely ignored, even though available to the public (in a limited way) for many years.

    I found Denis George's arguments to be carefully reasoned and fully documented. This is a paper that deserves some kind of prize for investigative journalism- like maybe the Grand Pearlitzer Prize for extraordinary acheivement in informing the public of the true history of pearl culturing.

    Maybe this forum can give it the place it deserves in the history of cultured pearls.
    ----Well, I know this forum will do so, so now let's see how much leverage this forum can bring to bear on the general pearling world to give due respect to this sequence of events.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 11-06-2007 at 09:09 PM.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  9. #9
    CortezPearls
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    I met Denis George back in "Pearls '94" (Honolulu) when we were beggining to grow our Rainbow Lips and had produced only Mabe pearls. He had a wealth of information. He said he considered William Saville Kent & Jos? Gast?n Viv?s (the First Commercial Pearl Farmer in the World) as some of his most celebrated and revered figures. At that time we knew little of Gast?n Viv?s and nothing of Saville-Kent.

    He was obviously disgusted at the tought of having the Japanese take all the credit on pearl production. Not that he was maddened...he felt Justice was not being served. Guess all he wanted was to have Saville-Kent the credit he deserved. I am very happy to see it all published and shared for the World's knowledge.

    C. Denis George also deserves some due credit. He was the first non-japanese pearl technician and he strongly opposed the Japanese Pearl Cartel (Shinju Yakuza)...but for all the right reasons: their lack of respect for the environment and the local peoples, their commercial unfairness. He is sorely missed.

    May he rest in Peace.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    I did not think that Viv?s ever cultured pearls. He was the first to breed shell in Mexico but I thought he left before ever actually attempting perliculture.

  11. #11
    Doos
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    Hi,

    Through correspondence with A.J. Harrison I learned that atleast 3 independent investigations were done on the topic, by Albin Cahn just after the war, by C. Denis George and by A.J. Harrison. Harrison is not that sure as George was, but has strong suspicions.

    A complete biography on Saville-Kent can be downloaded at http://members.trump.net.au/ahvem/Fi...es/Savant.html .

    An interesting counter attack (to debunk Cahn's 1949 report) is published at http://www.geocities.jp/uryukaku/indexen.html .

  12. #12
    Slraep
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd

    I did not think that Viv?s ever cultured pearls. He was the first to breed shell in Mexico but I thought he left before ever actually attempting perliculture.

    He founded the first pearl farm(1903) in the waters around the Baja penninsula in La Paz. The Mexican revolution had his operation destroyed in 1914. The company harvested 1.5 million pearly oysters(P. mazatlantica) for each of the last three years of operation, where 9-11% of the oysters held natural pearls.

    Off topic---makes me realize what a shocking ratio of natural pearls to oysters this is. Destroying 4.5 million oysters for an average of only 400,000 natural pearls. With such odds, I guess that is why there are hardly any more natural pearly oyster beds left anywhere in the world.

    Slraep

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    From what I understood he raised shell - mother of pearl. He was not involved in perliculture. The high natural pearl percentage is amazing. I remember something like that in either Strack or Kunz.

  14. #14
    Slraep
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshepherd

    From what I understood he raised shell - mother of pearl.
    That's pretty much the extent of my info on Vives, except maybe adding that his farm was confiscated from him. I must admit it doesn't say anywhere I can find that he cultured actual pearls either. I think Douglas could expand on this when he gets a chance to drop by.

    You found the natural pearl yield to be high in comparisson to the amount of oysters shucked?? I'm sure that in the counted naturals, there were also a lot of eeny weeny things or unusable ugly blobs(is there such a thing in naturals?).

    Slraep

  15. #15
    GemGeek
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    Isn't natural pearl percentage normally something like 2 - 5%? I was wondering if maybe there was a mistake or maybe a legend grew up about the recovery amount. They must have been really beautiful.

    My friend Jo Ellen just got Elisabeth Strack's book as a present. I got to paw through it Wednesday for a minute and also the Magnificent Jewels Sotheby auction catalogue too. Nice. Someday...