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  1. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by GemGeek

    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.

    I was looking at it more from an ecological point of view(which they didn't in the early 1900's). But if you look at it purely from a natural pearl finding point of view then, yes, it would be high. I suppose that's what Jeremy means too.

    It's mind boggling to imagine a huge mountain of 4.5 million molluscs yielding only 400,000 pearls. That's 90% carnage. I'm just hoping the MOP was at least used for buttons and things. Still doesn't justify the numbers though. No way wild pearly oyster fishing could have been sustained with those kind of numbers. And it wasn't.


  2. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by Slraep
    ...the MOP was at least used for buttons and things.
    Sideways from that thought: where are the millions of tons of Chinese freshwater MOP (potentially) produced along with those pearls? It would seem logical that there would be even more MOP output then pearls. Are those shells used ?

  3. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria101

    Sideways from that thought: where are the millions of tons of Chinese freshwater MOP (potentially) produced along with those pearls? It would seem logical that there would be even more MOP output then pearls. Are those shells used ?
    Chinese freshwater pearl production is incredibly wasteful for a multitude of reasons, no doubt about that, whether the shells are used or not. They seem to have the opposite problems---too much pearl yield per mussel, over-culturing, pollution and not much quality discernment.

    The mania that hit royals and other people in regards to plundering natural pearl beds, basically decimated them. You can't sustain an organic product that gives you a paltry yield of 2-5% or even 9-11% versus 90-95% dead waste. Something must have been done with Vives' MOP since he appears to have been farming for it and the natural pearls were merely a by-product.

    Forgetting ecology for a moment and just looking at the P. mazatlantica's high natural pearl yield, it's no wonder the wild beds of La Paz were almost fished out of existance.

    Last edited by Slraep; 11-17-2007 at 07:16 AM.

  4. #19
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    near Tucson AZ


    I was reading through some old threads and feel like commenting on this one. Slraep is completely wrong on the output of Gaston Vives' shell hatcheries. Strack was already on record citing how many pearls came out of his operation, but I had not read that part, yet. Now, I have. Also to address Slraep's concerns: All shells and all meat from the mollusks were sold. Nothing was, or is, wasted in Mexico.
    PP144 connection with Dr Cyril Crossman, another pearl pioneer.
    193 short bio and first breeding station in La Paz, Mexico
    194 reports that from 1909-1914 he produced 900 tons of shell for the market. In these shells, approximately 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 pearls "of excellent quality" were produced from about 10% of the shell, (My note: this does not count all of the non-excellent pearls and seed pearls).
    354, longline wire baskets used by pearl farmers, invented by Vives.
    526,probably influenced by Bouchen-Brandeley's work in French Polynesia,
    581 what happened after Vives' efforts.

    OK, Now you know.

    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.

  5. #20

    Default Too bad you replied only as a guest

    Quote Originally Posted by CortezPearls View Post
    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.
    I am the grand-nephew of Denis. He was my grandpa's brother.
    Been trying to read up on his work.
    Too bad you replied only as a guest. Would have been great to chat up someone that met him. I was still pretty young when he passed away, although I do remember him (on one of the few occasions where he visited his home country, Greece).

  6. #21


    Would be interested to hear more about Denis George.
    I am looking for any material related to him (papers, pictures, etc).
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. #22
    Pearlista Senior Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oceanside, CA


    Cortez Pearls is a member. There was a glitch many years ago that set a lot of posts to "guest". He will be busy right now post harvest. Try sending a message.

  8. #23


    Hi everyone. Denis George debunking the japanese myth. You might like to read something about that.

  9. #24
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Hi Mario Monteforte,

    Thanks for the link; I see you are one of the authors of this work.

    Unfortunately the link you posted is only to an abstract of the work, and we can't learn any more without purchasing the ebook or article, at not-insignificant cost.

    Care to summarize for the forum?