- Aug 30, 2012
as seen here.
Unknown to the general public, Caribbean pink pearls are the most rare, most expensive and the most confidential pearls in the world. Their flaming pink colour and the flame structure that enlivens their surface make them a natural gem sought by the greatest jewellers of the planet. Uniquely wild, these pink pearls are ?produced? by the conch (or ?lambi?), a shellfish harvested for its meat throughout the Caribbean basin. Pink pearls are exceptionally rare because only one lambi in ten thousand produces a pearl and only one in a hundred thousand conceals a pearl of ?gem? quality.
After an initial Golden Age at the end of the 19th century, conch pearls disappeared completely from circulation before being rediscovered in the 1990s by an American adventuress. Traded at astronomical prices, conch pearls sometimes bring fortunes to the divers who find them? and delight to some very rich clients. However, today lambis are victims of overfishing and Caribbean pink pearls also risk extinction - unless scientists can meet the challenge of transplanting conches and, as with pearl oysters, turn the pink pearl into a mere cultivated pearl.