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jewelry industry. Yet, because of the huge number of attempts, enough gem-quality product are produced to satisfy a growing demand for quality pearl jewelry.


The formation of a pearl in this manner most closely follows that of naturally occurring pearls. They are composed completely of nacre from core to surface and, like natural pearls, take years to form. Appropriately, these pearls are termed non-nucleated, cultured pearls. All-nacre pearls are extremely durable and can be worn and handled with a great deal of confidence.


Saltwater (Oyster) Cultured Pearls


The culture of saltwater pearls differs from that of freshwater pearls in a number of ways. Most saltwater pearls, including the most popular Akoya pearls, are produced by inserting a single round bead along with a small piece of mantle tissue into the host oyster's gonad, or sex organ. The bead is usually fashioned from various mollusk shells or synthetic materials and varies in size. When the animal secretes nacre to encase the mantle tissue, the nacre collects around the bead as well.


After only a few months, the bead is extracted covered with a thin layer of nacre. When successfully done, these cultured pearls are perfectly round, conforming closely to the bead inside. Moreover, the surfaces tend to be smooth and blemish-free, due to the protection provided by the gonad and brief growing period.

Pearls produced in this fashion are termed bead-nucleated, cultured pearls. Mikimoto®s popular Akoya pearls are bead-nucleated.

A classic pearl necklace never goes out of style.

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