Cultured Pearls History
During 1920 the Japanese perfected the pearl culturing technique and the cultured pearl was born. The most commercially successful producer was Mokimoto. It provided a more affordable option to natural pearls.
It is interesting to learn about this process so I have been explained by the Gemmological Association that one or two mother-of-pearl beads are carefully inserted into a saltwater oyster along with a graft of mantle from another oyster. This graft grows into a pearl sac encapsulating the bead and coating of the mother-of-pearl begins, this process is a lot quicker than that of nature. Culturing takes approximately 2 years.
Nowadays pearls can be cultured by inserting a piece of mantle from a donor freshwater mussel into the mantle of another mussel, which initiates the growth.
These pearls can display a bright lustre and come in an array of shapes such as rounds, potatoes, buttons and long ovals
The bulk of cultured pearl farming have now been developed in China, Australia, Thailand and Tahiti
Care of Pearls
Pearls are highly susceptible to acid attack, even from the mildest of acid, So please put on your pearls last, first off as make-up, hairspray, perfume and acidic oil from the skin can damage the pearl over a period of time
After wear pearls should be wiped with a damp clean cloth and ideally stored in a soft cloth or acid free paper.
Pearls are very soft, make sure they are protected against other jewellery during storage.
Do not put pearls in an ultrasonic cleaner or in detergent to clean.
An occasional wipe down with a damp clean cloth should be all that is necessary for cleaning.