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  • Day9

    Seawater pearl farm

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Isabel and I just had an argument about seawater vs freshwater pearls yesterday and here we are visiting an actual seawater pearl farm. 😜

    Seeing the process helps me understand why these pearls are so expensive.

    Basically every oyster can only produce one pearl in their lifetime as the oyster has to be killed to harvest the pearl.

    A pearl is formed if an oyster gets a grain of sand or a rock stuck in the oyster, and as the oyster does not have the ability to get rid of the foreign object it basically builds this pearl shell around the foreign object to protect it self.

    The pearl farmers use this ability of the oyster to create beautiful pearls. They open the oyster slightly, and implant a round little ball into the oyster to ensure the oyster produce a nice round pearl, then they let it grow the pearl for up to 8 to 10 years. The oyster gets cleaned and x-rayed every 3 months to ensure the existence of the growing pearl but the farmer can't see the quality of the pearl until its harvested.

    When its time to harvest the pearl, the farmer simply open the oyster and cut into the flesh of the oyster to release the pearl. Seeing this was unreal as it basically come out as a perfect pearl which needs no further work to be sold. The only thing they do with the pearls after harvesting is rate them between level 1 and 4 and drill a hole in the pearl if its going to be used in a string. If they polish the pearl it actually lose value.

    Experiencing this made me think of my mom as I know she would have loved to see this.

    Isabel was in heaven, and was looking and trying on necklaces. The sales lady was convinced she will make a sale today. The joke is she did not even bother with the cheap pearls she went straight to the best quality pearls. I am going to get more than one job it seems 😥!

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    Martie Van der Westhuizen

    Lieflike string grys perels wat Isabel aangepas het!! Sou dit baie geniet het het!!!