Modern Pearl Farming
Born out of living organisms known as mollusks, pearls are the only living gems in the world. A gold-lipped Pinctada maxima oyster is bred and grown for two to three years before being grafted. After this process in which the oyster is nucleated, it is carefully nurtured for two to three more years while it grows a beautiful pearl in its depths.
How Pearls are Formed
A pearl is formed out of the mollusk’s response to an external stimulus. To protect itself, the mollusk covers the irritant with layers and layers of nacre, a resilient and iridescent material that hardens to form a pearl.
After more than 20 years of research, Jewelmer pioneered the first hatchery-born oysters to avoid depleting wild oyster beds and vastly improve the quality of the cultured pearls. Two parent oysters with the right qualities are carefully selected and chosen to breed the perfect golden pearl-producing oyster.
A trained master grafter inserts a nuclei, together with a piece of mantle from a chosen donor oyster, into the gonad of parent oyster.
Following the grafting, the oysters are placed in baskets and allowed to convalesce for a period of three months.
Two to three years are spent waiting for the pearl oyster to deposit layers of aragonite crystal around the inserted nuclei. During this period, oysters are placed in baskets, which are regularly turned and cleaned to ensure the health of the mollusk.
The harvest is the magical moment in which the master grafter who performed the initial operation harvests a pearl after 4 to 5 years of love and patience. A lustrous pearl is extracted from the mouth of the oyster and a living gem is born. The master grafter then decides if the oyster is suitable for a second operation before the next grafting begins.