How are pearls mined?
Lao Tzu's pearl found in the shell of a large mollusk is the largest organic mother of pearl in nature. The weight of a white matte mineral is 6.5 kg, the size of the stone is 1280 carats, and the jewel is estimated at 40 million US dollars
Natural Pearl Mining
In the XXI century, pearl deposits in nature become less, because of the premature collection of stones, the mollusks do not survive, therefore their habitats become empty. Despite the demand for cultivated minerals, many synthetic imitations of organic compounds made of glass appear on the jewelry market.People who do not understand the quality of rounded "peas", buy such fakes, without thinking about the origin of matte balls.
However, gemologists easily identify natural pearls, given the shape, gloss, color, pearl thickness, purity and size of precious stones. There are few natural minerals left, so the cost of genuine pearl jewelry is determined by the uniqueness of the product. Since ancient times, people mined organic pearl formations from the bottom of the seas in the following way:
- A boat with 3-4 pearl hunters goes to the "open" water.
- In the place where mollusks accumulate, courageous islanders dive to a depth of 15–20 meters.
- The catchers are under water for about a minute, periodically rising to the surface in order to draw air into the lungs.
- From the inventory, divers have a large basket on the rope that is attached to the boat (this container holds the found shells), a swimming mask without a tube and a loincloth.
- The use of diving equipment is prohibited by law, and 2/3 of the stones extracted are intended for the state.
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The catcher is a dangerous profession, which residents of island countries have been trained since childhood. The diver should eat little to stay under water longer, his body is covered with wounds and devoid of subcutaneous fat due to regular exposure to saline fluid. There are dangers on the seabed, sharks and other predators are found in the reservoirs, and the thirst for profit is the main reason for the death of catchers, forgetting about the air in their lungs. In the oceans inhabited by mollusks, many seekers of an organic treasure are buried, unable to cope with one of the above factors.
Cultured Pearl Production
Even in the era of technical progress, it is impossible to influence the process of production of natural pearls, therefore the catch of mollusks is closely monitored by the authorities of the eastern republics. If you fully automate the lifting of shells from the bottom of the seas and oceans, then the reserves of natural stones will run out within one year.
Cheap imitations of pearls are made of glass - the beads are covered with a layer of fish scale essences that are visually similar to natural minerals.
However, in 1896, Kokichi Mikimoto developed an innovative technique for pearl harvesting.The Japanese artificially introduced into the sink an organic grain of sand around which the mollusk formed a nacre layer. This method was called cultivated, because the creation of the pearl is identical with the natural process of forming an organic compound. At the same time, such stones are estimated to be an order of magnitude lower than natural minerals. In the XXI century, the technique of pearls extraction on special plantations is widespread:
- Gems are grown on aquatic farms intended for the extraction of minerals.
- A small section of the saline pond is protected and distributed over the area of pearly plantation shells with mollusks, in which a foreign object of organic origin is preliminarily planted.
- In separate "pools" young individuals grow up.
- Large shells are placed on the grid, balancing on the surface of the water due to the buoys.
- The whole territory is divided into areas, each of which is subjected to the procedure of collecting pearls 1 time in 7 years.
- After catching shells, shellfish lie 2-3 days in the sun - an imitation of heat treatment.
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Due to the industrial scale of cultured pearls, there is a variety of organic stones of various colors on the international market. Frosted balls of gold, blue, black and white shades are used in the manufacture of jewelry, crushed and added to the composition of food products, used in medicine. However, you can buy a natural pearl, extracted from the bottom of the sea, only at closed auctions, where wealthy people and avid collectors are invited, who are ready to give fabulous money for a precious stone.
Learning how to get pearls, you can explain the pricing principle, used for jewelry with organic minerals. The uniqueness of creating a precious stone by nature in the natural habitat of mollusks is an amazing process that takes place in the shells at the bottom of the oceans and seas for several years.