The Wide World of Pearls, Our 39th Issue: We’re Having a South Sea Sum
“SOUTH SEA SUMMER”
South Sea pearls are known worldwide for their natural colors of Silvery-White and Gold, and their extremely large sizes. These pearls are cultured in warm tropical waters of Northern Australia, Indonesia and The Philippines.
Both White and Golden South Sea pearls are grown in the pinctada maxima saltwater pearl oyster, which grows to over a foot in diameter at maturity. The gold-lipped pearl oyster produces the Golden South Sea pearls, and the silver-lipped oyster produces White South Sea pearls.
Golden Pearls are From the Philippines: Golden-lipped p. maxima pearl oysters can be and are found in Australia and throughout the South China seas. But the very finest examples of Golden South Sea pearls are known to come from the chain of islands in the Philippines.
White South Sea Pearls are from Australia: The best White South Sea pearl harvests are known to be produced by Australian farmers. That said, there are some smaller farms producing White South Sea pearls in the Philippine islands. That said, they’re known for producing pearls with a much warmer, creamier color.
Exotic and rare, the Golden and White South Sea pearl types are cultured in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the South China seas.
To create a pearl, a mother of pearl bead nucleus is inserted into the oyster and is covered with a small piece of donor mantle tissue (thought to influence the pearl’s final color). The oyster then forms a pearl sac around the nucleus and begins producing pearly nacre in concentric layers around the bead.
In the Philippine Islands, pearl farms are located in sheltered coves and lagoons where the oysters can be protected from the open elements of the ocean.
White South Sea pearl farms are generally located in large bays off the Australian coasts … oysters are anchored on long-lines that allow them to drift with the ocean currents.
For both Australian and Philippine farmers, p. maxima oysters are nucleated 2 or 3 times over their lifetimes, with older oysters responsible for culturing the very largest pearls. After the last pearl harvest, the best oysters are released into the wild habitats … this ensures that the oysters can live out their retirement comfortably, and reintroduce their high quality genetics back into the environment.
36″ Baroque Ombré South Sea Pearl Necklace: 9.2-10.0mm AA+/AAA
These stunning South Sea pearls are a glorious tribute to nature. Their organic baroque shapes give them a beautiful “from the sea” appearance and makes them a true one-of-a-kind work of art.
Each pearl has spent 2-4 years growing in the warm tropical waters of Australia and the Philippine Islands. Once harvested each pearl was carefully sorted and processed, with only a gentle cleaning and tumble in walnut shells. These pearls have not received any color enhancement or heat treatment.
This 36-inch opera length strand is an Ombré layout, with a Golden and White South Sea pearl blend which graduates in color from deep 18K Golden colors to bright Silver-White hues. The pearls have high luster and some light blemishes. All of our strands are hand-knotted between each pearl for security. The pearls are strung with 100% silk thread, and finished with a 14K white or yellow gold clasp.