How Pearls come to N.Y.M.P
How Pearls come to N.Y.M.P
So now that you have seen our jewellery I bet you are wondering: What is so special about these pearls? Have a look at how our pearls are cultivated.
First of all you have to know that our pearls are not faux pearls those are beads laced with pearl essence which is extracted from fish scales. Our pearls are also not hollow glass beads coated and filled with wax and they are not beads made out of shells unless it is stated otherwise. All these pearls are manmade and we prefer to work with the natural material. Our pearls are cultivated on pearl farms throughout China. Farmers use their land for pearl farming when it is not in use for rice cultivating.
It all starts with baby molluscs which are artificially bred in a hatchery. Baby molluscs are put in cages and suspended in water, but not just any water will do...there must be an adequate food supply for the mollusc and the water hast to be just perfect. When a mollusc is about 2- 3 years old he can start his new job as a pearl grower.
So how do we get a molluscs to grow a pearl?
Well, a technician in the pearl farm will open the mollusc just a little bit and insert a small piece of donor material. This material is actually a piece of tissue from a weaker mollusc. After a few weeks the molluscs that don’t reject the material are used for cultivation. The ones that do reject the material will get another chance a few weeks later. Usually the technician places about 16 pieces of the material on either side of the mollusc between the tissue and the shell. This way we can get 30 to 40 pearls to grow in one mollusc. The mollusc will immediately start working on this foreign material and start rounding it so it won’t irritate the mollusc. It does this by adding Nacre to this donor material.
That’s really interesting but what is Nacre exactly?
Nacre is a form of Calcium Carbonate. The mollusc uses it to protect itself from foreign material. It creates a layer around the donor material and when the layer is finished it just adds more every day for years thus growing a pearl.
So how long does it take to grow a pearl?
A medium sized pearl (8 or 9 mm) takes about 4 YEARS to grow. So that is how long the mollusc has to stay in the water. The longer the oyster stays in the water the bigger the pearl actually gets.
Why are there so many different shapes?
We use many different shapes of pearls. Round, drops, buttons, baroque and sometimes even ringed pearls. When you open an oyster it always is a surprise what kind of pearls you are going to find. It all depends on where the material was inserted in the first place. Pearls closest to the centre of the mollusc will be more round than anywhere else. On the outside of the mollusc you will find pearls that are flat on the backside. These are commonly used for ear pins and rings. On other areas of the mollusc anything actually goes. If the pearl is growing and finds itself obstructed by a protrusion coming out of the mollusc it will change form because it has to change direction. These are what we call Baroque pearls.
Now we have a bunch of pearls that are all different sizes and different colours. This is when the labour for humans really starts. Workers in the factory will actually sort through the millions and millions of pearls. First they sort by form, putting all the drops in one basket and the buttons in another and so forth. Then they have to sort them again. This time they sort them by size. Think they are done? No! They go back again and sort for Quality. And this is most important for you because these are the ones that you want for your jewellery.
We use the pearls that have a high lustre little to no blemish on the skin and only the most gorgeous shapes. Those are the pearls eligible for N.Y.M.P jewellery. They are the selected top 10% of the pearls in China.
I have seen so many different colour pearls. How does that happen?
A mollusc produces different colours of pearls. Pink to purple-ish but also peach to deep orange. White pearls are actually not that common only about 20% of the pearls that have a white tone are usable in jewellery. That is why high quality white pearls are expensive. If we need a different colour pearl than the mollusc produces we can always dye the pearl. Because pearls are so porous it will soak up dye entirely. So the colour is not only on the outside but on the inside as well. This way the colour will last forever.
What happens to the Mollusc when the pearls are harvested?
The mollusc has a very long life expectancy so when the pearls are harvested we can simply insert donor material again and start the process all over again.
So now you know where we get our pearls have fun browsing our website!