Where do Pearls Derive From?

June 2, 2015 by Melissa

The world’s best pearls historically derived from the Persian Gulf, particularly around what now is Bahrain. Pearls from the Persian Gulf were created naturally and gathered by breath hold divers. The hidden meaning behind the unique luster of Gulf pearls possibly came from the special mix of salt water and sweet water around the island. The natural pearl sector of the Persian Gulf abruptly ended in the 1930’s with the founding of large oil deposits. The ones who, at one time, dove for pearls searched for wealth in the economic boom that was ushered in by the oil sector. Water pollution that resulted from indiscriminate over fishing of oysters and spilled oil pretty much destroyed the once beautiful pearl producing Gulf waters.

Pearl diving today is practiced just as a hobby. The biggest stock of natural pearls potentially resides within India. A lot of India’s natural pearl stock ironically originally came from Bahrain. And unlike Bahrain that essentially has lost its pearl source, classic pearl fishing still is practiced upon a small scale inside India.

The art of culturing a pearl was invented within Japan in 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto. Mikimoto figured out that by presenting a small mother-of-pearl bead into an oyster, the oyster would start to cover the irritation using nacre.

Pearls mainly derive from Tahiti, Philippines, India, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. South Sea waters surrounding Myanmar, Indonesia, and Australia are known for their white, large pearls, whereas Japan’s pearls are valued for their lustrous traits. Freshwater pearls comprise most of China’s pearl efforts. Plus, aforementioned, India is recognized as amongst the last handlers and producers of naturally occurring pearls. And interestingly, though Australia’s pearls come from the exact same sea as the ones from Myanmar and Indonesia, Australia consistently runs ads that their pearls as superior to additional South Sea pearls, and emphasize the importance of the origin’s country, not merely the water body from which they derived.