Unless specifically stated, all pearls in Sidney Garber jewelry are fine quality Cultured Pearls, from Japan (called Akoya Pearls) or China (called Freshwater Pearls). But what does that mean?
Pearls, in the pure definition, are caused by an injury to a mollusk that causes a calcareous concretion. By definition, humans have nothing to do with this process. The pearl industry was revolutionized nearly a century ago when a Japanese researcher named Mikimoto Kokichi discovered a specific technique for inducing the creation of round pearls inside oysters.
To distinguish these pearls from naturally occurring pearls, they are called “cultured pearls.” The development of cultured pearls took much of the chance, risk, and guesswork out of the pearl industry, allowing it to become stable and predictable, and fostering its rapid growth over the past 100 years. Today more than 99% of all pearls sold worldwide are “cultured pearls” and therefore, are often colloquially referred to as “pearls,” while traditional pearls are called “natural pearls.” These naturally occurring “pearls” are extremely rare – just 1% of worldwide production -- and extraordinarily expensive, though in truth, the only sure way to distinguish a “pearl” from a “cultured pearl” is through the use of x-rays, to reveal the inner nucleus. If you are interested in learning more about pearls, visit www.pearl-guide.com.