Pearls are hard and shiny objects that are produced in soft tissue (especially the mantle). Just like mollusk shells, pearls consist of calcium carbon in the form of small crystals, which have been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but in general the shape of the Pearl is not always round but a variety, known as baroque pearls, can be formed. The finest qualities of natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for centuries. Therefore, pearls become a metaphor for something rare, good, amazing and very valuable.
The most valuable pearls appear spontaneously in nature, but they are very rare. These natural pearls are known as natural pearls. Cultivated pearls or cultivated from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels are widely sold today. Likewise, imitation pearls are widely sold as cheap jewelery, but the color quality is usually less good or less natural and can be easily distinguished from real pearls.
Today pearls have been harvested and cultivated mainly for use in jewelry, but in the past they were also used to decorate clothes. Apart from that pearls are also crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines and paint formulations. Whether natural or cultured pearls, gem-quality pearls are almost always colorful, as is the interior of the shell that produced them. However, most all shelled mollusk species can produce Pearls with a smaller luster or less round shape. It may also be legally referred to as a “pearl” by.
Here are some facts regarding pearls :
- Pearls are the only gemstones in the world that are extracted from living animals. Although some oysters die after pearl formation, there are oysters that survive even after the pearl is harvested. The process of extracting pearls from oysters has been around for over 3000 years.
- Cultured pearls harvested from mollusks or shellfish or oysters can be replanted to create pearls without killing them
- Saltwater pearls or commonly known as seawater pearls, also known as Akoya pearls are extracted from oysters, while freshwater pearls are extracted from shellfish. Don’t forget that all mollusks are capable of creating pearls.
- Pearls or gemstones get their distinctive color from the elements in the shell or oyster, which range from white and ivory to pink, black, purple and even gold.
- Pickling or harvesting of natural pearls may be disturbed by water pollution or other phenomena. This makes it difficult to leave the oyster safely in the water long enough for it to produce large enough pearls.
- The oldest pearl jewelry ever found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC.
- Each pearl has its own uniqueness and characteristics. Each pearl also has imperfections. Pearls have a variety of shapes, not only perfectly round.
- There is a legend that says that to flaunt his luxury, Cleopatra VII made a bet with her lover named Marc Anthony she said she could spend 10 million sesterces (ancient Roman coins) for one meal. And to win the bet, all she had to do was dissolve one of her pearl earrings in a cocktail.
- The term for cultured pearl farming is pericultured.
Prices for sea pearls are generally determined by several factors:
- Quality, which is determined by grade A, AA, and AAA. The best quality is AAA grade.
- The luster a pearl has, the better the shine, the more expensive it will be.
- The shape, the more perfect the pearl circle is, the more expensive it is. Pearls can also be found in various other forms such as oval, semicircle, and irregular.
- The smoothness of the surface that Pearl has, the smoother the surface of the pearl, the more expensive it will be.
- Nacre, if the thicker the nacre layer, the more expensive the pearl price will be.
- Color, the better the color, the more expensive it is.
- Size, if the larger the pearl size, the price will be more expensive.
- Heavy, the heavier the pearl the more expensive the price.
- The harvest period for freshwater pearls is shorter. It only took 6 months. In one shell can produce 5 to 15 pearls.
Indonesia, which two thirds of its territory is sea, has the best south sea pearl in the world. This data provided by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries says that every year Indonesia produces the largest pearl of the southern sea in the world. Then followed by neighboring countries such as Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, and others. Meanwhile, the largest market share for South Sea pearls is Japan, which accounts for 80%.
If this is seen from the trade value, Indonesia ranks ninth in the world behind Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, Tahiti, the United States, Switzerland and the UK. With the export value of South Sea pearls by Indonesia of more than 28 million US dollars with destination countries, namely Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Switzerland, India, New Zealand and France.
Lombok, Sumbawa, Maluku, and the Banda Sea are some areas in Indonesia that produce pearls in the southern sea. Warm seawater and many species of plankton make shells or oysters produce very good quality southern sea pearls. Please note that the South Sea Pearl is one of the best pearls in the world because it has a beautiful luster and light reflection and is very soft.
Considering the high price of sea pearls and the large number of imitation pearls circulating that are very similar to real pearls, here are some simple tips you can use to differentiate between the two. If the pearl is bitten and it will appear like sand and the surface of the pearl is not scuffed, then the pearl is real. However, when bitten, it feels slippery and the surface becomes scuffed, then the pearl is fake.
The beauty of pearls is timeless. Therefore, the beauty of pearls is used to motivate people to always be of quality, as said peptah. “Become pearls, even though they are in the mud, they still sparkle.
Lombok itself is one of the largest pearl producers in Indonesia, even its quality has been proven by the large number of consumers who order, especially from abroad such as Japan, China, the Philippines and others.
Being one of the provinces surrounded by oceans on each side, which makes West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has a high potential for marine wealth. The area of sea waters is around 29,159.04 km2, the length of the coast is 2,333 km, the coral waters are about 3,601 km2, and consists of 278 islands. this place does not hesitate to become a suitable location for sea corals to live.
The sea corals that live in the waters of Nusa Tenggara are generally of the Pinctada Maxima type which can produce South Sea Pearls and are the main prima donna pearls in the world. This kind of thing is because Lombok pearl jewelry in particular, has a variety of colors and there are even 27 types of Lombok pearl jewelry colors that can be produced by shells.
The variety of colors that Lombok pearl jewelry has is not without reason. In the past, millions of years ago the Nusa Tenggara region was the meeting point and distribution of shellfish species with yellow or gold lips from the Philippines to the Nicobar Islands and with white-lipped shellfish from Papua to Australia. Which makes, almost all colors can be found in Lombok pearl jewelery. However, the advantages of NTB are three colors, namely bronze, which is like copper, metal which is like a motorcycle bullet, and emerald, which is slightly greenish in gold.
This advantage makes it quite difficult to find in other places. With these many advantages coupled with the fairly natural sea conditions that greatly support the development of marine pearls, eventually many entrepreneurs have started to seriously pursue the Lombok pearl jewelry business.
There are 36 pearl companies, three of which are foreign companies, spread across the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. Places that become locations for pearl farming are scattered in coastal areas, including Gili Gede (Servant, Bolangis), Gili Asahan (Labuhan Poh), West Lombok Sire Bay, Sembelia East Lombok, Tanjung Bero, Mapin Bay, Moyo Island, Saleh Bay, Sumbawa, Kwangko / Kempo, Sanggar Bay, Dompu and Sape Bay and Waworada Bay, Bima.
Currently, NTB pearl production can reach 600 kilograms per year. These pearls are then resold to pearl jewelry producers in the world, including New York (United States), Tokyo (Japan), Geneva and Zurich (Switzerland), and Milan (Italy). If pearls have been applied into the form of jewelry, the sales value can reach tens to hundreds of millions of rupiah.
The beauty and luster of Lombok’s native sea pearls has also been recognized by an Australian pearl businessman, Simon Adams. “The quality of pearls in Indonesia, also in Lombok, is very good. Because in general, the shells of shells in Indonesia are more golden in color and this is what making it liked by buyers.
He even admitted “I think I have found the best pearls here in Indonesia,” he said. Seeing the huge potential of pearls in Indonesia, Atlas has also invested in three locations for pearl cultivation in the South Sea, namely in Raja Ampat, Bali; Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, and Papua.
Here is one of the most famous pearl jewelry stores in Lombok, namely Mssjoaquim, Missjoaquim itself is a pearl jewelry shop that sells various types of Lombok pearl jewelry whose authenticity has been proven and has consumers from various regions of Indonesia and abroad including China, the Philippines and others. The location itself is at the MCC (Mutiara Craft Center) Jln. Gajah Mada, Pagesangan, Lombok, Mataram. go to the back of the MCC shopping complex, Toko No. 6. Mataram
And a new branch located on Jl. Arya Banjar Getas, Gang. Lele Green Palm Residence housing complex – Number B5. Gatep Permai neighborhood, Ampenan, Taman Sari, Kec.Ampenan, Mataram City, Lombok NTB.
Every pearl purchase usually missjoaquim.com provides a certificate as a form of authenticity of the item, and if it is in the form of jewelry with a framework like gold, it will be given along with receipts and carat information from gold and its weight as proof of its authenticity.