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Tuesday, 3 August 2004
A visit to a black pearl farm
Larger photos here, or click on an individual photo below

Behold the simple oyster, creator of
the magnificent
black pearl

The basic raw materials, fresh out
of the water and ready for inspection

First the oysters
are pried open
and spacers are inserted

The pearl technician dissects the pearl sack and looks
for a pearl

Eureka! The one
in a thousand
that contains a
black pearl

These are "seeds" made from the
shell of other

Next the "seed"
is implanted back
into the pearl sack

Rejects (pearlless oysters) are
recycled as "seeds"

Re-implanted oysters are inserted into nets

The nets are then placed back into
the water

The growing cycle begins again

Pearls are sorted
by size and quality

Loose pearls are
sold individually

"How many would you like, m'lady?"

Finished jewelry is also available

We face the sunset as proud pearl owners