Highlight: Ming Pearls

For many years, it was common practice to cultivate up to 32 Freshwater Cultured Pearls inside of one mollusk, at one time!

In 2011, a selection of pearl farmers, including some of our partners, began experimenting with growing just one pearl at a time inside the center of the animal. In addition to this change, a small bead of Mother-In-Pearl would now be used to initiate growth of the pearl, as opposed to the irregularly shaped tissue used in the past.

The result of this process was very round or bubbly Baroque Ming Pearls! With more room to expand, Ming Pearls could grow up to 10-16mm, much larger than traditional Freshwater Pearls, rivaling the size of pearls from the South Sea. By growing each pearl separately, they develop without abrasions, resulting in an almost metallic luster. Their beautiful natural color can only be produced by a specific Chinese Mollusk, making them rare and valuable. These are truly a unique and high quality product.

Our carved Ming Pearl necklace (pictured above) is an incredible mixture of nature and mankind working together to create something beautiful.

This piece was made by a remarkable factory in Vietnam through a painstaking process. First, an artist drew designs on the surfaces of every pearl by hand. Next, a master carver meticulously follows the lines, carving out details in different widths and depths. Finally the inside of these grooves are polished, resulting in an incredible lifelike pattern. Each pearl can take hours to create, but the result is truly magnificent.

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