South Sea Pearls - Fiji

"Pearls don't lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it."
Chinese Proverb

In my case, I didn't dive for a pearl but was blessed to be given a beautiful black one by my husband as a wedding gift when we eloped in Fiji last week. I was curious to learn more about this amazing pearl and the day after we married, we decided to visit the workshop of J.L Hunter Pearls located in the small bay town of Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu.

Firstly we were shown the most beautiful pearl shells with the most amazing colours inside the shells.
 To create a coloured cultured pearl, nuclei beads from fresh water mussel shells of the Mississippi River, USA are placed into the Fijian pearl shells by professional Japanese technicians. They are implanted in the shell with a sliver of a Fijian pearl shell that has the colour they wish to achieve.  This foreign body irritates the live pearl shell, so it begins to grow around it creating a beautiful pearl.** 

The beads from the Mississippi River have found to be the best ones to produce cultured pearls.

 Here you can see one of the workers opening up the pearl shells ready for a technicians to place a bead inside. 

Then they are placed inside these nets and returned back into the ocean for a couple of years.

And these are the results. Aren't the colours amazing?

The bracelets were my favourite style of jewellery. Just stunning aren't they? 
I couldn't leave without getting one. It is now permanently on my wrist. 

I would have loved to have brought back some pearl shells but it wasn't allowed. 
However, I do stock a range of Australian pearl shells from Broome & Cape York. These were once used to create one or two pearls. And I also have a couple of very old shells that came from an estate sale. 
Click here to see them on the website: pearl shells

Click here to take you to the website: pearl shells

And until next time, 

lover of the sea and all things coastal vintage


** you can learn more about cultured pearls here
*The underwater photos and the photos of the coloured pearls are from the J.L Hunter Pearl website - All other images are my own.


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