Pearl Production

Mitsubishi began pearl farming with the South Sea pearl oyster in 1916, as soon as the technology patent was commercialized. In 1931, this project was showing signs of success, but Tatsuhei Mise’s death shocked her. Although the project was restarted after Tatsuhei’s death, the project was stopped at the beginning of World War II before major pearl productions were achieved.

After World War II, new South Sea pearl projects were initiated in the early 1950s at Kuri Bay and Port Essington in Australia and Burma. Japanese companies participated in all projects using original Mitsubishi South Sea project engineers before the war.

The South Sea Pearl

Kuri Bay is now home to one of the largest and best-known pearl farms owned by Paspaley, the largest South Sea pearl producer in the world. [Four five]

In 2010, China overtook Japan in Akoya pearl production. [46] Japan has virtually ceased the production of Akoya pearls smaller than 8mm. [46] However, Japan retains its status as a pearl processing center and imports most of China’s Akoya pearl production. These pearls are then processed (often simply combined and classified), re-labeled as a product of Japan and exported. [47]

Over the past two decades, pearls grown using larger oysters have been produced in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. The largest pearl oyster is the Pinctada maxima, which is about the size of a plate. South Sea pearls are characterized by their large size and warm luster. Sizes up to 14 mm in diameter are not uncommon. In 2013, Indonesia Pearl [48] supplied 43% of South Sea Pearls’ international market. [49] The other main producers are Australia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Malaysia. [fifty]

Freshwater pearl culture
In 1914, pearl producers began to grow freshwater pearls using the native mussels from Lake Biwa. This lake, the largest and oldest in Japan, is located near the city of Kyoto. The wide and successful use of Biwa Pearl Mussel is reflected in the name Biwa pearls, a phrase that was once almost synonymous with freshwater pearls in general. Since peak production in 1971, when Biwa pearl farmers produced six tons of cultured pearls, pollution has nearly extinguished the industry. Japanese pearl producers recently [when?] They cultivated a hybrid pearl mussel, a cross between the Biwa pearl mussels and a closely related species from China, Hyriopsis cumingi, in Kasumigaura Lake. This industry too has almost ceased production due to pollution. Currently, the Belpearl company based in Kobe, Japan continues to purchase the remaining Kasumiga-ura pearls.

Japanese pearl producers have also invested in the production of cultured pearls from freshwater mussels in China’s Shanghai region. Since then, China has become the world’s largest producer of freshwater pearls, producing over 1,500 tons per year (in addition to metric measurements, Japanese units such as kan and momme are sometimes found in the pearl industry) .

Led by pearl pioneer John Latendresse and his wife Chessy, the United States began cultivating freshwater cultured pearls in the mid 1960s. National Geographic magazine featured the American cultured pearl as a commercial product in its August 1985 issue. Tennessee Pearl Farm has become a tourist destination in recent years, but commercial production of freshwater pearls has ceased.

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