Friday, December 11, 2009


Nov. 30 – Blue pearls

And it was time to go shopping, again! We learned about blue pearls, which are cultured in a type of abalone that only lives in the cold waters around New Zealand. The Maoris call it Paua. While the pearls are very beautiful, they are also very expensive because there are only 10,000 abalone harvested each year. Then each one has to be handled individually to seed the pearl. They are then bundled into big drums, fed seaweed for several years and then the pearls are harvested. Out of the original 10,000, perhaps 1,000 are of gem quality. And harvesting kills the abalone, so more must be harvested from the wild. The least expensive pearls are $250.00 and more for a one pearl pendant. The highest grade pearls are called Eyris pearls and are set in gold or platinum. Guess how much those are? Most are $2,000-$3,000 range. Needless to say, I didn't buy any blue pearls, but did buy some lovely jewelry made from abalone shell.

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