Tuesday, 9 December 2008

From Bead to Pearl in Malaysia

Quality shell beads imported from the Mississippi River bed in America that will be inserted into the oysters as a nucleus for the pearls to form.

At the seeding station, a skilled grafter cuts an incision on the oyster with a scalpel and inserts a shell bead as well as a small piece of mantle tissue from donor native oysters.

The nylon nets containing the seeded oysters are strung from wooden rafts and placed over calm, sheltered waters.

The oysters are hauled up regularly for cleaning so that barnacles, algae and parasites can be scraped from their shells before being re-submerged.

After four to six years, upon maturity, the oysters are brought up fro harvesting at the Silumpat Selatan (at Southern part of Malaysia) station.

Workers deftly split open the two halves of an oyster with a knife and pries the shells apart to gather the pearl inside.

...the reveal a perfectly formed pearl. This will be sold but inferior pearls will cast into the sea.

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