Shinjyu Jewelry Company - Arden Arcade, Sacramento 95825

Pearls, Grown in Water.

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As you have read, pearls come to us “direct from the hand of nature.” They are organic gems, created when a mollusk covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre.

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is a growth of layers of aragonite, platelets, calcium carbonate. The host mollusk produces a substance known as conchiolin that glues the microcrystalline layers around a natural or surgically implanted irritant.

In effect, the mollusk is protecting itself against irritation so that it can continue to full growth. It's not trying to grow a beautiful gem.

The arrangement of the platelets that the forms make the pearl “tough” and resilient even though, technically, it is a soft gem.

The pearl’s strength and resilience is augmented by its beauty. We humans have sensed though the centuries a lesson in such beauty: out of the struggle of each of us, out of pressure, discontent, irritation, and concealment comes a beauty unique to the life of each individual.

Pearls may be thought of as two kinds, depending on their mode of formation: natural pearls and cultured pearls.

A natural pearl is created by both freshwater and saltwater wild mollusks during feeding. This process begins when silt or sand occasionally gets through the natural filters of a mollusk.


By way of comparison, cultured pearls are created by farmed, rather than wild, mollusks. A pearl begins to form after shell beads, most often made from freshwater mussel shell grown in the Mississippi River, are inserted into the the cell lining of the mantel of a pearl mollusk. The mollusk is then returned to the water where it continues to grow.If the Fates co-operate with the farmer, layers of nacre form on the shell bead, transforming into a beautiful pearl.

There are also non-nucleated cultured pearls that are produced by pearl farmers.  No shell bead  in such pearls.

The temperature of the water greatly impacts the rate of nacre accumulation. Yearly thickness may be 0.3 to 1.5 millimeters in warm water - such as those in the South Seas -compared to about 0.09 millimeters in cooler water - such as those surrounding Japan.

As well, the density of the nacre depends upon water temperature. The cooler the water, the more dense the nacre. The more dense the nacre, the better the possibility that the pearl’s luster will be sharp and attractive.

Presently the farmed mollusk is in the water from three to five years before a suitable pearl forms. Unfortunately, these days pearls are harvested in a shorter period of time. A less than suitable pearl is the result of such impatience.


Persian Gulf
United States,
Bay of Bengal
Bay of California
Micronesian islands

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"Jewelry Created Especially for You."