Thursday, 12 November 2009

A Cultured Queen Conch

Conch Pearls: The Pink Pearls

Conch pearls (pronounced "konk") contain no nacre, so technically they are not actually pearls at all. Instead, the gems are calcareous concretions, similar to kidney stones in humans. They are produced by the Queen conch mollusk (Strombus gigas), which lives primarily in the Caribbean near southern Florida. Since the meat of the Queen conch is prized as food, it is generally harvested by fishermen, rather than being sought for its pearls. The pearls tend to be "by-products" of the harvest, discovered by the fishermen as they clean their catch. Hence it is quite a rare occurrence maybe 1 in 10,000 queen conch contains one of these pretty pink pearl. No one has yet devised a method for culturing conch pearls until November of 2009. A first break through (good or bad?) by scientists from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI)."

"Perhaps the most significant outcome from our research is that the technique we have developed does not require sacrificing the conch in the process," said Davis. "The 100 percent survival rate of queen conch after seeding and the fact that it will produce another pearl after the first pearl is harvested will make this culturing process more efficient and environmentally sustainable for commercial application."

And yet another piece of nature being cultivated.http://www.modernjeweler.com/images/article/1175355692062_3_ConchPearl_PearlParadise.jpg

In the scietist's words: "Perhaps the most significant outcome from our research is that the technique we have developed does not require sacrificing the conch in the process," said Davis. "The 100 percent survival rate of queen conch after seeding and the fact that it will produce another pearl after the first pearl is harvested will make this culturing process more efficient and environmentally sustainable for commercial application."

But stilll.....http://www.caribbeanseapearls.com/pearlsondock_LARGE.jpg

Enjoy the natural Pink Conch here! Soon there will be commercial pieces in the market and it is going to be tough to separate a natural vs. a cultured one.

THink i should go hunt down this book. Such Beauty.... http://www.skira.net/covers/8861300132.jpg

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