What You Might Not Know About Pearls

When you think of pearls, there’s a good chance you might conjure up an image of June Cleaver, the quintessential housewife on Leave It To Beaver, who kept an immaculate home while managing to look immaculate herself in her trademark pearls and high heels. What you likely don’t know about pearls is that most cultured pearls originate in the Mississippi River. Cultured pearls are formed when a small sphere of mollusk shell (“mother of pearl”) is inserted into an oyster by pearl farmers. The vast majority of these “seeds” are taken from mussels that come from the Mississippi River. So, while your pearls were mostly grown in Tahiti, Australia, China or Japan, your pearl’s core is likely “made in the U.S.A.” after all. As for starting price, cultured pearls begin around $50, while natural pearls go for $1,000 at the low end. The most expensive pearl in the world was discovered by a Filipino fisherman in the seas of the Palawan Island. Measuring approximately 26 inches, the gigantic pearl is valued at $100 million.