Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Types of Oysters

South Sea Cultured Pearls- Pinctada maxima: Produces 1 pearl pear shell.
Black Tahitian Cultured Pearls- Pinctada margaritifera: Produces 1 pearl per shell.
Akoya Cultued Pearls- Pinctada fucata martensii: Produces an average of 4-5 pearls per shell.
Freshwater Cultured Pearls- Grown in varieties of freshwater mussels. Produces up to 100 pearls per shell.

Source: Paspaley

1 comment:

The Pearl Professor said...

I think this needs a slight edit.

P. max and P. marg only produce one beaded pearl at a time, but can be grafted several times throughout their lifetime. The reason I point this out is because freshwater mussels can also produce multiple harvests. That is the only way a single shell can reach 100 pearls as reported on Paspaley's site. Current first production of a H. cumingi shell maxes out at 32.

Akoya shell produce anywhere from one to five, but five is rare, and only when the beads are very, very small (producing 4 mm-ish pearls).

For the most part, two beads are used. One is slightly smaller than the other. If a large bead is used (producing 9 mm+ pearls), only a single bead is implanted.