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Products of the Sea-Pearls

Products of the Sea-Pearls

Title

  • Products of the Sea-Pearls

Published Date

  • published 1940

Transcript

PRODUCTS OF THE SEA-PEARLS

It was a little remembered Chinaman, one Ye-jin-Yang, who first
learned how pearls were made. That was in the thirteenth century and
today, near the city of Teh-tsing, there are several villages whose
inhabitants still use Ye-jin-Yan's old methods to induce the growth of
pearls in river mussels. (1) Since then Baron Mikimoto, of Japan,
devised a better way of producing what are known as "culture" pearls
and, in America, La Place Bostwick has experimented with various
mollusks very successfully. At Key West one of the queen conchs, with
which he was experimenting, produced a gem valued at $3,000. (2)

Before the days of cultured pearls men obtained natural pearls
from mussels and oysters. Because of their great beauty, pearls were
highly esteemed even from the very earliest times and by people in
widely separated countries. Columbus found that pearl fishing was one
of the occupations of the inhabitants of the New World. (1) The gold-
smiths of Paris, in 1355, made rulings which mentioned pearls from
Scotland. Pearls were used to adorn a breast plate which Julius Caesar
dedicated to Venus Genetrix and some writers believe that the Romans
may have been thinking about pearl treasures when they invaded Britain.
(1) (4: p. 389)