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Harvesting the elusive golden pearl in Philippines (29 photos)

Jewelmer is the only pearl producer in the world that has successfully produced pearls with a rich, natural golden color. Through decades of research and biotechnology, Jewelmer was able to perfect the breeding process that produces gold-lipped Pinctada maxima pearl oysters capable of growing large, lustrous, golden pearls. This deep, rich color can only be found in South Sea pearls produced in the Philippines.

Pearls are cultured by transplanting a tiny piece of mantle tissue of an oyster shell into a the shell of a young oyster. This graft forms a pearl sac and precipitate calcium carbonate into this pocket. Over time, this grows into a pearl. It takes 2 to 5 years for a pearl to mature. "Cultivation of pearls is very time-consuming process," explains Jacques Branellec, managing director of Jewelmer. "Any change in temperature and water conditions can affect the oysters. For 38 years I have been in cultivation of pearls, but I’m always learning something new.” [Jewelmer.com]

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