April 21, 2017 Lauren Dibble 0Comment

harvest your own pearls

This past March was my birthday. Not a very notable one. 32 is just old enough to forget how old you are, and just young enough that your husband feels obligated to get you something. Don’t get me wrong, Hubby has done a great job in the past on my presents, but now that we have kids, we’re all about them.

This year, I found an article online about another gentleman who bought his girlfriend a very unique gift for her birthday. I mentioned it to hubby and it took it from there.

Naturally pearls are created when an oyster suffers some sort of damage, or is the victim of a parasite. The pearl’s defense mechanism is to produce more “nacre”, or mother-of-pearl, to surround the damage or offending parasite and this nacre cyst is the pearl.

Cultured pearls are created by introducing a bit of donor oyster shell into the host, who views this piece of shell as a parasite. It then encapsulates it with nacre and a pearl is formed!

The Akoya oysters hubby found online have been given at least a year to develop their pearls. The company pulls them fresh from the water, packages them individually before shipping them to you.

Harvest your own pearls
Harvest your own pearls

The oysters were so fresh, they were still alive and still had fresh water inside their bag.

Harvest your own pearls
Harvest your own pearls

I had the best luck getting into them using a Flathead screwdriver. Once you pry the screwdriver end into the shell, work it down to the base of the oyster to release the muscles there. Once you pry the muscles open, they relax and the shell opens up willingly. Then you have to fish around in the flesh of the oyster to find the pearl.

Pearl
Pearl

NOTE: do this outside! They’re fresh, but they’re still stinky. And use better hand protection than I did. If you have an oyster shucking glove, use that!

Harvest your own pearls
Harvest your own pearls

According to tradition, white pearls bring health, pink pearls bring love, purple pearls bring wisdom and black bring success. I went ahead and got all of them, just to be safe!

These pearls are an awesome, unique gift for birthdays or Mother’s Day. On top of being able to be a part of the process of harvesting your own pearls, Amazon sells pearl cages to create beautiful jewelry out of your new pearls!


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