About the American Pearl

History of the American Pearl

Japan and China, once the world' leading producers of beautiful pearls, are now facing fierce competition from America. American pearls entered the world spotlight when pollution destroyed Lake Biwa in Japan.

The American Pearl Company has been gathering natural pearls from freshwater mussels in the Tennessee River system since 1960. APC has also been developing a technique to cultivate fancy-shaped pearls for over 20 years.

American pearls are wonderful to work with because they are softer and easier to manipulate than other gemstones.

How a Pearl is formed

A common misconception is that a grain of sand will produce a pearl. However, for a pearl to be produced, the substance must be calcium-based. Pearls are naturally formed when a foreign substance finds its way inside a bivalve (an oyster or a mussel). The bivalve then secretes nacre (an iridescent substance that lines the inside of its shell and forms the outer skin of a pearl) to coat the foreign irritant.


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