PEARLS

Not your grandmother's pearls...

The Japanese oyster, the Akoya, was diseased and virtually destroyed several years ago. Because of this, the Chinese quickly found several faster growing oyster varieties to make up for the lack of Japanese pearls available. Since they are plentiful, Chinese pearls are budget and fashion friendly. Improved farming and harvesting techniques are able to produce many shapes, sizes, and colors of pearls. While the Japanese pearl is still the rarest and most sought after, not to mention the most expensive, pearls from other areas of the world such as the South Seas and Tahiti are treasures for any jewelry collector. Large golden, white, or black pearls are made into strands or single drops with earrings to match. Douglas R. Harris, Jewelers carries a large selection of pearls and is well educated on the differences.