The Chinese were the first to culture freshwater pearls and used their techniques to produce shell mabe type pearls in the shape of a Buddha. The first actual cultured freshwater pearls were produced in Lake Biwa, Japan and the initial production appeared in the 1930’s. The production thrived for almost 50 years and finally began to decline because of pollutants from the farms, resorts and industries around the lake.
The bulk of today’s freshwater pearl production occurs in China. With plentiful and inexpensive labor along with innovative technologies and a huge landmass with countless available lakes, rivers and irrigation ditches China has moved to the forefront of freshwater pearl production. The shapes, luster, and colors of the most recent Chinese production often match an even surpass the original Lake Biwa quality.
Care and Cleaning
Chemicals Reaction: Attacked by many chemicals and all acids, hair spray, perfume, cosmetics, and even acid perspiration can damage nacre.
Ultrasonic Cleaning: Never
Steam cleaning: Never
Warm, Soapy Water: Safe for occasional, thorough cleaning ( if strung, be sure the string is completely dry before wearing). For continued care, wipe cultered pearls with a very soft, clean cloth after each wearing.
Pearls are said to help one see themselves and help improve self-worth. Giving a loved one a gift of pearls is one of the nicest gifts one can give. It allows the wearer to see the love of the person who gave them the pearls.