The Guaymas Sea holds pearly secrets of precious colors.
Did you know that Mexican pearls are one of the most sought-after gems in the world? In Guaymas, Sonora, very good quality pearl jewelry is produced, despite the fact that its production is not massive as in other countries.
In Japan , 14 tons are produced annually , in China 1,800 tons of river pearls , while in Mexico ( Sonora) , around 4 thousand sea pearls are produced each year .
In Guaymas, there is the Perlas del Mar de Cortez farm (you read that correctly, it is written with a zeta to differentiate it from the sea of the same name where they are grown).
This farm, which is the only one of its kind in Latin America, emerged as a student project in 1991, in which three students decided to produce pearls in the Sea of Cortez using the nacar shell or Ptery esterna, an idea that, by the way, everyone thought impossible.
Currently, Pearls of the Sea of Cortez has its annual harvest every June, but the production process lasts four years.
Naturally mined pearls
There are pearl farms in the world that produce from 11 to 50 tons under chemical and physical processes due to the global demand for gems.
Although, according to some sources, people prefer those pearls whose process is the most similar to the traditional method, that is, that are extracted from the bottom of the sea in a natural way, as has been the millenary tradition of this activity.
Experts from the Mar de Cortez farm explain that millions of eggs are released into the sea so that they are fertilized and in this way, the oysters can reproduce.
On the farm, collecting nets are released so that the microscopic oysters adhere as if they were a reef on which they can begin their growth process. After a few days, each one is put in a special mesh for its growth and care from predators.
When they are growing, the oysters are cleaned one by one to prevent a parasite from adhering to them that forms a kind of calcification on the upper part and this affects their growth.
The growth of the oysters lasts two years so that they can be implanted through a surgical process. Then, they are returned to the sea for another year and a half to cover the graft of thousands of layers of mother of pearl.
The longer the oyster is grafted, the thicker and better quality the pearl will be, farm experts say.
What are the Pearls of the Sea of Cortez like?
Their iridescent tonalities, as well as their size, makes them better valued in the market. Once the pearl is extracted, the oyster shell is sold like the meat of the oyster, since it is considered a culinary delicacy.
Each pearl is unique
Its price depends on the size and color of the pearls, which are used to make various jewelry designs such as earrings, rings, and necklaces.
Pearls that do not meet the quality of sale are returned to the sea, each beginning of harvest as a ritual, to have good results, in addition to being a natural recycling.
If you are interested in more information, consult the Cortez Pearl Official site.