Last year to further my obsession (and well education) of pearls I took a course to become a pearl specialist…And while completing the course work, I read about these interesting pearls from the Rainbow-lipped oyster in the Sea of Cortez. I decided at the end of the course my goal was to have as many different ‘types’ of pearls as possible in the gallery. SO, I set out on a mission to find Sea of Cortez pearls and did so in June 2018 at the Columbia Gem House booth at the Las Vegas Jewelry Show! While I was studying their collection of pearls, one of their owners said ‘We should go down to Mexico and visit the farm’. Well….don’t invite me to Mexico if you do not mean it! LOL
Fast forward a year… And last month I had the privilege of traveling with three other jewelry industry gals to Guaymas, Mexico to Granja de Perlas del Mar de Cortez (Cortez Pearl Farm). If you follow me at all on social media or have been to the gallery you KNOW I am obsessed with pearls so to say I was excited was an understatement! We were hosted by two of the original pearl farm founders Enrique Arizmendi and Douglas McLaurin along with their Company Manager, Guillermo Soberon PhD.
Our first day at the farm we hopped in boats, went out into the middle of the ‘farm’ and released the pearls that did not meet quality standards back to the sea to honor the ocean and bless the next years growth.
We had a wonderful lesson from Douglas, Enrique & Guillermo on the growth of the oyster and pearl….as well as the history of their work to bring back a once nearly depleted species from the Sea of Cortez. They were gracious enough to let us ‘help’ with the harvest and there is something about bringing home a pearl that you literally ‘squeezed from an oyster’.
I hope you enjoy the photos of our journey to the ONLY Marine pearl farm in the Americas. The hardest part was trying to decide what to bring home! Guaymas was a great place to visit with amazing seafood!!!
Stop in or email to see the pearls that came back to Kentucky!
Till next time.
(PS. More photos below)
This is a young oyster (about an inch long) and is called spat.
Pearl farming is no easy task...these guys work year round cleaning the shells from barnacles, sponges, etc...and making sure the pots, nets and lines are all in working order!
We decided we needed to visit the oysters. haha
Natural hinge pearls!!!
My new friend Douglas!!!