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No 618 Steinbach Nutcracker Pearl Fisherman

Pearl Fisherman-A couple of years ago, I returned from Japan with several tins of pearl-oyster provisions. The intended recipients of these gifts opened them with the eagerness of treasure hunters. Of course, I knew that there was a pearl inside each one because each oyster is Xrayed to make sure there’s a pearl inside before it is canned in the tin. Nevertheless, each recipient’s luck was different — some received larger pearls, others received smaller ones. There are freshwater and ocean water pearls. Mikimoto (1858 — 1954) of Japan cultivated a large volume of the ocean water variety. The pearl-oyster is injected with a tiny foreign substance. This foreign substance acts as a kind of irritant within the oyster stimulating it to produce a coating or nacre around the foreign substance which eventually becomes the pearl. Depending on its size, it can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years until a pearl has fully reached maturity. 

Pearl-fishermen bring up the mature oyster from a depth of 65 to 80 feet. They dive down often, stay down for about a minute or more with a heavy stone tied to their foot and are equipped with nothing more than a knife, a basket and a net. 

Their harvestc takes place only in the months of March and April. The pearls are then assorted according to size and color. Their lustrous iridescence brings health, happiness and good fortune to their owners!


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