EDISON PEARLS, THE REVOLUTION OF FRESHWATER PEARLS.
If you're into pearls, you're probably already familiar with traditional freshwater pearls, but you probably haven't heard of Edison pearls yet.
These are freshwater pearls created using completely innovative cultivation processes, which have hit the market relatively recently, first being offered to dealers at the Hong Kong International Jewelery Fair in 2014.
These pearls are the latest in a long line of experiments with freshwater pearls that aim to compete with the famous and expensive, south sea pearls, or as we know them in Spain, Australians.
They are known as Edison pearls because one of the most famous producers decided to call them by this name, but it is only a brand name, really. They are freshwater pearls with a nucleus..
To better understand where these types of pearls come from, we must know a little his story:
Traditionally, freshwater pearls have been produced by inserting a fragment of donor tissue into the outer mantle of mussels. This gives rise to the freshwater pearls that we already know. With this method, a single mussel can produce up to 30 pearls, but only a small percentage of good quality round pearls are obtained and it is difficult to find them in large sizes.
For years, growers first in Japan and later in China experimented with trying to produce large, perfectly round pearls by inserting a nucleus as is done to grow saltwater pearls, but with little success.
However, in the late 90s, Chinese researchers began importing Biwa mussels from Japan and mixing them with triangle mussels from China. Thus they managed to create a hybrid known by the English name of "Leisure Mussel"
With this new mussel, they began to introduce hard nuclei, instead of the mantle, into the body of the mussel, as is done with other saltwater mussels, and the experiment worked.
These pearls attracted a lot of attention due to their large size and almost round shape, intense colors and extraordinary shine.
What makes Edison Pearls so special?
Its size is considerably larger than the rest of freshwater pearls, since the average size of Edison pearls ranges between 11 and 16 mm, being able to measure in a few cases more than 20 mm in diameter.
This is possible because only one core is inserted into the mussel at a time and the pearl is allowed to grow longer.
Edison pearls come in a wide variety of colors, including white, pink, metallic cream, lavender, gold, and deep purple.
The thickness of the nacre of the pearl
The thickness is similar to that of South Sea pearls, approximately 2-3,5mm in a medium size pearl.
Edison pearls are much more affordable than most saltwater pearls with these characteristics, although they are prized and marketed as high-end pearls for their appearance and quality. Among freshwater pearls, they are usually the ones that most frequently reach high figures. However, it is the first time that pearls with qualities similar to those of the South Sea are available to everyone. Although we must bear in mind that its price varies depending on the quality, the more round, shiny and smooth the higher its price.
Although we have talked about their almost perfect round shapes, Edison pearls are also found in baroque shapes, offering the possibility of creating original designs and combining colors to create unique mixtures.
So, if you've always wanted a large round pearl necklace or earrings but the price was way out of your budget, Edison pearls could be an ideal choice. These pearls have become the new standard for freshwater cultured pearls due to their high value for money.