EDISON PEARLS, THE REVOLUTION OF FRESHWATER PEARLS.
If you like pearls, you probably already know about 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 aimed at competing with the famous and expensive, pearls of the South Sea , or as we know them in Spain, Australian.
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, they are actually cored freshwater pearls.
To better understand where these types of pearls come from, we must know a little their history:
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, producers first in Japan and later in China experimented with trying to produce large, perfectly round pearls by inserting a core just as one would culture saltwater pearls, but with little success.
However, in the late 1990s, Chinese researchers began importing Biwa mussels from Japan and mixing them with the triangular mussel from China. Thus they managed to create a hybrid known by the English name of "Leisure Mussel"
With this new mussel, they began to insert hard nuclei, instead of in the mantle, into the mussel's body, 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 brilliance.
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, and in a few cases can measure more than 20 mm in diameter.
This is possible because only one nucleus is inserted into the mussel at a time and the pearl is allowed to grow longer.
Edison pearls come in a 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 for a medium sized 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. Within the freshwater pearls, they are usually the ones that most frequently reach high numbers. 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 forms, offering the possibility of creating original designs and combining colors to create unique blends.
So, if you've always wanted a pair of large round pearl earrings or necklace but it's out of your budget, Edison pearls could be an ideal choice. These pearls have become the new standard for cultured freshwater pearls due to their high value for money.