Other reading

Sometimes, an article published long ago could benefit a majority even today, and that is Robert Crowningshield's in the Gems and Gemology Spring 1962 issue.  Titled "Freshwater Pearls", it covers a broad spectrum of pearl knowledge, which most of his GIA colleagues apparently did not know.  

My sister, who became a FGA and GG in the early 1970's, summed up the GIA pearl course as "a joke". In the 1990's, a GIA writer defended the oxymoron "tissue nucleated".  But most of all, the people in charge of marketing akoya pearls hailed perfect shape and unnatural colors as the most important advantages, forcing the industry to produce mainly pearls with thin nacre and weakened by bleaching, in a word rubbish for decades.

Please read excerpts from this article here.

While the history of ocean pearl cultivation is fairly well known, its freshwater counterpart is not. Kyoshi Yoneguchi, presently the only man cultivating freshwater pearls in Japan, was instrumental in finding and translating the "Chronology of Freshwater Pearl Cultivation in Japan" ranging from the 1904 to 1993.   His biographical sketch is available here.


With his help, I have annotated the Chronology with comments, the odd correction of a detail, and extended it further from what I have learned from him, and earlier from Kazuhisa Yanase. The Chronology affirms what I knew was occurring at the time, re-export of Chinese pearls from Japan, but I have to admit I was flabbergasted by the statistics it gives. Read it here.