Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pearls of Knowledge Or Knowledge of Pearls?

Last night I attended the August 2012 meeting of the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club. I had missed most of the meeting this year and last so it was not to reconnect to my SLO rockhounding "peeps". This month's program was a presentation by San Luis Obispo resident Pat Howard Harkness and her son Mason. Pat is a partner along with her son in her brother's Tahitian black pearl production and import business based in Tahiti, French Polynesia. The two of them gave an interesting and instructive presentation which included a display of a variety of their pearls (sizes, colors, shapes, etc.) in various forms from individual beads to bead strands to finished jewelry. The duo also explained the process by which these pearls are cultured inside oysters in underwater farms 100 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The club much enjoyed and appreciated the program which was made possible by member Leslie Nelson. Anecdote of the day: pearls are one of several biogenic gemstones; others include amber and ammolite and ivory.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

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