The gulf of California in Mexico is where the world’s first commercial pearl oyster farm was started in 1893 by Dr. Vivés. The farm was very successful at collecting “spat” (baby oysters), rearing and developing the oysters for several years, and then harvesting them. The company’s main product was mother-of-pearl shell, but also produced many natural pearls (an estimated 9-14% of the oysters grew natural pearls.) Dr. Vivés did not want to produce a substitute for the natural pearl, so never pursued any cultured pearling techniques. In 1914 the Mexican revolution saw the end of the farm.
Today pearls from the oyster Pteria Sterna are nucleated and farmed like other pearl producing oysters. Grow out period is 2 years and hence nacre thickness is in the 2mm+ range. Keshi pearls are also found at harvest. The oysters are not reseeded as they only live to around 7 years. Mabe pearls are also grown.
Also known as New World Black Pearls producing a beautiful range of natural colours. The oyster lives in the eastern pacific from Baja California to Peru.