Our photo report about buying pearls at Hawaii:
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Travelling around Hawaiian Islands we saw the Maui Divers Jewelry, Island Pearls, Pick-a-Pearl stores everywhere.
Maui Divers Jewelry opened 52 years ago in Lahaina, Maui, offering underwater excursions to island visitors. Fateful diving expedition in the deep waters off the Molokai Channel led to the discovery of Hawaiian black coral jewelry as in 1958. Intrigued by the beauty of this rare ocean treasure, Maui Divers began designing, manufacturing and selling Hawaiian black coral jewelry in 1959.
Maui Divers has store-within-store concessions in 10 Hilo Hattie stores throught Hawaii, and on the U.S. Mainland, in San Francisco.
We dropped by Hilo Hattie store once and were fascinated by the way how they were selling the pearls. Watch our photo report above.
Watch video: Hilo Hattie Pearl Find
By the way, picking up any pearl from the water with the long tongs and delivering it to the salesgirl who opened it up for you in front of your eyes, it is the easiest thing to do. Oh, what a surprise! One can see two pearls sitting together in one shell.
“Ah!”, I thought to myself,”I am lucky to have two pearls in one shell”.
“Congratulations!”, smiled at me the Hattie salesgirl,”It’s very rare to hunt two pearls in one “. She read my thoughts and pronounced them aloud. “O’key”, I agreed quickly. “one is for me, one-for my daughter”.
Now the difficult task began-to choose a design. The pearls must be set into the pendulum.But what shape and configuration, made of what material? Some kind of Hawaiian style: Hula skirt? Lei design?
Definitely, floral lei.
While the girl was doing her job, I thought of pearls themselves. What are they?
Watch video: Pearl Growth Process
Natural pearls are nearly 100% calcium carbonate and conchie, it is consedered that natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk, and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, being irritated by the intruder, forms a pearl sac of external mantle tissue cells and secretes the calcium carbonate and conchie to cover the irritant. The secretion process is repeated many times up to 2 years, thus producing a pearl. Natural pearls come in many shapes, with perfectly round ones being comparatively rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of those that are currently sold. Imitation and fake pearls are also widely sold.
Meanwhile the process of buying the pearls was over. I would say:” The entertaining process”.
How to tell if a pearl is real or a fake, just rub a fake pearl or the other one against your teeth and one that feels rough is real one. It is very simple to do as two by two.
2 Thoughts on “Pearls, Pearls, Pearls! (Around Hawaii)”
I visited a Hilo Hattie a few years back and voluntarily engaged the pick-a-pearl game, fully knowing that it was a gimmick. I love the psychology behind marketing gimmicks, though, so I pay to play with no regrets. 15 bucks to watch the show is pretty cheap considering what I paid to fly in. I wasn’t going to miss this.
So, the unsettlingly attractive jewelry counter attendant picked up an oyster and cracked it open, revealing a little pearl. She commented on how nice it was and proceeded to clean it with a palm full of salt.
Then, she offered to mount it in any number of charming pendants. I said “no way” I have never had a “real” pearl and I handed over my 15 bucks and asked for my unmodified pearl. That was kind of an uphill battle, but finally, she surrendered my little treasure.
I then took a little time to examine the pearl and I came to the conclusion that there is no way on Earth this could be a real pearl because it is unnaturally perfect in its spherical shape. I put it in a metal bowl and swished it around and it barely makes a whisper of a sound. I did the tooth thing, and it feels like there is a layer of baking soda between the pearl and my tooth, so the roughness is there, but I think that could be simulated. I’m not sure. The iridescence is phenomenal, and it really is a beautiful item.
I do believe I have a fake pearl. It is not responsible for me to accuse Hilo Hattie of a sleight-of-hand trick, but there is no way that a cultured pearl of this quality is going to sell for 15 bucks. Cultured pearls are a pain in the rear to make. I think the pearl makes a great conversation piece, though. Perhaps I will take it to a jeweler, someday. I don’t really want to put more money onto a fancy piece of glass.
I did have fun with it, however.
Thanks for your comment. It’s interesting that what you’ve told.