Products of the Sea-Pearls

Products of the Sea-Pearls


  • Products of the Sea-Pearls

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 9]
day after day in the sun with ropes of priceless pearls resting against the
softness of their skins. (2) This is because a pearl deteriorates unless it is
worn. Contact with the body seems to add luster and sheen and life.

A pellet of clay partly coated with nacre taken from a group of
several similar pellets found in an Indian mound of Ohio now rests in the
Field Museum at Chicago. The age of the pellet is unknown; the nacre is
dead. It has no sheen or luster but it is still recognizable as a deteriorated
pearl. The odd part about it, and this is true of others found in this group
is the clay center. It is believed that this clay center means that some
American Indian, in the far distant past, had an inkling of the secrets of
"margaritology," or pearl culture. (2)

The word margaritology is a Greek origin, derived it is claimed,
from oriental sources. (2) This does not prove, however, that the Greeks
had a very extensive knowledge of the science. Strabo, the Greek
historian, and others wrote of the pearl fisheries of their day and
Apollinius, a Greek philosopher, told how pearls were made without the
lengthy process which is used by the oyster.

Pearl fishermen flooded the sea with oil to quiet the waters; then
divers descended and brought up the oysters. A likely specimen,
according to Apollinius, was induced by means of a bit of