Majorica Pearls are imitation pearls made using a secret formula and not to be confused with cultured pearls or South Sea Pearls produced in pearl farms by the Pinctada Maxima oyster.
As the old saying goes "Imitation is the most sincere flattery" and there is no doubt these manufactured pearls are popular because they closely imitate the beauty of natural pearls.
Large quantities of these "pearls" are produced by a factory in Spain using a closely guarded secret formula originally developed by a German immigrant Eduardo Hugo Heusch in the 1890's. A strict quality control system has enabled these jewels to become recognised as the best imitation or faux pearls on the market
Over the centuries many people have tried to duplicate the beauty of natural pearls. Many use a substance called “essence d’orient" or "pearlessence" made with quanine crystals that reflect different wavelengths of light and give fish their natural refflective colours. By coating glass or plastic beads with variations of this substance pearl-like products are created for the cosmetic jewel market.
Natural pearls are produced by mollusks such as snails, whelks and conchs and bivalves (mussels, clams, oysters), both in fresh water and salt water. When an irritant such as a grain of sand lodges in these animals, they cover it with a protective coating to reduce the irritation, forming a pearl.
Pearl farming in the Northern Territory uses natural oysters to produce some of the finest pearls in the world
When you are shopping for jewellery be careful that the items you buy are correctly labeled. While many manmade jewels are quite pretty, they do not achieve the same monetary value of natural jewels such as diamonds, opals or pearls.