The Story of American River Pearls
Natural American pearls are among the oldest and rarest of universal gems. These pearls are found in many different species of mussels in our American rivers and lakes. The Mississippi River is known to have gifted the world with some of the rarest of gems. We have personally sold three pearls to the Royal Family in England. One drop pearl was used in the Queen Mothers's brooch, another for Queen Elizabeth and the largest button pearl ever acquired by our company was used in Princess Diana's ring.
Pearls, like many gems come in a variety of colors, white being the most common. Other colors: gold, pink, cream, blue, purple, and green are very rare. Different locations in the shell form the variety of shapes. Those along the lip are round and the largest ones are the rarest. Wing shaped pearls form along the back of the shell, and irregular or "baroque" pearls form in the heel of the shell. The brighter the luster, the more valuable it makes the pearl. A good sized baroque pearl will occur every one hundred to two hundred clams, while a good sized natural round pearl occurs only about once in 25 to 50 thousand clams.
The harvest of these beautiful natural pearls has been largely shut down on most American rivers due to the invasion of zebra mussels from Europe. Consequently, these natural pearls will become more and more rare and valuable as time goes on.
We own one of the largest collections of natural American pearls and specialize in designing jewelry with these beautiful gems. We are proud that our natural pearls have been sold around the world to the finest jewelers and numerous individuals.