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Climate change and pearls

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Mar 2, 2009
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If you needed any more reasons to try to reduce carbon footprints and/or to justify buying more pearls, it does seem that akoya oysters and other saltwater pearl oysters are sensitive to warming oceans and acidification.

I’ve heard murmurs of fine and large akoya and south sea pearls rising in price which makes sense if oyster health is suffering. As one of the only gems that require life to create, I wouldn’t be surprised if their quality and availability is sensitive to the state of the ecology they’re in.

 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 3, 2013
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565
Akoya oyster mortality was rising rapidly in Vietnam when I was there, due, it was thought, to rising sea temperatures.
In discussion the solutions were move the shells deeper and cooler, move the farm to cooler waters or change species
 

Gemstonesrock

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
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160
@MakingTheGrade I read that in the latter half of 2020 there was a mysterious death of over 20 million Akoya pearl oysters in Japan and as a result we can expect rising prices and difficulty in sourcing in the near term. It absolutely was a factor that pushed me to finally invest in a top quality strand of akoyas. I hope the deaths don't continue, but if climate change is the reason, this is going to be a bigger problem!
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
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Oysters seem to me to be very vaunarable to disease
Im talking about observations over a life time of enjoying bluff oysters but i would imangine all shell fish/ molluscs would be similar
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
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Yes, D and D. Molluscs have been around for eons so their evolutionary niches are very narrow and specialised. A little too much salinity, or a little too low..too hot, too cool by a couple of degrees and plouf: dead. At least that specific species. There will be another mollusc species which just loves the changed environment.
Basically they are a bit like sheep, just hanging around looking for any old reason to die.
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I’ve heard mollusks can be like the canaries of the water world, often being first to get ill or die in response to something changing or toxins. I also heard of the big pearl die off a few years ago, I think ultimately thought to be an infectious agent I think? Either way it certainly affected current availability of larger akoya (size = length of time grown). My ombré strand was mostly priced in relation to the 10mm akoya in them that are in short supply.
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 13, 2019
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3,035
Really sad. I am not surprised to read this. There are soooo many "specialists" in oceans that will be ravaged over decades to come.

One of my life goals was to dive the Great Barrier Reef but most of the best dive spots are now just a graveyard of bleached coral.

I will take very good care of my modest pearl collection, then!
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
12,419
Yes, D and D. Molluscs have been around for eons so their evolutionary niches are very narrow and specialised. A little too much salinity, or a little too low..too hot, too cool by a couple of degrees and plouf: dead. At least that specific species. There will be another mollusc species which just loves the changed environment.
Basically they are a bit like sheep, just hanging around looking for any old reason to die.

Not meaning to make a joke out of the decline of a species .....but they both taste good ..... (sheep and oysters)

Well yes i know pearl oysters arnt for eating
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 3, 2013
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565
To me a raw oyster tasted like a salt water jelly. Not a lot of point. But very lightly cooked adductor muscle. YUM
 
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