I listened to a podcast on gemology last night and learned about cultivated pearls. It’s kind of the same thing isn’t it? ( I’m not a pearl person). Do people have the same argument about whether pearls are real?
Also potentially relevant to the discussion is that the value of natural pearls tanked once cultured pearls gained acceptance. It’s quite the parallel— pearls were THE status symbol for generations and then man came up with a way to produce more of them, leading them to be both more widespread and of lesser value. Girls of the future might receive “first diamond” gifts.
There does seem to a resurgence in the appreciation of natural pearls, now 100 years later. But still not to the point you can buy a building with them.
edit: sorry, I tried to link an interesting article about the Pearl market but I cannot get it to embed properly.