Mikimoto. Conch Earrings. Earrings with Conch pearls with 2.96ct of diamonds, set in 18k white gold. © 2016 Mikimoto
Mikimoto. Conch pearl necklace with diamonds. © 2016 Mikimoto
The tale of ‘The Pink Pearl’ is sure to be an inspiration to all who love both the pearl and the sea. All Conch pearls are natural; attempts to culture them have failed thus far, as a result it remains one of the rarest pearls in the world.
The Queen conch or Pink conch also known as ‘lambi’ in the French Caribbean is a large snail that lives in waters that are between one and thirty metres deep in the Caribbean sea. The conch was always treasured as a valuable food source by local fisherman; it was only later on that people started to realise the hidden beauty that might lie within its large and mysterious spiral shell.
They are harvested by teams of fisherman in search of the illusive flamingo pink pearl. The odds of finding an acceptable pearl are one in every 10,000 – 20,000 shells collected.
An average female conch must lay two million eggs to produce one offspring that survives into adult age. They reach full adult size in four years and can grow to thirty centimetres in length and weigh up to three kilograms.
Conch pearls have a symmetrical oval shape and often a subtle, elegant, not to mention famous pink colour. Not composed of nacre like pearls from oysters, they exhibit a porcellaneous appearance that creates a unique and distinctive shimmering appeal. The highest quality Conch pearls are characterised by a distinctive ‘flame structure’ that gives the appearance of a fire burning on the surface – a wonder that truly has to be seen to be believed.