Pearls are natural gems that from time immemoral charm people’s mind, becoming in the course of time a priceless treasure as to trigger expeditions to find the most legendary and fine varieties.
The “black pearls of the new world” had been discovered by the conqueror Hernan Cortéz in 1533 in that tract of sea which is now called Gulf of California: their particular and exotic beauty made them invaluable treasures as to become the most important exported product of New Spain, exceeding in value even gold and silver, finally reaching the Old World to adorn all the most important real and noble families.
These black marvels were produced by two oysters in particular, the “Panama oyster with black lips” (or Pinctada Mazatlantica), and the “Oyster with rainbow lips” (or Pteria Sterna). The second in particular could create extremely unique pearls with particular iridescences and undertones, different from any other pearl ever found.
However, because of their beauty, these oysters were assaulted by researchers and fishermen, ending this ravage with a “fishing prohibited” established in 1939 to preserve them and avoid their extinction, making and end of the 400 years of the “reign of the pearls” in the Cortéz Sea.
Today the pearls of Cortéz have a medium cultivation in the Gulf of California, born from an accademic project in 1993, carried forward with dedication and constancy, which produces annually 3/4 kilos of pearls and 5000 Mabe pearls with 200.000 specimens and a cultivation cicle of 4 years.