Since many centuries China praises herself with the production of beautiful pearls which, year after year, improve their quality and beauty, giving the final proof of the extraordinary abilities of the chinese manufacturers. And one more time they don’t fail, introducing a new mussel in their production.
In the latest years the freshwater pearl production has gone through a great improvement in size, shape and color, gaining a substantial growth in the production too. But where do these improvements come from?
Although the effective use of this new mussel began only few years ago, it is already responsible of the 30% of the total harvest: known under the name of “pond butterfly mussel” (or ikecho) the Hyriopsis schlegeli is none other than the Biwa mussel, which produces the namesake pearls and was nominated for the first time in a scientific journal for its high pearling potential along with its longevity and the capacity of creating better pearls.
But chinese researchers went far more than that, crossing the Biwa specimen with the triangular mussel – commonly used fo the nucleation and production of pearls – giving birth to a new hybrid which perfectly adapts to the needs of the colture, providing the perfect features to make the production easier to manage. Along with this introduction we see the birth of a new type of pearl too, the CBSB.
This pearl – whose acronyme means “coin-bead/spherical bead” – is also called “fireball” because of the particular structure which has a nacreic concrection similar to a comet tail, making it partly smooth and round and partly irregular and compressed.