The conch natural pearl is one of the rarest pearls in the world. Its creation is due to a pure chance of nature. Every year at the most 2000 — 3000 conch pearls are fished from the flat waters around the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas, the Yucatans and the Antilles islands. Only 15 — 20% are suitable for making jewellery.All previous attempts at cultivating them have failed because the Strombus Gigas sea snail that produces this pearl is extremely sensitive. The complicated spiral form of the snail shell means that it is not possible to reach the pearl-forming part without endangering the life of the animal.
Photographs courtesy Glenn Schwendinger
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San Pedro Daily, Tony Rath's "Images of Belize"