It’s that time of year, and what does that mean for Cortez Pearls? It means harvest time!

The Cortez Pearls® are harvested once per calendar year and that is around June to earl July. The pearl oysters are checked on a regular basis to determine just when to harvest. Water temperature also helps decide the optimal harvest date. Harvesting at just the right time means the pearls have their maximum natural luster. This is critically important because these special cultured pearls are never treated in any way.

The Cortez Pearl farm is one of the jewelry industries greatest environmental success stories. I will write more on that in the future, but right now want to talk about how nothing from the harvest process is wasted. When the pearls are harvested they go directly into a bath of fresh water. There are no treatments used. The oysters themselves are sold to local food market and the shells are either used to back the famous Cortez Pearl Mabe pearls or used to cut special mother of pearl pieces. The goal is to make sure the entire product from the harvest is used.

One of the beauties of these pearls is the careful quality control. Enrique & Manuel track the exact size of the implant put in each oyster. When the resulting cultured pearls are harvested, they must be at least 1.8mm large, meaning a nacre thickness of at least 1.8mm. If the pearls have less than 1.8mm thickness they will be rejected. They actually have a ceremony of throwing these pearls back into the ocean at the end of the harvest season.

The Cortez Pearls are the worlds most colorful untreated cultured pearls because they come from the famous rainbow lipped oyster, plus they are harvested at the exact proper time, and if they don’t have the minimum nacre thickness they are cast back to the ocean. This means you get the finest of untreated pearls when buying a Cortez Pearls®

Enjoy a few pictures from this year’s social distancing harvest!