Modern pearl farming revolves around advanced hatchery techniques, which allow the selection of parent oysters to breed the most suitable shells for pearling. Mother of pearl oysters are now raised by Atlas, making pearling a beautiful, non-extractive and sustainable business proposition.
In spite of a steady supply of baby oysters, only a few may survive and even fewer will make it through the careful process intended to replicate natural selection. This ensures only the fittest may give birth to the most beautiful pearls.
It takes a pearl technician years of practice and dedication to successfully implant the nuclei and piece of mantle graft (or Saibo in Japanese), that will trigger the formation of a pearl. At Atlas, all our pearl technicians are women because their patience, dexterity and inspiration allows them to consistently deliver the best pearls.
4. PEARL FARMING
After a short recovery period, the seeded oysters are transferred to nutrient rich waters to optimize nacre deposition. It is the regular arrangement of multiple concentric layers of aragonite crystal, held together by a protein bond, that will give each pearl its beauty.
This is the magic moment, when these living gems come to life after 4 to 5 years of cultivation. Each pearl is a tangible testimony to the influence man and nature had over the life of each mother of pearl oyster harvested.
Unlike other gems that require faceting and carving, pearls are natural beauties and do not require additional work beyond gentle cleaning. All Atlas pearls are of natural colour and lustre.
Pearl and MOP (Mother of Pearl shell) bi-products and extractions including protein and powders are produced through strategic partnerships in Tasmania and distributed to a global market.
Once harvested, each pearl is graded according to its value factors or virtues, some of which are obvious such as size, shape and surface quality while others can be subjective and quite elusive, such as shade or shine.
Because each pearl is unique by essence, it sometimes takes thousands of pearls to find a perfect pair. It can take many years to complete a strand.
10. DESIGN & MANUFACTURING
Atlas’ preferred approach to pearl jewellery is to design around each pearl’s unique personality.
Basic model making and production capabilities available in-house, with most gold and silver making being produced in Bali
In-house resources ranging from visual, online, PR, media and event management spread across Australia and Indonesia.
Supply of loose pearls through private auctions to selected pearl houses, whose role is to consolidate multiple harvests before going to market.
Offer matching, strands and pearl jewellery to key jewellery manufacturers and retailers. Provide bulk pearl extracts to a diverse range of industries.
Deliver to the end consumer the Atlas story and values in the form of finished products.