Where do they come from?
The majority of white South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwest coast of Australia. Pearls of the golden variety are also produced primarily in the Philippines and Indonesia - two countries that are quickly becoming the leaders in the finest golden South Sea pearl production.
Although the majority of South Sea pearl oysters in Australia are collected in the wild with hatchery-bred oysters to supplement, in other areas the opposite is true. In both cases, wild oysters are mixed with the hatchery stock to keep the supply healthy and plentiful, and all sources are closely monitored by government organizations to guarantee their long-term well being.
Adding to their mystique is a colorful past, beginning at the end of the 19th century. In the 1850's, the rough-and-tumble city of Broome, on the northwest coast of Australia, fast became the commercial center for South Sea pearls, despite its seedy reputation. Large-scale commercial pearl culturing began in earnest during the 1950's and has grown steadily since. Today, Broome still dominates the white South Sea pearling industry and has become a beautiful, modern city reflecting the high-tech nature of the business.