There is no doubt. If you know Majorca, even if it’s just to prospect the island for your next trip, you must have heard (or read) about Majorica and its famous pearls. But, did you know that it is possible to know how they are made, and to see part of the process? It is at your fingertips to visit the Perlas Majorica store in Manacor, located very close to one of its production factories.
Where do the pearls come from?
In the past, finding a pearl was the result of chance. In view of their prices, people began to find alternatives a little more affordable. In the seventeenth century a rose factory in Paris discovered that the viscous material of fish scales could be used to set pieces of glass. This gave them a certain brilliance as jewelers. Then, in the nineteenth century, the Japanese invented what is considered the cultural jewelry that would lead us to an exclusive and high practice… pearl jewelry.
However, there was a real step forward in achieving quality pearls at a reasonable price, when a century ago, a German engineer emigrated to France, found something really important. Eduard Hugo Heusch, worked in Paris in the process of manufacturing artificial pearls and finally founded a company that later moved to Manacor in Mallorca to produce his Majorica pearls.
In the production of a pearl the polymerization process is used. First, a tiny artificial heart consisting of glass, seashell or opaque white glass is held in a special holder. Afterwards, this core is immersed in a mixture of the mother-of-pearl. Then it is removed, dried and re-immersed again up to 40 times. In each of these operations, the pearl is covered with extremely thin layers, which are heated with gas fire so that the molecules of the sea water mix fused to form more extensive molecules.
Despite its name, the mother-of-pearl does not consist of crushed nacre, but it consists of small particles of marine animals, such as sand mussels or fish scales, as used by rosary makers more than 200 years ago. Finally, the pearl is polished and covered with a special varnish to be welded. Once finished, the Majorica pearls offer a 10-year guarantee, certifying for their high quality. The colored minerals can also be added to the bath to give the pearls a different color.
The surface is smooth and hard. These cultured pearls are more robust than natural pearls so neither makeup, perfume, sweat, nor heat or cold can damage them. In fact, only an expert can explain the difference between a natural pearl and the Majorcan pearl.
At Hotel Palladium Palma we can help you organize your visit to the Majorica factory in Manacor, from Palma de Mallorca. If you like jewelry it will be really interesting!
Photo credits: organizotuviaje.com, www.abc-mallorca.es, majorica.es, www.quevisitarenmallorca.com