Scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute used proprietary seeding techniques to bethe first to produce beaded (nucleated) and non-beaded cultured pearls from the queen conch.
With less than two years of research and experimentation, Drs. Héctor Acosta-Salmón and Megan Davis, co-inventors, have produced more than 200 cultured pearls using the techniques they developed. Prior to this breakthrough, no high-quality queen conch pearl had been cultured.
Previous efforts to culture queen conch pearls were unsuccessful, probably because of the animal’s sensitivity to traditional pearl seeding techniques and its complex shell.
FAU/HBOI has been working with the Gemological Institute of America to conduct extensive laboratory testing of the queen conch cultured pearls. In its independent analysis, GIA used techniques that included conventional gemological examination, chemical composition, spectroscopy, spectrometry and microscopy.