Brilliant Earth is proud to add the finest in rare black pearls to our broad collection of fine jewelry from ethical sources. Sea of Cortez pearls mesmerize the eye with their rich layers of lustrous color, ranging from champagne golds to smoky grays. These shimmering pearls are cultivated in the long, tranquil bay alongside the Baja peninsula known as the Gulf of California (in the United States) or the Sea of Cortez (in Mexico). The pearls are then set in recycled gold to create lustrous pearl jewelry made with responsible environmental practices.
The Gulf of California was once renowned throughout he world for the magnificence and abundance of its natural pearls. When the Spanish first began exploring the New World in the 16th century, they considered pearls from the gulf to be among the most spectacular riches they discovered. Very soon, the pearls were adorning the crowns of the kings and queens of Europe. Pearl harvesting remained a thriving occupation in the gulf until the 1930s, when the delicate oyster species that produced the pearls suddenly was brought to the brink of extinction. Pollution, overharvesting, and the construction of the Hoover Dam all were responsible. The dam slowed the Colorado River feeding the gulf to a trickle, depriving it of essential nutrients and starving the plankton on which the oysters feed.Our Sea of Cortez
The recent launch of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm marks the resurgence of these oysters native to the warm waters of the Gulf of California. The farm is founded, owned, and operated by a collective of marine biologists dedicated to preserving this rare oyster species and protecting its delicate natural habitat. The pearl farm has saved a major species of mollusk from extinction while cultivating pearls so captivating in appearance that they are among the finest and rarest in the world. In addition, the farm adheres to fair labor practices and is contributing to the local economy of the state of Sonora in northwest Mexico. The establishment of the farm, the only salt water cultured pearl farm in the Americas, represents the rebirth of a once prosperous pearl industry in the region.
Sea of Cortez pearls exhibit iridescent shades of champagne golds and smoky grays, naturally enhanced by overtones of green, blue, purple and peach. Never artificially treated, Sea of Cortez pearls are completely natural in color, quality, and luster. Sea of Cortez black pearl necklaces, found exclusively at Brilliant Earth, are an ethical and distinctive gift perfectly suited for many special occasions. We invite you to view our ethically sourced pearl pendant.
At Brilliant Earth we ensure that each of our Sea of Cortez pearls has been handled according to strict labor, trade, and environmental protocols. We track our cultured pearls from the moment they are harvested to their final delivery in order to provide genuine, high-quality ethically sourced pearls.
We invite you to view one of our exceptional black pearl necklaces, which features a lustrous pearl from the Sea of Cortez gracefully suspended on a delicate 18K White Gold chain.
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