FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

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By David Brough

PALMA DE MALLORCA – Mallorca Pearl Museum, located in the heart of the old city of Palma, is a showcase for man-made pearls, celebrating a long-time manufacturing process.

FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

Mallorca Pearl Museum

According to the museum, the first process to create man-made pearls was developed by Eduard Heusch, founder of the brand Majorica, in 1890. He established himself in Mallorca with a vision to make pearls accessible to a wider audience. At that time, natural pearls were more expensive than diamonds.

FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

Mallorca Pearl Museum

At the core of the Majorica pearl lies a nucleus of opaline, a rare and dense type of crystal, which is melted by craftsmen to create the base of the pearl, the museum says.

The nucleus is then covered by multiple thin layers of “Pearl Essence”, an extract obtained from organic elements from the Mediterranean sea.

This unique technique, which remains a secret, reproduces the natural process of the accumulation of layers of nacre.

After being polished and hand-selected one by one, the Majorica pearl is treated to protect it from harsh external factors.

Majorica pearls are hand-knotted with a double thread which gives their necklaces strength.

FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

Mallorca Pearl Museum

While its focus is on man-made pearls, the museum also tells the wider story of pearls, including references to Hollywood, celebrities who have worn pearls such as Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker, and quotes from writers, including Jack London, about the exploits of pearl divers centuries ago.

FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

Mallorca Pearl Museum

The museum also presents an atelier and several examples of man-made pearl necklaces.

FEATURE – Mallorca Pearl Museum is a showcase for man-made pearls

Mallorca Pearl Museum