We were browsing some goofy store (Pier 39, San Francisco) which would make a perfect one stop shop for man cave shopping. As we were walking out we heard bell ring, seriously loud! The curiosity and touristy nature got better of us and we walked up to the counter of Pearl Factory. Quietly and patiently we started watching other fellow tourists wash and polish their pearl. By now I had fallen for this and wanted to undertake this experience. As the counter lady is done with other tourist she turns towards us and goes on to explain the whole shabang!
It is a traditional Hawaiian ritual performed to welcome a pearl from an oyster into this big bad evil world 😉 Here’s how it goes…..
Step 1 – I selected an oyster from small tub placed on the counter. Usually they recommend small chubby oyster as they are likely to have decent sized pearl (and sometimes if you are lucky, 2 pearls in one oyster! Yep 2 for the price for 1, win win!!)
Step 2 – I tapped (not smacked) my tongs thrice on the oyster. Then we (store lady and I) loudly shouted (kinda hard to listen from inside the oyster) Alohaaaaaaa!!!
Step 3 – The store lady then rang the bell thrice signifying the welcome of a pearl in this world 🙂
Step 4 – We opened the oyster and looked for our pearl….She said OMG you have colored pearl how lucky are you (in my head, really?!)
Step 5 – She gently scooped the pearl out (cut its umbilical cord…not) and gave it a good rub with salt on a napkin to remove impurities from oyster. By doing so, the pearl is prepared to shine. The store lady mentioned that this step should be done only when pearl is brought out from the oyster, repeating this step in future may result in scratches on pearl (not something we want to do).
Step 6 – Then she rinsed the pearl in water and got rid of any remaining salt and impurities. By now I was impatient to closely analyze my pearl.
Step 7 – Finally, I took the pearl in the palm of my hand and rolled it, warmed it up and showed some deserving lurveeee!!!
It is said different colors of pearl signify different emotions. In our case, our silver pearl signified Love (as corny as it gets!). We were also told that the gender of pearl can be determined. She closely examined our pearl and said it has a slight bump (upwards) which means it’s a boy!! The contrary would indicate it’s a girl!!
The store lady drilled a hole in the pearl so it can be used as for rings, pendants etc. They say, longer you wear a pearl shinier it gets! However, we should be careful of not getting the pearl in contact with fragrances and body lotions as it will coat the pearl with a film of moisturisers and gradually wear off the shine from lustrous pearl.
All in all, I walked away with beautiful decent sized silver pearl for $15!!! I decided to keep the pearl ‘as is’ and dint want to fall for any cross sell of jewelry. Yes some may argue its touristy trap but seriously how many times in your life would you be willing to experience something like this…..no common seriously!