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Broken Bay Pearls at centre of new study

A LITTLE known business operating from a tiny shed in Brisbane Water estuary is producing some of the best cultured pearls in the world.

Broken Bay Pearls at Woy Woy is the only Akoya pearl farm in NSW and the annual pearl oyster seeding period is well underway this month.

The pioneering growing techniques used on the farm are leading a new way in cultured pearl production which is environmentally friendly and chemical free.

Instead of the bleached and dyed silver and white pearls which come out of the massive Japanese and Chinese industries, Broken Bay pearls come in a range of hues — yellows and oranges, blues, creams, silver-greens and pinks.

The first ever study into the unique qualities of the pearls was carried out by Macquarie University researchers last year and has just been published in the journal, Gems and Gemology.

During the study, researchers documented pearl seeding and harvesting procedures and sampled pearls of various colours, shapes and sizes. The pearls were analysed using various scientific methods at Macquarie University and at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

Researcher Laura Otter said the Broken Bay pearls were special because they occurred in a wide variety of unconventional natural colours.

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Source: Central Coast Advocate