The Mother Nature blesses this bay not only magnificent geological creature, breathtaking scenery but also precious natural products, the most famous of which is Halong’s pearls.
Pearls have been considered as a precious natural gift endowed to countries with the advantage of having a long coastline, like Viet Nam. Therefore, Pearl culture has become a good business for Vietnam and there are two major pearl farms in Halong Bay.
Pearl farming depends largely on the sea’s environment. A polluted environment always leads to certain failure and other elements should also been taken into consideration like salinity and water depth, when raising different kinds of oysters. Under the right conditions, it takes at least five years before an oyster becomes mature enough to produce a pearl, and the success rate is about 40 percent, only a small percentage are of significant quality to fetch the very high prices. For pearls over 10mm, it might take up to seven or even ten years.
To cultivate the pearl, they open it just enough to insert a hard-shell bead and mantle tissue from an oyster that has produced a high-quality pearl in the past. Cultivation takes between 10 to 18 months and the results are truly stunning.
Visiting pearl farm, tourists witness the whole process to make a valuable pearl and expensive jewelry from the first step of growing and harvesting pearl from Halong Bay. Most of them are very surprised by the magical process to create the beautiful jewelry from the skillful hands of artisans. This is really a very interesting visit because not many people understand how the white and bright pearls are created. There are cages growing oysters in the water. Locals have many secret experiences in growing the oysters to have big and round pearls. Tourists can even observe the artisans working on their pearls after they are harvested from the water. They do sophisticated technique with their many specialized tools to create a perfect pearl.
All are handmade in very intricate level. When watching the complete pearls in the same size, we cannot recognize the raw pearls when they are in the oysters anymore.