A History of Black Lotus Pearls
Black Lotus pearls come from the Eastern Central region of China. Some are grown in Tai Hu, the third largest freshwater lake in China, which is situated in Jiangsu province near the Yangzee River delta. Zhuji, in Zhejiang province, is also an area where our pearls are harvested. China has been been involved in pearl farming since the 1970s, however over the past ten years China has progressed to be one of the worldwide leaders in the cultured freshwater pearl industry. This is partially due to the many bodies of fresh water that offer the clean, healthy environment that facilitates pearl growth.
Japanese "Akoya" pearls are a popular rival to Chinese freshwater pearls because of their extremely round shape - a result of being cultured from a synthetic center with about 2 mm of pearl nacre on the outside. Black Lotus-style Chinese pearls are completely natural. Our pearls are formed with the implantation of actual mollusk tissue into a mussel shell – think of us as the organic alternative to Akoya!
Pearls can vary in color due to a variety of metals found in the different waters and also the depth in which they develop. Once removed, they are cleaned and left to air dry. After they are dry, the pearls are sorted based on size, color, and quality by trained professionals. Some pearls are dyed for matching purposes. Approximately 50 percent of all harvested pearls are not used because they are too flawed and irregular to be sold. This means that you, as the consumer, purchase the best quality of pearls available!
Black Lotus Designs is the product of three creative, passionate individuals who wanted to start a socially and culturally responsible business. Caitlin was living and teaching English in China in 2006 and discovered a wonderful family of pearl farmers. This family grows, harvests, sorts, polishes, and strings their own jewelry. After sending back jewelry to friends and family in the States, she realized what a huge demand there was for this product. After partnering with her friend Kristina, and her mom, Kim, Black Lotus Designs was formed. Because of the items we sell, this family is able to make a much larger income. Caitlin is also able to continue her connection with China.
Our goal is to provide beautiful, great quality pearl jewelry for a reasonable price, while continuing our commitment to conducting ethical fair trade with our partners in China. In addition, we are proud to have the opportunity to support organizations that are important to us. Since 2006, Black Lotus Designs has donated thousands of dollars of gift certificates, merchandise, and money to more than 35 community organizations across the United States. We also donate a percentage of our sales each month to a different charity or humanitarian cause. We enjoy being able to be socially responsible and donating to causes in which we believe.