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Pearl

As early as 4000 years ago, Chinese people discovered a kind of delicate gem with soft brilliance when searching ocean for food. Since then, lots of Chinese people have created countless beautiful pearl jewelry and artwork. 

Overview about Pearl
China has known as the largest producer of cultured pearls in the world around the 1980s. The country has a long and rich history in pearls coming from saltwater oysters and freshwater mussels. China was also the first country to develop cultured pearls, around 1082 A.D and having its oldest pearl production tradition in the world.

Because of its fast development and industry, pearl industry gives countless people incomes. People in China have been collecting, growing, and harvesting pearls for over two thousand years and pearl can be said already has become a part of Chinese culture.

Pearl Farming in China
Marine pearl oysters are cultivated in the coastal waters of Guangxi and Guangdong whereas freshwater pearl mussels are farmed in rivers, ponds and lakes in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan and Anhui provinces. Whereas marine oysters can produce one or two cultured pearls at a time, freshwater mussels can produce 30-50 cultured pearls. This also explains why freshwater cultured pearls are so much cheaper than marine pearl oyster.

Because of its popularity, lots of Chinese people now even create some pearl farming industry, mainly concentrated in the southeastern part of the country, Zhejiang Province, China. Most of them produced China freshwater pearls.

Shopping Pearl in Beijing
Pearl is popular products that purchased by tourists in Beijing shopping. One of the popular markets to purchase Chinese pearl is Beijing Hongqiao Market or also known as the Pearl Market among tourists. Hence the name, Hongqiao Pearl Market has more to offer than only its three floors of pearls and jewellery. On the ground floor you will find lots of MP3-players, digital cameras, web cameras, memory cards, DVD-players and various other electronics articles. There is also large selection of silk products, bags, shoes, etc.

China produces mostly freshwater pearls with lower price than other types of pearl. As the largest pearl distribution centre in China, while visitors wandering the market, they will find large selections of pearl with wide ranges of colors, sizes, quality, or smoothness as well as its price range. It is important for tourists to bargain since the first price that seller ask are often quite high.