11 July 1893– The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.
Cultured pearls are pearls grown inside oysters at pearl farms: they are the response of the shell to tissue implant.
Technicians open the live pearl oysters then surgically implant a tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell. The organism develops a sac around the irritant, secreting calcium carbonate in the form of nacre to cover it and, layer after layer, the pearl grows in size.
Mikimoto Kōkichi (1858 –1954) was a Japanese pearl farmer and merchant who introduced the commercial production of cultured pearls.
On 11 July 1893, after many failures he was able to create hemispherical cultured pearls, inducing oysters to form half pearls around an irritating foreign substance. However, it took him another twelve years to create spherical pearls indistinguishable from the natural ones..
According to a Persian legend, pearls were created when a rainbow met the earth after a storm.