This chapter is tagged (labeled) with: 

Ch. 8: Margarita, Pearl

Ch. 8: Margarita, Pearl Page of 377 Ch. 8: Margarita, Pearl Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
MARGARITA.                                268
found, at a regular tariff. So marvellous an effect had this prospect of sure remuneration for their labours upon the practical genius of the natives that for the year 1864 (aided by the unprecedented dronghi which gave the fishers access to the deeper beds of their rivers) no less a sum than 12,000l. was paid to the finders, which represents an infinitely multiplied return upon the Pearls when brought into the market. The highest value of any one specimen as yet obtained is 60l. For the produce of the Doon fishery alone Mr. Unger paid above 150l. for each of the summer months of 1863, exclusive of what was privately sold in the neigh­bourhood. The finest have been found in the Tay, the Teith, the Doon, and the Garry. With the exception of four streams, all the rest of the pearl-producing are outlets of lochs. The lochs are supposed to be the nurseries and grand depositories of the mussel : a theory confirmed by the fact that in draining part of Loch Vennachar in 1860-1, for the purpose of constructing the Glasgow waterworks, immense quantities of the shells, and containing very fine pearls, were obtained by the workmen. (' Illust. News,' Sept. 17,1864.) The finest Pearls are always found in the shells whose magnitude, wrinkles, and time-worn appearance bespeak their advanced age. This fact supports the theory of certain naturalists, already noticed, that the formation of the pearl is due to a provision of Nature for preventing injury to the tender flesh from the casual entrance of some hard body into the shell by coating it with layers of the same material that lines it, popularly known as mother-o'-pearl. In fact, many pearls when cut in two are seen to be formed upon a grain of sand for a nucleus. Some peculiar element in the water must, however, be essential to their generation, for though every brook and canal in England swarms with the identical mya, the pearl-bearing are, as it were, conspicuously restricted to
Ch. 8: Margarita, Pearl Page of 377 Ch. 8: Margarita, Pearl
Suggested Illustrations
Other Chapters you may find useful
Other Books on this topic
bullet Tag
This Page