family seriously and thought that the gem world depended upon us.
London uncle was more fortunate in his progeny, for he had two sons,
one of whom was to become one of the world's leading exponents of
pearlcraft, while the other went to the New World, then sadly deficient
in pearl experts, and there thrived for several decades to the benefit
of his adopted country as much as to himself.
all this—that the daughters of the breed were negligible when it came
to carrying on the tradition. My mother was not an exception. She had
four or five sisters who married husbands and taught them what had been
so well learned in the paternal home, making pearl merchants of them.
And so, through sons and daughters alike, the family trade passed down
through the generations.
pearls were the main theme of my family's existence, still there were
various cousins and second cousins of mine who varied it by taking to
diamonds and the lesser gems, the reason presumably being that the
known pearl fisheries did not yield a sufficient supply of gems to
provide a livelihood for all my numerous connections. This was before
the discovery of the Australian pearl beds, in the development of
which, as I have written elsewhere, I played my part.
my own generation, in my own immediate family, all the five sons went
into the family game and all the three daughters married into the
trade. From my earliest days I have lived and breathed in the
atmosphere of gems. And if I have sometimes strayed to other ways of
making a few pounds here and there as a "general merchant", yet