River Pearls; British and Foreign, 259
He lived about the close of the fourteenth century. The topography of
Chih-kiang mentions a Pearl sent to Court in 490 A.D., which resembled
Buddha, being three inches in size. The resemblance was probably
fanciful, being but an irregular form of Pearl, produced in the usual
manner. Those now made are but half-an-inch long, and while in the
shell have a bluish tint, which disappears with its removal from the
It will be observed that Dr. Ma'cgowan, in the above extract, refers the Chinese Pearl-mussel to the Mytilus Cygnus. Possibly more than one species may be used ; the specimens of Buddha Pearls in the British Museum are on shells described as Dipsas plicata.
The fresh-water Pearl-mussels of Japan have been briefly
referred to at p. 81 of this volume. We shall be glad to learn more of
the history of Japanese Pearls, and to introduce the information into a
future edition of our work.