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» US Geol. Surv. 1906. Gemstones, Metals.
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Ch. 3: Precious Gem stones in 1906
to point, and at the end of the season return to their places of business. Many small dealers sell to larger ones on the spot; others send their product off to be marketed. In many cases parcels of pearls change hands two or three times before appearing in the gem markets. Pearls amounting to many thousands of dollars in value are exported annually, which apparently have not been reported to the Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Since it has not been possible to collect figures of production it has been thought well to give the estimates of those most familiar with the industry, in order that the size of the latter may be appreciated. In giving these estimates, kindly furnished by the persons named, it must be remembered that each one probably sees the industry in a different aspect, according to his connection with it.
ESTIMATES OF THE PRODUCTION OF PEARLS IN THE UNITED
Mr. Frank Koeckeritz, one of the largest pearl dealers in the Mississippi Valley region, places the value of pearls and slugs in 1906 at $381,000, with prices ranging from $1 to $2,000 and up each, and slugs from $1.50 to $60 an ounce. The colors are white, cream, pink,' purple, blue, and rarely black. The various shapes found are round or ball shape, half round or button shape, pear shape, drop shape, oval, and irregular or baroques, and their occurrence is estimated as follows:
Mr. Koeckeritz places the production of button shells at 43,500 tons, valued at $348,000 at points of production, or at $556,625 after shipment to the factories.
The value given for pearls and slugs represents the first cost, or prices paid to the pearl fishers. By the time the stones reach the consumer, after passing through the hands of the large dealer, the jobber, the manufacturer, and the jeweler, the value is easily four times that originally paid. The demand for American fresh-water pearls is strong, both in the domestic markets and abroad, especially in Paris, whither many pearls are taken directly from the pearl region.
The production of pearls from the Wabash River alone in 1906 is conservatively estimated at from $100,000 to $150,000 by Mr. W. D. Burd, of St. Louis, a large pearl dealer in the Mississippi region. The Wabash River and its tributaries were probably more actively worked last season than any other rivers in the country.
An estimate of the United States Fish Commission places the value of the production of pearls in the United States in 1906 at about $500,000. The onlv year statistics were collected bv the Commission was 1903,
when the value was placed at $213,451, with $316,647 worth of button shells.
a Bowers, G. M., Statistical bulletin No. 188, Bur. ol Fisheries, Department of Commerce and Labor.
Table Of Contents
US Geol. Surv. 1906. Gemstones, Metals.
: Gold, Silver in 1906
: Platinum in 1906
: Gemstones in 1906
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