Once a rare treasure attainable by only the elite of society, through a significant part of the 20th century, pearls held status as a fashion staple of the women in most economic classes, a trend that continues today. This expansion of market is thanks to the successful culturing methods developed during the end of 19th and into the early 20th centuries. The impact that culturing would have on the pearl trade could not have been fully understood during these early years. Natural pearl production is still active from fresh water and sea water sources. The market has also seen growth in demand for the non-nacreous pearls such as Conch, Melo and Quahog pearls. However, natural pearls are extremely rare, and usually not available even for the buyer who is willing to pay the high..
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