--------------- MYTH ---------------
Cultured Pearls Are Grown From Grains of Sand

--------------- FACT ---------------
Marine Pearls Are Grown From A Rare Raw Material
Found Only in the U.S.A.

The worldwide Cultured Pearl Industry Depends Upon a Raw Material That Exists Only in the United States. Found exclusively in the United States, the American mollusk shell is the only material used worldwide to successfully produce cultured marine pearls -- there is no other substitute.

American Mussel Shell with Pearl Nuclei In association with researchers from the Smithsonian and Stanford Research Institutes, and the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, Paul Cross, CEO & President of American Bio-Gem, Inc. has and continues to develop proprietary technology that uses mollusk shells to manufacture nuclei for the seeding of pearls. In addition, Mr. Cross developed antibiotics, bio-coatings, implanting instruments, and husbandry techniques that have become standard industry practice.

Bags of Pearl Nuclei JAPANESE CULTURED PEARL MONOPOLY
For over one hundred years, the Japanese have monopolized the pearl industry through a sophisticated campaign to control the world pearl markets. In the past, if you wanted to be a pearl farmer, you had to have a Japanese partner.

Otherwise, they would not disclose the procedure for causing pearls to grow, nor would they supply the necessary U.S. nuclei for pearl production. In 1985, Paul Cross cut through the secrecy to make this information public, and sold to anyone who wanted to enter this lucrative industry.

American Mussel Shell - Smithsonian Magazine

MONOPOLY ERODING INDUSTRY
As a result of pollution and inadequate husbandry practices, Japanese cultured pearl production is suffering. This, coupled with the continual degradation of pearl quality due to insufficient growing times, has left the Japanese monopoly unable to produce both quantity and quality pearls.

In the U.S., their influence has caused problems with illegal shell harvesting. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife has recently found guilty the largest Japanese-owned shell company (the Tennessee Shell Company) of violations of the Lacey Act. Additionally, an American-owned shell company that also supplies the Japanese market is currently being prosecuted for the same violations.

Besides illegal harvesting, there is another burden on the shell species. All nuclei derived from shells are graded from 1st (pure white) to 3rd (stained). Only about 10% of all nuclei are 1st grade, which drives the need for more and more shell harvesting to sustain the world's appetite for the best nuclei.

Along with pollution, illegal harvesting, and man-made obstacles (dams, etc.) what is to become of this precious commodity?

Tuamotus - French Polynesia PHASE ONE
American Bio-Gem, Inc. will establish a state-of-the-art nucleus production facility in the U.S. This facility will incorporate all of the advanced technology that Mr. Cross has developed over the last 14 years.

When completed, this facility will have the production capabilities to fulfill the need of the pearl industry, while reducing the pressure on the endangered species.



PHASE TWO
With nucleus production established, the company will implement Phase II: pearl production in the South Pacific. With several locations already identified, American Bio-Gem will establish a state-of-the-art Black Pearl farm in the South Pacific.

In the early 1990's, Paul Cross sent four U.S. technicians to the South Pacific to be trained by the famous Jean Tapu in the techniques of Black Pearl culturing. Using our latest bio-coatings and antibiotics, the company expects a sizable return on its investment from this phase.

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