New Brunswick Mussels

New Brunswick Pearls

New Brunswick Pearls

New Brunswick Mussels



So, where does this material "pearl" really come from? Well, it is manufactured by Mother Nature herself.

She has chosen certain members of her shellfish community to prepare "pearl," and we have lots of shellfish (bivalves) in New Brunswick, some being in freshwater, some in marine salt water.

Our freshwater streams and lakes have several species of mussels. As we travel along New Brunswick's inland freshwater streams, rivers and lakes, we may note mussel shells along the shoreline. Sometimes they are in groups that have been dined upon by muskrats (middens) or singly brunched on by other animals like raccoons or otters.

One of the mussel species that is quite common in New Brunswick streambeds is the eastern pearl shell mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera). It happens to have a thicker layer of nacre than most species. This mussel was also abundant in Europe in feudal times. In this period, royalty owned the rivers and would have workers gently pry open the shell of the mussel to see if a pearl was present. If there wasn't, the mussel would be placed back in the river.

It was fortunate for our New Brunswick freshwater mussels that this pearl and button fever did not happen here, and our eastern pearl shell mussel population is now suspected to be one of the most populous in the world, especially in rivers with an Atlantic salmon and trout population.

Read more about New Brunswick mussels.

Purchase New Brunswick pearls.

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