Abalone Punch Out Boy

by Rick
(Morro Bay, CA)

Hello! My name is Rick. I have lived in Morro Bay, CA. since birth. My family was in the abalone industry since the 1940's. My father was a hard hat diver and we all worked in the processing plant day and night. During those years we found thousands of pearls usually in the very old and poor quality abalones. We left most of them on the punch out table but saved a few. My father recently passed at the age of 87. He saved a few of the really neat pearls and I have them now. One of them is about 10-12 millimeters in diameter, and almost perfect round. It is brilliant white and softly colored. If I can get a picture of it I will send it to you. Funny thing is we used to punch out 300 to 5oo dozen abalones a day at times. There is no one on this planet that can take an abalone out of a shell faster than me, but that does nothing for a resume today. I also can find pearls better than any one. Anyway I'm glad to see some interest in the pearls. I did sell one about 15 years ago to a Japanese woman for 500 dollars, I wish I would have kept it!

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Jul 14, 2011
Envious Pearl Job
by: Kari

Hi Rick,

Although you obviously worked very hard at being a punch out boy...and if you were the fastest, you worked very hard, but wow, I think many folks would envy you seeing all those pearls. It's hard to imagine that most were left on the table.

I'd love to see photos of your pearls, especially the bigger one you mentioned. You can add 4 photos to another submission page here and I'll add them to this page for you.

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Did you do anything with the shells? And is the industry still in existence today?

I can't imagine seeing that many abalone in one day. I still have to taste abalone meat...one day.

Rick, thanks for sharing. It was great fun reading about your interesting job. Look forward to some photos. God bless.

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