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About The Pearl Girls

The Pearl Girls create all of our jewelry and designs at our shop in Athens, GA. We also have a huge reknot and repair department. People all over the world ship us their pearls and beaded jewelry to reknot, repair or create into a new design. Along with our passion for pearls, we are passionate about creating jobs right here in our home base in Athens, GA. We provide many perks to our staff including childcare for our hardworking mothers! Thank you for supporting us so we can continue supporting others. And thanks for sharing in our passion!

Guttenberg Pearl Button Factory

Thu, Oct 15, 2015 | Pearl Blog

As many of you know, I am fascinated with American mother of pearl and its use in the international cultured pearl industry. Upon researching old images, I found these great images and info from The Gazette. This is the Guttenberg pearl button factory. 

[caption id="attachment_10329" align="alignleft" width="429"]guttenberg pearl button factory front image © The Gazette[/caption][caption id="attachment_10330" align="alignright" width="430"]guttenberg pearl button factory image ©The Gazette[/caption]

 

 

 

Millions of pearl buttons were made in the Guttenberg factory during its 50-year span. Iowa was extremely large and popular in the production of mother of pearl buttons although they were not the only state. Button factories were erected upland down the Mississippi River. Most were out of business by the middle of the 1900s when plastics hadreally taken their hold.

But, back then, mother of pearl buttons were literally stamped from the mussel shells then fashioned into buttons. Look at the waste piles!

[caption id="attachment_10328" align="alignleft" width="414"]discarded shells -guttenberg pearl button factory ©The Gazette[/caption][caption id="attachment_10331" align="alignright" width="444"]Guttenberg-pearl-button-factory-shells ©The Gazette[/caption]

There are holes of various sizes in each of the shells.

Of course it is because of America's amazingly high quality mother of pearl that we have been able to sell our mother of pearl to Japan for the use in cultured pearls!

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