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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!

Mussel Camp

Thu, Apr 22, 2021 | Pearl Blog

Imagine.. in the mid-1950s there were probably 300 working mussel boats on the Tennessee River. These boats collected mussels to use in the button or pearl industries. So, what do brailers, divers and other toe-diggers do with the mussels they harvest? They take them to camp… mussel camp.

These odorous camps are set up along the river and are a place mussels harvesters can take and sell their mussels. Once mussels are caught they must be opened and the camps have heated vats where shells can be steamed open. Heat is one of the best way to open mussel shells! You know another way? By doing nothing! Rotting mussels will open on their own. But most people prefer to speed the process along by heating these mussels...

Once these mollusks are opened, pearls can be extracted, meat can be removed and the shells can be loaded and hauled off to pearl farms, button factories or companies who use shells in decorative accessories.

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