Magnificent South Sea cultured pearls are generally harvested between 20 and 24 months after nucleation. Their harvest period is typically during the months of June, July, and August, which is the southern hemisphere’s winter and the water temperature is at its lowest. The South Sea pearls at this time are the most lustrous and colorful.
Harvesting the south sea pearl is much the same procedure as nucleating the oyster. A South Sea Oyster can be re-nucleated immediately in the existing pearl sac presuming the original harvested pearls was of good quality. The south sea pearl oyster can also be used for blister pearl production, and its meat is be sold as a delicacy on the Asian market.
After they are harvested, the new cultured pearls are then sorted for future pearl jewelry. They are sorted by size, shape, surface quality, luster, and color. The colors for these pearls range from white to yellowish orange. Usually white, ivory, and silver colors account for about 90% of the production. South Sea pearls are not treated in any way by the pearl farmers. After the harvest, most of them are simply washed, sorted and graded. After export, some may be treated however.