|A Lost Opportunity|
Mexico lost the great opportunity of becoming a leading country in the culture of naturally colored (black) pearls. The factors involved in this were many, but bad government practices and decisions were decisive. It was back in the last years of the 1960's when a pilot pearl culture station was started in Falsa Bay, La Paz, South Baja California.
On this occasion, a Mexican Engineer turned Jeweler of Mexico City, Don Manuel Lozano-Gallo, had the idea of using some of Gastón Vivés techniques, combined with modern aquaculture methods in order to reintroduce pearl farming in Mexico. With the help of Australian Pearl Promoter C. Denis George, Mr. Lozano-Gallo begun the construction and operation of Japanese styled-culture rafts and Mexican styled-spat collectors. This farm began operations using wild-caught Panamic Black Lipped Oysters (Pinctada mazatlanica), both for breeding and seeding purposes. C. Denis George had just begun training a Mexican seeding technician, when the farm was seized by the Federal Government, the pearls were confiscated and -sometime later- the pearl farm was closed.
In the words of Don Manuel Lozano-Gallo, this was due to a severe disagreement he had with an important politician (who became President of Mexico just some years later). A few years later, French Polynesia was producing and exporting black pearls...and Mexico was not.
And the rest is History...as the saying goes.