Scottish Freshwater river pearls have been harvested from the rivers of Scotland since pre-Roman times.
In the 12th century, Scottish pearls were traded in the pearl markets of Europe and by the 16th century river bailiffs were employed to guarantee that all valuable pearls became the property of the King’s treasury.
Scottish river pearls of rare quality were so coveted that they were set into the crown jewels of both Scotland & England.
Today since it is prohibited to harvest the Scottish Freshwater pearl, the mussel species is protected. However we at Cairncross have the only licence anywhere as a shop to sell this much admired and rare gem.
All our stock of pearls were harvested before 1998 when the mussel became a protected species.
We absolutely understand and support this action that has been taken. These pearls are our heritage and we are honoured to be allowed to carry on the Cairncross tradition of setting these rare gems into pieces of jewellery.
Today, you can see our full stock of Scottish freshwater pearls here.