Every one of the Radon family take part in diving for the Paua they Pearl. When they go diving Mike will choose the best of the best Paua found, looking for the fresh vibrant sea-blue and green colours of the ocean. The dull ones go straight to the local restaurants and export market.
Pearling is done by inserting a tiny piece of shell the size and shape of the pearl size required between the adult paua’s shell and flesh. But before this can be done the water around the paua is warmed, enabling the shellfish to relax so the piece of shell can inserted gently – paua are haemophiliacs and bleed easily, so Mike and Antonia take every care with each individual paua.
As soon as the pearl shell is introduced the paua are placed into a recovery tank and then into a tank on the farm, where they can carry on being nurtured and cared for. The paua pearls grow quickly in the ideal environment of the Radon’s hatchery and are ready for harvest after three to four years in the farm.
Nothing is wasted and at harvest the popular paua meat is sold to local restaurants as a New Zealand delicacy. The beautiful pearls are processed and graded for their colour lustre and size and are sent to the jeweller, where they are turned into pieces of jewellery as exceptional as the water they come from and as individual as the pearls are themselves.