The Mighty Mississippi is a beautiful wonder we in Lake City can enjoy daily. As one of our country’s largest working rivers, the Mississippi’s economic impact goes beyond transportation of goods and recreation.

In our area, the Mississippi’s economic impact includes the Lake Pepin Pearl industry. The history of commercial pearl harvesting in Lake Pepin dates to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time, the pearls were more abundant in these waters, but they are still found and cherished today.

Formed in freshwater mussels, Lake Pepin pearls, sometimes referred to as Mississippi pearls, are formed when an irritant, such as a piece of sand enters the mussel’s shell and becomes coated with layers of nacre, a substance produced by the mussel to protect itself. Over time, these layers build up, forming a pearl.

The meaning of a pearl varies based on cultural, historical, and personal interpretations. However, most commonly, pearls are associated with beauty, innocence, love, purity, wisdom, integrity, healing, and protection. These traits make them a perfect symbol for weddings. The long-lasting beauty and durability of a pearl is a lovely way for couples to symbolize their marriage in a timeless way.

Pearl earrings, necklaces, and bracelets make exceptional bridal jewelry or anniversary gifts that are many times passed on from generation to generation.

Johnson Jewelers in Lake City is proud to offer an array of items made with these unique and precious natural wonders. Stop by soon to view items on display, or if you have ideas for something you would like created, our goldsmiths and jewelry designers are happy to help you design a piece that is uniquely yours.