- La Paz On Your Own - La Paz On Your Own - La Paz On Your Own

When in La Paz, think arts & amp; crafts and jewelry . The La Paz area is also one of the few places in the world where cultured black pearls are grown and harvested.

Sea of ​​Cortez Pearls. Pearls were the New World's biggest exports until the full development of gold and silver mines in Mexico and Peru. Amazingly, the value of the pearls exported to Spain exceeded that of all other exports combined. In Europe, the Americas become known as "the lands where the pearls come hither."

One of the most famous New World pearls was the Pilgrim, found in Panama in the mid-16th century. Noted for its beauty and dark-gray color, The Pilgrim has the size and shape of a pigeon's egg. Former owners have been King Phillip II of Spain, Mary Tudor of England, Queen Mary I and Napoleon III. Elizabeth Taylor owned the gem since it was given to her by Richard Burton in 1969. (Many years ago, the actress lost the pearl.) After a frantic search, the precious gem was finally found in the mouth of her pet dog. By the 16th Century, the "black pearls" of the Gulf of California had earned the title of "Queen of Gems, Gem of Queens," since so many of them adorned the crowns of European kings and queens, as well as their clothing, necks, hands and ears. During the 1700s, La Paz was the black pearl center of the world.

In 1893, Dr. Jose Gaston Vives started the world's first commercial pearl oyster farm. His farm was able to grow some 8 to 10 million pearl oysters and employed 1,000 laborers. The pearl farm was destroyed in 1914 during the attack of the Constitutionalist Army at La Paz. From then on, pearls had to be obtained by the means of nude armed divers.

The pearl industry was revived in the late 1990's with the development of the first commercial pearl farm in the American continent. Today, Sea of ​​Cortez Pearls is the sole producer of cultured pearls in the region. Annual production of pearls from this farm is about 5,000 pearls cultured.

Ruby Princess - La Paz On Your Own

To see the locations listed below, see our Map of La Paz Shops .

Recommended shops in La Paz

Most shops are on or close to the Malecon. Away from the Malecon you will find small leather shops and vendors that sell ironwood carvings. Shop around so you know your prices. There are bargains to be had, but the street vendors will drive you to hard but friendly bargain.

Crafts of Antigua California
Artesanias la Antigua California has the best selection of Mexican folk art in La Paz.
Located at Paseo Alvaro Obregon # 220

Artesania Cuauhtemoc
Artesania Cuauhtemoc is the workshop of weaver Fortunado Silva and his crew. You can purchase ready-made carpets, wall hangings, yard goods and clothing. Located in Abosolo between Jalisco and Nayarit

Casa Maria
House Ibarra's Pottery

Ibarra's Pottery
Julio Ibarra oversees the potters and painters at Ibarra's Pottery. Mrs Ibarra paints the plates, bowls, plaques and more in a variety of geometric, Aztec and floral patterns. You can buy from the shelves or have something custom made, ready in a week or two.
Located at Guillermo Prieto 625, between Torre Iglesias and Republica

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