15 big pearls from 11 pearl mussels. This trip to Zhejiang was worth it.
At the lake, Dong Xuebing, who had no more BACK, was no longer looking at the boss and workers opening the mussels. He was arranging his pearl mussels in the small net. The net was too small, and he asked for a bigger one from the worker. He packed his mussels carefully in the net and then look at the boss and workers. He was in no hurry to leave the place. He was waiting patiently for them to finish opening all the mussels. His target was to collect enough pearls to make a pearl necklace and put it up for auction. This way, he could maximize his profits. If not, just the 15 pearls, he will not earn much and will not be able to hit his target of 1 million RMB.
After a while, the boss was tired and took a break.
Dong Xuebing noticed the small bag keeping the high-grade golden pearls was almost full.
“Young man.” The boss took a sip of water from a bottle. “Shouldn’t you pay up now?” The boss was not in a good mood as his golden pearl harvest was not up to his expectations. By right, there should be more 1.4 cm golden pearls. Could all those bigger golden pearls be hiding in those mussels this young man bought? But this should not be possible. Even all the locals in this trade could not tell the difference from the exterior of the mussels. How can an outsider like this young man know?
Dong Xuebing was also about to tell the boss that he wants to make payments. “I had counted the mussels. 11 mussels. 66,000 RMB. Oh, I still want some pearls from that bag.” Dong Xuebing pointed at that small bag. “How much are you selling for 1.5 cm golden pearls?”
The boss put down his bottle. “Other than the size, we still need to look at the quality and roundness.”
Dong Xuebing walked over and pick up a 1.5 cm pearl. “What about this?”
“This will fetch 40,000 RMB in the market. But we do not have middleman and rental fees here. I will sell it to you, at…… 35,000 RMB.”
“Ok. I will pick a few more.”
Dong Xuebing only had 440,000 RMB in total, and he had brought all his money with him. Other than the 66,000 RMB mussels, he still has 370,000 RMB available. He picked the pearls and bargained with the boss. In the end, he picked 10 1.5cm pearls, and 5 1.4 cm pearls. With the pearls in his mussels, he had a total of 30 pearls. It was just enough to form a pearl necklace.
The boss calculated the total. “The total is 441,000 RMB.”
Dong Xuebing said: “Round it off.”
“No. 441,000 RMB!”
You don’t even want to give me a discount of 1,000 RMB? Dong Xuebing glanced at him and then took out his money box from his bag. He also took out 1,000 from his wallet. “There is 440,000 RMB in this box, and this is 1,000.” Dong Xuebing had used up all his money and had only 2,000 RMB left in his wallet. He had also used up his last month’s salary and did not have much money in his account. This necklace was all his assets.
The boss brought Dong Xuebing back to his office to use the counting machine.
After the transaction was completed, Dong Xuebing took a taxi to a hotel with an empty money box and mussels.
Dong Xuebing did not look for a high-class hotel because he did not have much money left. He needs to spend his money wisely. Also, the net was still dripping muddy water, and the pearl mussels were full of mud. Those high-class hotels will not allow him to enter. So, Dong Xuebing picked a small 3 stories hotel. Even the paint on the hotel signage was peeling off. Despite this torn down hotel, the staffs inside were still rolling their eyes when Dong Xuebing step in.
Dong Xuebing got a room with bathroom, and immediately pour his mussels into the basin.
He did not waste time to buy a knife and used his hands to open the mussels. After trying for a while, Crack! He finally opened the first mussels. There was a 1.6 cm pearl, a 1.1 cm pearl, 2 x 1 cm pearls, and 5 x 0.7 pearls. Dong Xuebing kept the 1.6 cm pearl and place the rest inferior pearls aside.
He then starts to open the next mussel…….
The third mussel……
The fifth mussel……
After a while, Dong Xuebing got all the 15 golden pearls out from the mussels. He happily walked out of the bathroom and placed all his high-grade pearls together to form a circle. If these were regular pearls, even 60 of them will not be enough to create a necklace. These pearls were all above 1.4 cm, and 30 of them were enough.
Dong Xuebing sat there looking at his pearls, but he felt something was off. He could not bring himself to use the word “beautiful” to describe his pearls.
These pearls…… were not very pretty. There seems to be a thin layer of skin covering them.
Oh! That’s it! Dong Xuebing slapped his forehead as he remembered something. These pearls were still not considered finished products. These pearls still need to undergo a polishing process to bring out the natural shine and color. That’s right. After polishing, the pearls have to be string together to form a necklace, and it will be ready to be put on auction.
Dong Xuebing kept his pearls in his money box and went out of the hotel.
Zhuji was the hometown of freshwater pearls. There were a lot of pearl processing factories there. Dong Xuebing immediately found one after walking out of his hotel.
In a small 2 stories building, Dong Xuebing was brought by the receptionist to meet with the person-in-charge. He did not waste any time and opened up his money box. “I want to polish all these and make them into a necklace. How much do you charge and how long will it take?”
That person-in-charge was shocked. “Ahhh…… these are all top-grade pearls. You should have spent at least 1 million RMB for these?”
Dong Xuebing replied: “Around that amount.”
“Hahaha. I am in this business for so long, and this is the first time I saw so many 1.5 cm pearls. Hmmm…… the polishing will be slightly expensive.” The person-in-charge thought for a while and said. “You still want to make it into a necklace……. The total will be 5,000, and it will take about 3 to 4 days.”
Dong Xuebing did not have so much money or time. He thought for a while and took out a bag of pearls. “I still have 100 pearls. These pearls are not as good as those 30 pearls and should be worth about 15,000 RMB. I will pay the processing fees with these pearls. But I have a condition. I know to polish and stringing the pearls will not take 3 days. I need you to hurry up, and I want to see the necklace tonight.”
After some bargainings, Dong Xuebing paid the person-in-charge and even topped up 1,000 RMB in cash.
Dong Xuebing waited and waited……
A shiny golden necklace was placed in front of Dong Xueing.
It was too beautiful!
Before coming to Zhuji, Dong Xuebing saw the pearl necklace sold for over 900,000 RMB in an auction. But that necklace was made from white pearls. It was one grade lower than his pearls. Also, his pearls were bigger than that necklace!
This time, Dong Xuebing will surely make 1 million RMB!
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