In an era in which pearls were rarer and scarcer than diamonds, Eduard Heusch, a German-born innovator, invented the first process for the creation of man-made pearls. In 1890, after obtaining the first patent validated for pearl creation in the Paris Universal Exhibition, he founded the company "Societé des perles de Indes E. Heusch& Co".
This was a historic milestone in the jewellery industry. His goal was to achieve a process that could enable the reproduction of a pearl which, because of its perfection, could be confused with a natural pearl. At that time there were only natural pearls, which were rare, slow to form and therefore very expensive. The pioneering dream of Eduard Heusch was to make pearls accessible to more people. Years later, in Japan, a process of creating cultivated pearls was invented, but Heusch's idea was earlier and visionary.
In his process of creation he needed to be near the sea, near to master craftsmen, glass blowers and the expert hands of women that who could thread necklaces. Therefore he decided to move to one of the most mythical and wonderful islands of the Mediterranean, Mallorca, famous for its tradition of glass-blowing and women skilled in manual work and crafts.
In the capital, Palma de Mallorca, he founded the first pearl factory at 53 calleMissio which already at that time had more than 50 workers. In the same year in Manacor the Casa Hugo Heusch & CO Pearl Factory was established.
From this date specialized machinery began to arrive from France and the first French specialists who opened premises for the creation and manufacture of pearls.
The pearl that was made was known as the hollow pearl, obtained from blown glass.
The group of glass pearl factories named Sa Fabrica were managed by Julien Pierre.
After World War I all the industrial activities that took place from Paris moved permanently to Barcelona. At that time the Spanish Pearl Industry was established. The new IEPISA factory moved to the town of Manacor which quickly had 275 women working in 3 workshops.
Reflecting the pioneering and visionary spirit of Eduard Heusch, 1917 marked a milestone in the history of Majorica: the opening of an office of the Company on Fifth Avenue in New York. Today Majorica still has its offices in the same place.
This decade saw many changes and developments in the manufacture of the Majorica pearl. There was an increase in production. By the end of the decade, the Majorica pearl was being exported to France, Germany, Italy and Britain.
A new factory was opened in Felanitx, managed by Antonio Mus.
The system of manufacture using the opal kernel was perfected. By managing to make a perfectly circular core it was possible to achieve the perfect lustre and iridescence characteristic of natural pearls.
In 1927, Majorica was visited by the princesses Maria Cristina and Beatriz de Borbón, the daughters of Alfonso XIII During the visit they were able to witness the incredible process of expansion that the firm had undergone.
At Sa Fabrica, Majorica was excited to receive the visit of Prince Jaime de Bourbon, who arrived in Majorca on behalf of his father, Alfonso XIII, to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the conquest of the island.
In 1937 Edouard Heusch, the founder, died and the company passed to its new president, his son Edouard Camille Heusch. Eduard Camille was a great promoter of factories and of the marketing and advertising of the pearl.
During the Second World War, and given Spain's non-participation, there was a significant boost in the production and export of what were by now called "Spanish Pearls."
In that year, Majorica became the world's leading producer of pearls, reaching a production of 1,040,000 pearl necklaces 40 cm long, which required production of more than 2.5 million loose pearls.
In the Second World War, Mallorcan pearl production was boosted by the paralysis in their manufacture in other countries. The Mallorcan company therefore became virtually the sole producer of pearls in the world with more than 800 workers.
The United States became one of the most important markets for Majorica with an output of more than 15,000 necklaces per day.
In 1952 and after countless tests with many shells and marine products, the Majorica organic pearl as we know it today saw the light. The head of R & D, G. Zsolt, managed to discover the formula for the "essence of the perfect pearl" which was identical in appearance to the natural pearl, thus opening a new era in the history of the pearl.
His technique reproduced the oyster's process of accumulation of layers of nacre in the creation of natural pearl. This achieves a perfect iridescent effect and reproduces the strength, beauty and perfection of the natural pearl.
This technique remains a secret, a mystery which has never been revealed.
With the discovery of the Majorica Organic Pearl, a new era arrived for the prestige of the brand, in both the domestic and international markets. The Majorica Pearl started to be considered in various jewellery manuals around the world as the most perfect of the non-natural pearls.
The 60s were the time when Majorica achieved the height of its glamour and modernity, its participation in international beauty competitions and in a host of fashion-related activities were previously unheard of Spain.
In these years under the leadership of Eduard Camille HeuschMajorica started to become a global brand. Its exports increased and pearl production reached 218,000 daily units. Majorica organic pearls were now being sold in all five continents.
The brand now had more than 4,000 Official Agencies and distributors in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Panama and Uruguay and the U.S. The French Majorica office opened. Majorica Pearls were being distributed in the top 5,000 retail outlets worldwide.
Perlas Majorica bought PerlasManacor in order to start setting the pearls in silver. The manufacture of pieces with pearls set in silver therefore started in Manacor. This led to the creation of jewellery with a different design to the classic pearl necklace.
Mallorca started to play host to the Miss Nations beauty contest. "The Festival of Elegance and Beauty" received visitors coming from 30 countries, giving extensive coverage to the preliminary parties and receptions, which also included a visit, the contestants, with great excitement, were able to see for themselves the pearls manufacturing process and even take part in it.
An exhibition of Majorica necklace models in the Spanish Pavilion at the International Fair of New York. The visiting public, from all over the world, was fascinated by the perfection and quality of the Majorica organic pearls, as well as the design of the pieces.
Albert Heusch took the innovative decision to open the factory doors to the public so that they could see the production process live. At the end of the decade the number of visitors reached 300,000 making it one of the main attractions of the island of Mallorca.
In 1967, during her holiday in the islands, the then Princess Sofia visited the factory to see the innovative production process of the Majorica organic pearls.
Majorica sponsored the Venice Film Festival. There it came into contact with the great Italian actresses of the 60s - Sofía Loren, Anna Magnani, Gina Lollobrigida, Rita Pavone, Annie Girardot ... They were all fascinated by the glamour of the Majorica pearls.
The mythical Manacor shop opened opposite the factory. This shop was opened to absorb the enormous influx of tourists that visited the island.
The R & D department was established to develop machinery that would lead to an increase in the production of a greater number of pearls with maximum quality and precision.
Majorica products started to be sold in the main world shipping and airline companies.
Majorica experienced a major global expansion and became a presence in over 100 countries and 80 airlines.
Majorica USA launched a design inspired by the style of the first lady of the United States in the sixties. It had remarkable success among American women given the direct reference to one of its most admired historical myths.
In partnership with Franca Squarciapino, Majorica designed the jewels for the film "Louis Enfant Roi" (Louis, the Child King). Thanks to work between the film production teams and the Majorica designers it was possible accurately to reproduce the beautiful pieces inspired by the age of Louis XIV.
Majorica launched a line of fine jewellery in 18 carat gold, pearls and diamonds. The pieces were made in a limited edition and were numbered.
Majorica offered gifts to the princesses Elena and Cristina on the occasion of their marriages, in 1995 the wedding of Princess Elena and in 1997 the wedding of Princess Cristina.
Majorica created exclusive and personalized necklaces, belts, chokers and bracelets for the Custo Barcelona parade at New York Fashion Week. An unusual fusion between the creative genius of Custo and Majorica's craft know-how.
José MiróCibeles presented the "Nirvana" dress at the Cibeles catwalk, created with 67,000 Majorica pearls of different colours and sizes. The dress was a milestone in the world of fashion.
One of the most successful launches in the history of Majorica was the Wave collection. This collection was a turning point in the design of the brand. Its fluency, originality, use of irregular baroque pearls and earrings made in sterling silver plated with 18-carat gold made this piece the best seller of recent years.
The Industry and Glamour Exhibition, coordinated and organized by the Business Institute of the Balearic Islands, was held at the Manacor Museum of History. It used photos and information from our archives to document Majorica's importance in the economic and industrial development of the island of Palma de Mallorca, and its links with the world of glamour and fashion.
In the latest FMRE (Leading Brands of Spain Forum) rankings in March 2010, produced by ICEX (the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute), Majorica was ranked among the top 10 best-known Spanish brands in the world.
With its 120 year history, Majorica is today an established and prestigious international brand in the jewellery sector. Faithful to its reputation, Majorica maintains its artisan creation processes thanks to which it produces the best pearls in the world. Luxury, quality, elegance, tradition and modernity, are the words that reflect the spirit and uniqueness of the brand. Actresses, artists, kings and queens, princes and presidents have visited with curiosity and keen interest Majorica'sMallorcan facilities. 120 years jealously guarding the secret formula of the Majorica pearls that nobody has ever been able to imitate, 120 years of glamour and design. Congratulations Majorica!