Bahrain is on a mission to revitalise its pearl sector, with the help of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The leading US university is involved in a three-year collaboration with the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (Danat) — a gemological laboratory that specialises in the testing and study of natural pearls.
This project will seek to establish a natural pearl’s area of origin and method of growth to uniquely identify it and ensure traceability “from sea to consumer”, said Noora Jamsheer, chief executive at Danat.
It will help distinguish highly prized natural pearls from human-produced cultured pearls.
Danat’s collaboration with MIT will be led by the university’s Admir Masic, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, with Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh chairman in emerging technology and professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
The project will use machine learning to automate pearl classification, allowing researchers to investigate techniques to create a unique identifier associated with an individual pearl.