Ohrid Pearl and the 80 year Old Secret of Their Creation.

The Ohrid pearls are one of the trade marks of Ohrid ,and are very famous in Europe and all over the world. They are very valuable because of natural origin and hand made.


When pearls are mentioned, the first thing that comes in mind are shells and how they are made.  Then when we hear that there is local produced pearls in Ohrid, city in Macedonia, that doesn’t goes out on a sea, people are getting bit confused.

Going in the origins of how it is made, The story goes back in 1924 when Russian soldier staying in Ohrid knew of this secret recipe from his home near a lake with a similar fish in Russia, and two families are passed on the secret recipe. The Talev family and the Filevi family. Both families fiercely keep the recipe a secret which still remains a secret today.

What we do know is part of the secret is the scales of the “Plasica” — an endemic fish species in Lake Ohrid . It only exists in Lake Ohrid. An emulsion using the secret formula is created from the fish scales and then used to cover the surface in layers of Ohrid Pearl which is made from ground shells. The emulsion creates a beautiful and elegant pearl, rich in colour and shine.

Most famous family that started creating pearls is Talevi family. This family business was started in 1924 by Vane and his uncle Mihail. Ohrid family Talevi is a synonym of unique, natural pearls. Their business is carry over from generation to generation only from father to son.

Jewellery creation in 1935
Selling Ohrid Pearls in 1935


The shop in the main retail part of Ohrid is on the walking street. The shop is run by family members. They work only with natural materials. Even the brushes are maid from squirrel and horse fibers. Every grain of pearl is smeared by special emulsion, which is a family secret. It is made out of a shell covered with an emulsion made out of the scales of the local fish called “ Plashica “. Smearing from one to another grain of pearl takes 45 min. or one hour to dry well. The surface of the pearl is characterized by a high velvety shine, a reflection in all the colors of the rainbow.

Descendan of the Filev family creating Ohrid Pearls nowadays.

Another interesting fact is that the natural pearls are durable 150 years, but Ohrid Pearl is durable for ever. One of the most famous persons that had the honour to wear piece of jewellery made from this family was the queen Elizabeth ||

The pearls made by Filevi  and Talev family  were worn by many world famous people:

Queen Elizabeth
Giovanna Savoiska of Italy
Marie Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Queen of Serbian Karađorđević Dynasty
Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark




  • Architect from Macedonia deeply in love with traveling, heritage and mountains.

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