Acceptable Finishing Techniques for Pearls

Acceptable Finishing Techniques for Pearls

This woman is working on a pearl farm to open and clean oysters for their pearls.
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Tips For Buying Pearls

Tips For Buying Pearls

Buying pearls should be a very tactile experience as well as visual. The nacre IS the pearl and that is what you will be judging. Of course, the design of the piece is part of your decision, but that is personal. I want you to get the best pearls and here are a few suggestions to help you make that decision.
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Pearls as a Sustainable Gem

Pearls as a Sustainable Gem


This is a big topic and I may split it into a couple of blogs. There are so many facets to sustainability.
Sustainability is acting to avoid  the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Oysters are naturally a great source to maintain the marine biodiversity because they are filter feeders. 

 

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Nucleation of an Oyster

Nucleation of an Oyster

Nucleation Nucleation is the process of surgically implanting a spherical “starter” mother of pearl bead into the gonad organ of (in saltwater) oysters or (in freshwater) mussels. It is an extremely delicate operation to slice into the organ without harming the mollusk. Along with the bead, a tiny piece of mantel tissue that is cut...
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Rare Fijian Saltwater Pearls

Rare Fijian Saltwater Pearls

Fijian Pearls are grouped in the usual collection of Tahitian Pearls, but they are technically not Tahitian Pearls. They are Fijian Pearls. They are even cultivated in a subset of oyster than the Tahitian Pearls. Tahitians are farmed in the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster, while the Fijian Pearls are farmed in the Pinctada Margaritifera typica oyster.
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What are Blue Akoya Pearls?

What are Blue Akoya Pearls?

There was a question about natural Blue Akoya Pearls that came to the Cultured Pearl Association of America last week. I thought I would pass on this information because I have a  Blue Akoya Pearl and Aquaprase necklace in this email. The question was, how rare are they and what gives them their intense color?...
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Pearl Qualities-Nacre

Pearl Qualities-Nacre

This drawing shows you a more detailed look at how nacre is formed. A mother of pearl shell bead nucleus is inserted into the host oyster, along with a square of donor mantle tissue from another oyster who has previously borne pearls of high or exceptional value, and the oyster is left to begin secreting...
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Gold Lipped Oyster Shell

Pearl Qualities-Color

Yes. Let’s talk about color. I am sure you are aware, by now, that there are many colors of pearls in their natural state. But how do they get their color? This is a Gold Lipped Oyster shell. What color pearl do you think this oyster made? Well, yes. Good guess...
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Pearl Qualities-Surface

Pearl Qualities-Surface

I had to dig deep to come up with these seriously flawed pearls. I usually through away any rogue pearls with problems, but these were stashed in some long forgotten bin. Thank heavens. These are ugly.  Describing the surface quality of a pearl comes in terms of “flaws”. Most of the synonyms for flaws are...
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Pearl Qualities-Luster (my personal favorite)

Pearl Qualities-Luster (my personal favorite)

In this photo from the Gemological Institute of America, from top to bottom, these Japanese saltwater cultured pearls show excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor luster. The differences in the sharpness of the reflections between each adjacent strand are subtle but still noticeable. Luster is one of the most significant pearl qualities. The luster...
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Pearl Qualities-Matching

Pearl Qualities-Matching

Matching is one of the Classic qualities of pearl judging. The perfect necklace would have all perfectly round, matching in every aspect, pearls. To make this necklace all of these pearls had to be the same round shape, the same color or tone of color, the same perfect surface condition, the same size…
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Pearl Qualities-Shape

Pearl Qualities-Shape

I started in my last email illuminating on the first of the Pearl Qualities, Size.  This time we will talk about Shape.  Usually, the more round and symmetrical the shape, the more value the pearl will have. Round, Off Round or Potato Pearls, Drop, Baroque, and Circle Pearls are the run down in order of value...
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