View Full Version : Treatments for White SS Pearls?
02-06-2007, 05:16 AM
We have discussed at length the treatments for white akoya and white freshwater pearls, but I don"t recall if all the bleaching and pinking apply to the white south sea also? Is it still a matter of doing the most to the poorer quality to make them look better?
02-06-2007, 01:40 PM
South Sea pearls do not require treatment like freshwater and Akoya pearls. There is a treatment, however, that some South Sea pearls are subjected to. This treatment is called Maeshori. This is a common treatment in Japan, and it is very likely that there is one treatment company in Australia as well, although none of the producers will give information on that one.
From what I understand, maeshori is a type of chemical luster treatment.
02-06-2007, 04:07 PM
Is it still a matter of doing the most to the poorer quality to make them look better?
Anyway, I don't know what is done to what, only that I have yet to just happen upon untreated akoya by chance, while at least every now and then South Sea pearls come with the guarantee (or lab reports) stating lack of color treatment. I am somewhat puzzled that this matter of treatment is a concern regarding south sea and black pearls and virtually never mentioned about akoya and freshwater. Price explains this, but would have expected consistency by naked logic alone.
I must be missing a bunch, because the 'big picture' of treatment ID, disclosure and certification on pearls looks terribly patchy from the little I now. As if just some type of treatment associated to price factors is ever done - whenever, rarely enough, anything at all is. The color origin of golden South Sea pearls is relatively 'common' subject of certification (i.e. if you look hard or ask hard some pearls might come with such guarantee or 'paper' for a premium), color treatment for black pearls - same, just even less common. NOW, other surface treatments that do not add coloring agents are not mentioned even on those rare lab reports of color origin... Does that make sense to you? Well... if folks directly concerned go by 'don't ask don't tell' - why not.
Low quality is supposed to be more prone to treatment - assuming 'low quality' is something not many would want to touch w/o said enhancement. Like 'geuda' sapphire... like (some) fluxed ruby... Who knows what a 12mm South Sea pearl looking flat, slick, warmly golden and priced $20 might be? Some are obvious - coating feeling 'soft' under a nail tip, color patches is you really look hard... just obviously too
cheap. Well... everything that makes sense to be treated is...
It's a confidence and trust thing... unless some miracle happens and treatment disclosure 'catches' like wildfire :o
Gotta' like the intro to the latest CIBJO pearl book:
" We’re now engaged into a campaign convincing producers, marketers and retailers of cultured pearls to consistently name their products exactly for what they are. [...] However, to implement our standards, we need all players in the pearling industry on board ..."
Citing from HERE (http://congress2006.cibjo.org/press_040406.html)
That's some big picture... Does it matter?
Frankly, I wouldn't expect any nomenclature, disclosure or grading standards to catch a foot hold soon; finding a like-minded seller capable and disposed to provide disclosure is possible. To me, it is a matter of guessing where such merchandise is potentially available (less pressure on everyone to scoop the impossible or the rare) and make it clear that disclosure is not going to ruin the sale this once :cool: Bluffing ? :o .. . This forum is a rare island just by mentioning treatments at all - at least that's a better start than a cold call.
PS: 'sure hope no one would take this sort of thing for expert advice - it is a quick confession of a shopper's extending green horns, so to speak.
02-06-2007, 09:47 PM
It's good to know some of the SS whites at least are pretty much as they come out of the pearl oyster by the time they reach market. I agree this forum has certainly helped identify the kinds of questions to ask, good luck getting answers, however.
Thanks, Jeremy,for the explanation and Ana for the reference to the CIBJO pearl book. The idea that we could slowly be moving toward disclosure is favorable.
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