View Full Version : Is this a Tahitian?
01-21-2010, 06:03 PM
My husband brought this home last night. Someone donated it to his school's silent auction, and they want me to set it. My first response in light last night was negative, but that there was also something strange about the pearl. The donor said it was a Tahitian baroque. The shape is very freeform, and it also feels very light to me. In the cloudy light this morning, the pearl color was much less mottled, and very vibrantly blue.
It is about 10mm by 12mm. I started thinking no bead in it, but there is a place at the bottom that seems to has very little nacre color and could be the bead. Anyway, I'm hesitant to drill it, and looking for some opinions. Here is a pic to get you started, but you can go to this site
to see larger and more pics of it.
Just curious as to the PG thoughts. :D
Also loving my new digital SLR!! The macro's great, now that I figured out that it wasn't focusing because I was looking through the viewfinder with my reading glasses on. :rolleyes: I'm no Natalie.
01-21-2010, 06:15 PM
tough to say, I'm thinking its not a tahitian but that's just my gut. The shape would be uncommon if it was a tahitian then again it doesn't scream dyed freshwater either.
Any info on where it came from? Nice shots and pretty color though.
01-21-2010, 06:54 PM
Baroque tahitians and south sea still have a roundness and usually an axis of symmetry, with a rotational form. this looks much more freshwater in shape.
The odd spot is indeed odd
As Kevin says, very pretty colours and lustre
Could it be a Cortez? (I'm suggesting that because of the blue but then Cortez blue is more grey..)
I'm going to say freshwater, based mostly on the shape...but it could be a bead nuked one (hence the weird spot)
01-21-2010, 07:16 PM
I'm pretty positive it is not freshwater. It really doesn't look dyed at all, in fact I'd say not and I've never seen that kind of blue on a freshwater, maybe someone else has? The surface has a quality like the blue South Sea pearls I've seen like looking through water, and I've been seeing some very strange shapes coming from Indonesia. Something about the mottled colors remind me of the Akoya baroques that were from Vietnam, and the colors look like abalone. Could it be non-nuked (I'm afraid to say natural)? My husband is trying to get some info on where she got it.
I just posted some more pics that show the other more mottled side of the pearl.
and here's the PG version of one of the pics -
01-21-2010, 07:34 PM
Could this be a Kasumi pearl?
01-21-2010, 07:34 PM
Congratulations on the new camera! Wow, what a colorful pearl. Nice Haliotis iris colors. Whatever it is, there must be a big gas bubble for it to be so light, so drill carefully, if at all. Thanks for sharing. ;)
01-21-2010, 07:47 PM
I agree with Blaire. It could definitely be an abalone. It doesn't look like a Tahitian pearl at all.
01-21-2010, 07:49 PM
It does look a lot like the pearls in this picture -
Do abalone pearls get that big in that shape?
I wish I had more background on it and will share if I get it. I don't want to put my name with it and have the info be incorrect. Gas bubble, hmm. Is that like a stinky pearl, or will something else happen if I drill it?
01-21-2010, 08:09 PM
You can tell if it's a Sea of Cortez pearl by looking at it in ultraviolet light. Do you have a party blacklite? They glow red. ;) The pearls, that is!
01-21-2010, 08:12 PM
Stinky? Maybe, but not always. You'll be drilling, when suddenly the pearl will give way as you hit the air bubble. This can lead to unintentional drill-throughs. ;)
01-21-2010, 08:35 PM
Thanks for the info, Blaire! I'll try the black light, but husband just said that the pearl was given to the woman while in Japan by a friend who said it was a Tahitian. Kasumi?
I'm seeing some of this in it
01-21-2010, 09:15 PM
Doesn't look like any of the kasumi I've seen
01-21-2010, 10:05 PM
ya I'd rule out Kasumi also, doesn't look like any we've seen. Jeremy and Blaire may have it right, at least the colors look like Abalone now that they mention it. That would be a very nice abalone pearl if it is in the 10-12mm range.
01-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Yes, I could go with abalone ...esp if you allow that the photo might be a bit dark (what colour is the background?)
01-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Well I am posting as a very "non-expert"....but my first thought due to the colors was that it could be abalone, but then again, is that common for abalone to take on a more "rounder/baroque" shape? I thought they were a little more "funky" shaped. Sorry for lack of pearl terminology... LOL! I am secretly hoping that it is Abalone though!!
Maybe you should contact NaturalPearls to see if this pearl in anywhere in the range of possibility of an abalone pearl?
01-21-2010, 11:04 PM
Two mysteries in one pearl! Thanks so much for documenting it here. I hope it is resolved. I am eager to know more.
01-21-2010, 11:33 PM
Yes, a true mystery pearl! Doesn't look to me like either a Kasumi or Cortez. But very beautiful, for sure!
01-22-2010, 01:36 AM
How difficult/expensive is it to xray the pearl to see if there is a gas bubble? Do I recall seeing somewhere here, that a dentist's xray is sufficient for this?
01-22-2010, 04:28 AM
To X-ray pearls it is quite expensive, just like going to the dentist;)
I reckon this will have a good resolution when a Pearl specialist sees it in the flesh.
01-23-2010, 02:30 AM
So I will say that this could be a Tahitian Pearl. Off course, not the one we are used to see in the pearl business, but as I worked with a lot of tahitian pearls, I have seen some pearls quite similar to this one.
It is probably the bid (nucleus) that you could see through the brown layer of nacre; It should be the best part to drill, so you can hide this "ugly" brown color under a nice cup. But, I will not be surprise that a liquid with a very bad smell will go out from this hole (drilling).
The other face is quite interesting for the color; actually the same pearls that I have seen, were quite similar. the colors looked like confuse. I will tried to find some pearls quite similar and to take some pictures.
Hope it s help?
01-23-2010, 06:56 AM
Marama, that would be great, as the donors insist it is a Tahitian. I have drilled stinky pearls a couple of times - I'll be ready. I also hear that sometimes pearls with the stinky inner part create a blue color which later fades (the color). Any experience with that?
02-02-2010, 10:31 PM
Well, here are the latest results. I very carefully drilled the pearl, going from the end that looked to be the bead end. I drilled carefully, but the pressure of the cups holding the pearl caused the surface to completely crack. One small piece fell out (OK with a little prodding from me) and here are pictures. The end without the bead was completely hollow, and a little stinking, but no liquid. More and more I am wondering if this is some kind of Akoya baroque, albeit a large one. Are they trying to grow larger Akoya's anywhere? Here are the pics. Your opinions welcome, although the mystery is somewhat moot now.
02-03-2010, 12:31 AM
I really have no opinion... I guess you felt it was worth trying to find out what kind of pearl it is enough to have such a sad end result. Sorry that the result couldn't be better for you. :(
02-03-2010, 01:34 AM
Wow, another learning experience! Doubt there was anything you could have done to prevent the breaking. The pearl certainly falls in Tahitian size range. Just an anomaly, I guess. Thanks for the awesome photos!
02-03-2010, 04:49 AM
I'd rather have it break during drilling. I think a good bounce on any hard surface would have done the same thing, and then someone would have paid for it! The school wanted me to drill it and knew that I felt it was risky, so they're cool about it. Still wondering what it is. Could that have passed the Tahitian government xray?
02-03-2010, 06:05 AM
Can you tell how thick the nacre is?
02-03-2010, 07:23 AM
did it actually have a bead nuke or just space?
maybe one to be hand held not drilled with a fixed drill....
02-03-2010, 09:57 PM
I think the hole is through the bead nuke - it looks like there is no nacre there.
Honestly, I think this pearl would have cracked if it was dropped. it was like it was just a shell at the top.
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