I would like to ask if anyone can tell me, what is the cause of the white blemish on the subsurface of this golden coloured Saltwater Pearl. Ie treatment, thin nacre or some other reason the colour is absent? Hope the answer is not too obvious. the picture is very magnified. thank you.
May & Mike
purveyor of pearls
Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
Hello and welcome to the forum.
Further information would be helpful - how big are these pearls and is the white streaking an indentation in the nacre surface (ie a scratch removing the top golden colour) or is it a natural indentation in the nacre which happens to be white. can you also say where you got these pearls - unfortunately we have had recent experience of novices being lied to by deceitful and possibly fraudulent sellers.
Sorry to fire all these questions at you but they will help form an opinion..
A couple more photos would help too -perhaps the whole necklace for one and then a close up with macro setting of one of the scratches from a couple of angles.
My first wild guess is a bad dye job. At a lecture by Elizabeth Strack about pearl treatments several years ago, she showed us photos similar to that as a way to tell the pearls were dyed. I sincerely hope you did not pay a Golden South Sea Pearl price for those.
If it is gold nacre, there would be no white spots, esp. smears.
Here's an image of one of my goldens that shows similar type whitish inclusions - both pin-points and streaks or light scoring of the nacre. Although the inclusions on my pearls aren't as dramatic as yours, perhaps that's due to the saturation of your body colors which seem pretty dark golden, ends up heightening the contrasts...
These are natural inclusions- just an area of the pearl's surface that didn't get completely covered in the nacre (aragonite platelets), and shows the organic layer of conchioline (i.e. the neutrally-colored "glue" layer binding the crystalline layers together, that ranges in hue from whitish to light tan to light greys) instead. Each of these layers is very thin, so any interruption in the layering process i.e. missing bricks in the wall, would result in a similar inclusion.
I've attached close ups of one of my larger baroque Tahitian strands as well for heightened contrasts, so you can get a good idea of the range of this type of inclusion- i.e. pin-pricks, light scoring, gouges and even parts of the surface that looks almost "chewed". Hope this helps!
Thank you all for your prompt and technical replies, very much appreciated. Particular thanks to Ashley who put into words what i had suspected as the surface layer is intact, also many thanks for your pictures they help alot.
The pearls in my picture are 10-11mm and quite a deep yellow colour and the actual sea of origin is The Arafura Sea, the Mollusc is of course the Pinctada Maxima. if you would like to see the whole necklace follow this link but i should warn you it is my website and therefore shamefull commercial http://www.pearlmagpie.co.uk/saltwat...-necklace.html.
Thank you all again, forgive the time delay we are on GMT
I had a thought..... OH, dear, don't run away! Anyway, remember the multicolored circled Tahititian pearls a couple of weeks ago?. I wonder if that streak is the beginning of a circle, that just didn't have time to finish?
And yes, now that my memory has kicked in, Strack showed us in that same lecture, slides of dyed goldens. Some did have the divots filled with dye.
I've definitely seen those blemishes before in both kinds of pearls. I've also seen color treated Tahitians that were easier to spot because of the dye visibility in the blemishes (go Macy's!). I wouldn't put it past dealers that enhance golden's colors to clear the divot marks somehow. But that's just speculation.
Sorry to disappear for the weekend and leave the thread unanswered! Thank you all for the kudos The Golden necklace that I used higher up is GSN-0438-PURE http://www.purepearls.com/aa-quality...-necklace.html / It's listed as a AA/AA+ Quality, 10.9-14mm, 18-Inches, Semi-Round in shape with an 18K tone- the image above had the shadows lightened a bit which de-saturated the pearls unfortunately.
We choose to offer a wide range South Sea and Tahitian pearls for a variety of budgets and personalities- not every strand of pearls is perfect or AAA, and not every budget is either. With this particular necklace I felt that the great price point in relation to size and color would make it a good fit for our site; also the deeper body color and well, I'll fess up and brag- lovely luster and subtle orient, tend to visually overwhelm the inclusions so they're not quite as noticeable from the casual observer's standpoint- each of those photos I posted above were extreme closeups.
"I wonder if that streak is the beginning of a circle, that just didn't have time to finish?" Caitlin - Yes, that's exactly what some of these streaks are if I recall my Strack correctly
Dye usually coats/colors the steaks and inclusions, or at least collect around the edges and leave unsightly coloring- my Unfavorite thing about dye is that it covers up the pearls' natural iridescence for the most part, leaving a kind of plastic-look on the surface in terms of color distribution and the luster- I took a look at Magpie's Golden strand and it doesn't appear to be treated, but I wouldn't be able to 110% certify that without getting my hands on them, or get them to a lab. There are some treatments out there for Golden color enhancements that I've seen that frankly blew me out of the water, but there was still that overall uniform-hue aspect to the pearls that was a tip-off.
Here are some close-ups of color-treated Chocolate Tahitian inclusions- the dye has pooled into the dents, divots and streaks with a very dark brown/blackish color...
Last edited by Ashley; 10-31-2011 at 08:13 PM.
Reason: Smiley Face Overdrive!! Waxing too poetic... :)