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  1. #16
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by katbadness View Post
    I was told by one vendor that the blue color is a result of "impurities" in the water that is filtered through by the oysters during the cultivation period. Not being a scientist, I don't even know if this explanation even makes sense. Could this be true?
    You were misinformed. The physiology of the graft donor determines color. Some farmers will suggest their pearls have a "tinge" of color apart from other farmers, but I think it's because of regional genetic diversity not necessarily the quality of the water. Any variations are slight, not pronounced. We hear all kinds of tales of black pearls from brackish waters and such, but most are just fables attached to dyed or otherwise misrepresented pearls.

    Ambient seawater never contacts the pearl during growth. In every case, elements are uptaken metabolically at an atomic level then reintroduced into the bloodstream. The term "impurities" is meaningless because the entire ocean is made up of millions of combinations of elements, minerals, pathogens and other chemical differences. Shellfish do not eat everything they contact, in fact the opposite is true. They eat only what they can digest at that particular time of year. The remainder of compounds collected are expelled as pseudo-feces.

    Here in Canada, we have a lot of freshwater streams and marine estuaries with different elemental compositions from the upland. These differences are detectable in some shells, but pigmentation as a result is not a marker that precedes genetic expression.

    Vegetarians don't turn green.

  2. #17
    Administrator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lagoon Island Pearls View Post
    You were misinformed. The physiology of the graft donor determines color.

    Vegetarians don't turn green.

    Are you saying that environmental conditions and the host mollusk has no effect on the color?

    Also I'll bring up that flamingos turn pink because of the beta carotene in their diet, same goes for salmon flesh.
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  3. #18
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Love this! Thank you, I will try these suggestions and see what turns up

    Vegetarians don't turn green. LOL Thank goodness for that, I don't think green is my color. But the first thing I thought of was the flamingo

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Canning View Post
    Are you saying that environmental conditions and the host mollusk has no effect on the color?

    Also I'll bring up that flamingos turn pink because of the beta carotene in their diet, same goes for salmon flesh.
    Haha!! I was going to mention ethat, but decided to keep it simple.

    If shellfish and flamingos ate the same food it might be the case, but they don't. Even if they did, then it would not be considered an impurity. Shellfish eat single celled or slightly larger organisms. Highly pigmented organisms are far too complexed and large to be ingested by shellfish.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Canning View Post
    Are you saying that environmental conditions and the host mollusk has no effect on the color?
    I didn't say that. I mentioned farmers sometimes suggest a "tinge" of color difference, but there is no supporting evidence that this is solely an environmental factor, because for this to be true, the entire harvest would be affected and we'd be able to identify pearls from specific farms just by eyesight.

  6. #21
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    This is a pearl I asked about a while ago. I used a mighty brite book lamp and just my iPhone. I know I need a better camera. I did this with a couple baroque pearls I purchased recently too. I will post more photos of them shortly.
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  7. #22
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    This one GG said was a freeform SSP. How big is the MOP bead used for SSP? I have another pearl with a black spot on it that I candled but those didn't come out so well. It was really hard to hold and photograph. I have a couple photos that are ok. So I will try again later.
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  8. #23
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Nicely done!

    If you put a piece of cardboard with a small hole (I've used a hole punch, and also just poked a hole with a screwdriver to make the hole) over the light, then place the pearl over the hole you'll have a much easier time visualizing the interior of the pearl. Can you prop up the light somehow so it makes the lit portion like a table?

    You kids who actually post pictures are very cool!
    Last edited by lisa c; 10-22-2013 at 04:11 PM.

  9. #24
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Thank you Lisa c! I will definitely try that ~d

  10. #25
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    So far, so good. The critical focus of the pendant could use some work, but the large piece is quite acceptable. It's very obviously a mature pearl and probably over-mature, which is a good indicator of natural pearls. More than two thirds of my naturals are over-mature.

  11. #26
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    Just being curious : how can you know that a pearl is mature, or over-mature ? Are there signs, typical features ?

  12. #27
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    I will try again tonight with the other pearls. Thank you so much for all your help ~d

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isi View Post
    Just being curious : how can you know that a pearl is mature, or over-mature ? Are there signs, typical features ?
    Most cultured pearls are less than 3 years in age. Juvenile growth is more desirable for luster.

    When harvested, most naturals are already several years old. Calcite displaces aragonite in mature adults.

    This is why some pearls can be peeled to reveal highly nacreous layers.

  14. #29
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    My other pearl. GG also said this one was A freeform SS.
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  15. #30
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    A couple more....
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