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  1. #1
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Default reborn keshi, shell pearls, and more

    Hi all,

    I just encountered an online shop selling "reborn keshi". What are these?
    A post by Zeide a few days ago led me to think they are keshi produced in the empty pearl sack after the cultured pearl has been collected (thus reborn). Am I right?

    I also saw another shop selling shell pearls. I knew it exists as I have seen a necklace of Tahiti "pearls" whose owner told me they were made of ground pearl nacre. I'm a bit perplex about the nature of these "pearls". Are they coated beads?

    I have attached a few photos I gathered on the internet, one is from eBay (the seller name is on the pic), the other one from xaxe.com

    [tinyfont]Pearls from the first pic look pretty much like a very well matched strand of highly reflective akoyas to me[/tinyfont]
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    Last edited by effisk; 08-22-2006 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Slraep
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    Allo Effisk,

    Shell pearls are not real pearls and most of them are made in Vietnam.
    About seven coats of polymer lacquer containing powdered fish scale and other ingredients is sprayed onto the host bead. They are nice quality faux perles. They come in many interesting colours and sizes.


    Slraep

  3. #3
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks slraep (your nick gives me a headache when I try to read it ).

    Some of these shell "pearls" sellers sell "south sea shell pearls", arguing that the bead of their "pearls" are made of the shell of Pinctada maxima. Could be made of plastic or glass, it wouldn't make much difference to the eye, would it?

  4. #4
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi FX,

    The "reborn" pearls are cut-off blister pearls. Sometimes they are even peeled but most of the time they are just cut off, dyed and that's it.

    Shell pearls come in a large variety of qualities. Some are pearl powder plus pigment plus polyresin pressed into bead shapes, others are various types of lacquer sprayed onto a tridacna bead, and the most expensive kind consists of mississippi shell beads onto which a coat of dissolved mother of pearl avec some pigment has precipitated from an oversaturated solution. The last type is being sold under various brandnames for quite amazing amounts of money. They are also a sellevision darling.

    Zeide

  5. #5
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Angry

    This is so far from the pure and innocent round (nucleated) pearl I thought all pearls were before I started learning about pearls.

    All these pieces of nacre/shell/mab?/dom?/shell-powder should not be called pearls. This name should be reserved for round to baroque cultured (or natural) pearls. What's the exact legislation for the use of that name in the US?

    The French law is pretty clear about this, although many sellers still ignore it.
    Article 8 - Les termes "perle" ou "perle fine" sont r?serv?s aux perles form?es dans les coquilles perli?res sans intervention quelconque de l'homme, quelles que soient la provenance ou l'origine des perles.
    Article 9 - Toute perle dont la formation dans une coquille perli?re est provoqu?e artificiellement par l'intervention de l'home, quel que soit le moyen utilis?,ne peut ?tre d?sign?e que par l'appellation "perle de culture".
    Article 10 - Le mot "perle" ne peut ?tre employ? pour d?signer un objet qui n'est pas le produit d'une coquille perli?re et qui est susceptible d'imiter une perle fine ou une perle de culture que s'il est imm?diatement accompagn? du mot "imitation". Sont prohib?es toutes autres expressions concernant le mot "perle".
    Basically, you cannot call "perle" anything that's not a natural pearl. Cultured pearls can only be named "perles de culture" and anything imitating a cultured pear or a natural pearl cannot be called "perle", unless immediately followed by "imitation".

    Some dealers argue that the word "naturelles" is not mentionned here, and call their cultured pearl products "perles naturelles" (natural pearls). I think this is wrong and misleading. Article 14 of the same law states that
    l'emploi de toute indication susceptible
    de cr?er dans l'esprit de l'acheteur une confusion sur la nature des perles
    est interdit
    the use of any indication likely to mislead the buyer on the nature of the pearl is prohibited (sorry for my bad translation).

  6. #6
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi FX,

    The legal language requirements are just the same in the U.S., however, as an avid jewelry shopper in both bricks-and-mortar world and online I can assure you that compared to the nonsense I have heard in actual jewelry stores, eBay is basically a haven of truth. I cannot even count how many store clerks told me with a straight face that they only sell genuine natural pearls and then whipped out some Blue Lagoon piece and even worse, Majoricas, that they assured me were cultured in the Bayuvaric Islands of Greece when I pressed for details. The infamous "sequoia pearls" are by now a classic joke, even though the lady who was trying to sell me her "genuine sequoia pearls" at one of the big department stores here in Fresno way back in 1999 or so is probably still offering akoyas with this pitch.

    Zeide

  7. #7
    Slraep
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    Hi Effisk,

    Sometimes reading a name backwards helps.

    Best shell pearls have MOP centers and have 20 layers of lacquer. There are many qualities.

    Interesting about the use of the word "perle" in France.

    A salesperson last week was speaking to me about rare pearls from the Isle of Keshi. How there were less and less of them on the market....

    Slraep
    Last edited by Slraep; 04-20-2009 at 05:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Slraep,

    Wow, some day I really want to visit the magical Isle of Keshi. I bet it is one of the Bayuvaric Islands of Greece and they have sequoia pearls there.

    Zeide

  9. #9
    Cam Hatch
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    Slraep, you should have kept us guessing about your name longer It's just as bad as saying "South Sea Shell Pearl" five times fast...impossible, just like trying to convince most people they're not real.