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Thread: Nautilus pearl

  1. #1
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Default Nautilus pearl

    Hi all,

    I have held in my hand a pearl from a nautilus last week end.

    The pearl was egg shaped, about 8x6mm, white, it seemed translucent, porcelain-like. The surface was not smooth.

    I did some research, and the only reference to a nautilus pearl I could find is an article in a French magazine La Nature in 1912. This article says that a photography of a nautilus pearl was given by a Mr. Lyster Jameson to Nature Magazine (14x11mm, 18 carat). I don't know if the photo has been published in that magazine.

    Has anyone else heard of nautilus pearls ?

  2. #2
    CLICLASP
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    Hello,
    Would you post a picture ?
    I was thinking of a Nautilus shell /osmena, but I am sure you are talking about a real pearl, anxious to see it ...

  3. #3
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    yes I am talking about a proper pearl. I don't have any pictures, but will ask the owner if I can take some.

  4. #4
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Effisk

    Please do see if you can get some pictures!

    In theory, if other shelled creatures like conch and whelk can have pearls, why not Nautilus shell?

    Osmina/osmena (I see it spelled both ways) "pearls" are usually shaped out of the middle of the shell material. It has a very special luster you can recognize as being from a nautilus shell.

  5. #5
    Valeria101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin Williams

    In theory, if other shelled creatures like conch and whelk can have pearls, why not Nautilus shell?
    Wonder how that works - after all the animal a primitive cephalopodes not among the usual bivalve and gastropods pearl-makers. Anatomical similarities don't go that far.

    Only heard of 'Nautilus Pearl' as a name for Osmena.

    If this pearl is what it is said to be, that's quite a bit of news!

    Well, just a thought. Is there a zoologist in the house?

  6. #6
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Here is a peeled nautilus shell showing the osmina core
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  7. #7
    GemGeek
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    THAT is a cool picture, thanks!

  8. #8
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Sorry for the wait

    I'll try to get closeups. The skin of the pearl is really different, a bit like sanded glass.
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  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Wonderful photo!

    O looked up nautilus pearls just now in Strack (I'm like a kid with a new toy with this fantastic book.) She has a section on osmena pearls, but for nautilus pearls she says (page 111) :

    "Pearls from Nautilus pompilius are absolute rarities. Indeed, it cannot be even said with any certainty that they do exist. They are described as having a baroque or pear shape and a white colour without lustre. Some rare, pink samples have also been reported.... "

  10. #10
    Ashley
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    Did you notice any sort of chatoyancy or flame within the pearl while you were looking at it? The "porcelain" attribute used to describe the surface reminds me very much of the conch pearls- rather glassy, non-lustrous, non-iridescent.

  11. #11
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley View Post
    Did you notice any sort of chatoyancy or flame within the pearl while you were looking at it? The "porcelain" attribute used to describe the surface reminds me very much of the conch pearls- rather glassy, non-lustrous, non-iridescent.
    I'll really have to get a closeup as the surface is really hard to describe. It isn't smooth, I wouldn't say porcelain like. It's actually slightly bumpy, but with a regular pattern. No flames comparable to the conch pearls. It seems slightly transparent too. There is no iridescence as such but there is something that could compare to it.

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Effisk,

    This is exciting. I feel privileged to be able to one day see close-up photos of such a rare product of Nature!

    Thank you for this thread!
    CarolK

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Fascinating. We've had references to osmena/osmina here, but not to pearls. 'Pearl Nautilus' converts to 'Nautilus Pearl' on Pearl-Guide!

    Waiting for the close-ups, Effisk's photo offers enough detail to intrigue, with suggestions of both flame and opalescent qualities. Appears to be a kind of hybrid calcareous/nacreous creation. And I do perceive a hint of color (rose).

    I'll send everyone running to the optometrist with this cropping.

    Standing by…
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    Steve
    =======

  14. #14
    Ashley
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    No kidding- the blown out pixels are a little tough on the eyes there! I am tending to agree with you about the slight Rose shading- but maybe that is just an effect of the light? Or the camera? Hmmm

    Effisk- thank you for your detailed observations... I must admit: I am very intrigued. Am definitely looking forward to a few close up shots

  15. #15
    Natural Pearl Connoisseur Senior Guide Member DrTKStern's Avatar
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    Default Nautilus pearls do exist

    Quote Originally Posted by effisk View Post
    Hi all,

    I have held in my hand a pearl from a nautilus last week end.

    The pearl was egg shaped, about 8x6mm, white, it seemed translucent, porcelain-like. The surface was not smooth.

    I did some research, and the only reference to a nautilus pearl I could find is an article in a French magazine La Nature in 1912. This article says that a photography of a nautilus pearl was given by a Mr. Lyster Jameson to Nature Magazine (14x11mm, 18 carat). I don't know if the photo has been published in that magazine.

    Has anyone else heard of nautilus pearls ?

    That is exciting! From what ocean did it come? Waiting for a good closeup.

    Nautilus pompilius pearls definitely exist, but are perhaps the rarest of all pearls. As a cautionary note, there is a common object known near Australia as le coque de perle, which is carved from the central whirl where the shell is quite white.

    Il faut obtenir certification de SSEF a Basel ou GIA. Je voudrais bien voir une photo tres claire.

    Thanks,
    Tom Stern,MD
    Titan Natural Pearls
    San Francisco, CA