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Natural Pearls

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  • Natural Pearls

    Natural Pearls Defined

    Natural pearls are calcium carbonate secretions which form within mollusks without human intervention.

    Natural Pearls Accidents of Nature

    Natural pearls are formed randomly and really are simple accidents of nature. When a certain type of irritant, such as a parasite, becomes lodged in the tissue of a mollusk, the animal responds by secreting a calcium carbonate substance called nacre to coat the intruder and protect the mollusk. Over a period of several years, this build-up of nacre forms a natural pearl.

    Discovery of Natural Pearls is Rare

    Natural pearls of any commercial value or desirability are extremely rare. Instead, since the early part of the 20th century, cultured pearls have supplanted natural pearls as the most common and available pearls.
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    Cultured Pearls vs. Natural Pearls

    Cultured pearls are still real pearls, grown organically inside of oysters in the same way as natural pearls. The difference is that in the case of cultured pearls, the pearl farmer intentionally stimulates the development of the pearl by inserting a "nucleus" into the oyster. Thus, the formation and discovery of the pearl are no longer left to chance.

    Natural Pearls Today

    Although natural pearls are found primarily in older jewelry from estate sales and auctions, their popularity is making a comeback. Colorful abalone and conch pearls have begun to find favor in exotic, unique designs. Recently, in 2007, a double strand of 68 perfect natural pearls known as the "Baroda Pearls" was auctioned at Christie's Auction House for $7 million American Dollars.

    Related Articles and Forum Threads:
    Last edited by CortezPearls; 06-08-2021, 07:20 PM. Reason: added photo
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    • Pearls in the Web of Life - Part 2
      by CortezPearls
      In a sense, pearl oysters might be a “small ecosystem” of their own, a self-contained biome where a tug of war ensues and leads to eventual stability. But why does this happen? And does it hurt the mollusk? One of my Marine Biology teachers -Dr Fernando Manrique, a friend of Jacques Cousteau- once told us that the Ocean was teeming with Life, and that the hardest thing for many lifeforms to find was an “available apartment”, a place to settle and that would help them avoid being tossed...
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      by CortezPearls
      The most important factor here is nacre thickness. Many Mabe are cultured for short periods of time (4 months) to obtain the most perfect shape, but at the expense of their nacre thickness and durability. On the other hand, there are producers that grown them for too long (over 12 months) and end up having pearls that have thick nacre, but their shapes are not standardized, and they may display one or more of the surface imperfections we discussed in the previous paragraph. There is usually a middle...
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    • Grading Mabe Pearls -5) Surface Quality
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      • Missing Nacre: whitish, bite shaped marks.
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    • Grading Mabe Pearls - 4) Mabe Luster
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      We have already covered the different natural colorations we can find in the different species...
      08-23-2021, 03:22 PM
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