Unconfigured Ad Widget



No announcement yet.

Grading Mabe Pearls - 3) Colors


  • Grading Mabe Pearls - 3) Colors

    Mabe pearl color is highly dependent on the species of mollusk that is producing the blisters, and even within each species you will be able to find a great variation of all-natural colors, but many Mabe are also dyed to produce an artificial coloration. Although we will not go in great detail on this subject, we will quickly cover some of the ways these pearls are given these artificial colors.

    We have already covered the different natural colorations we can find in the different species that are commonly employed for Mabe pearl production, but we will again have them here for easier comparison:
    Common Name Scientific Name Natural Coloration
    Mabe-gai Pteria penguin White, silvery gray, golden
    South Sea Mabe Pinctada maxima White, silvery gray, champagne
    Tahitian Mabe Pinctada margaritifera Dove gray with rainbow stripes
    Eyris Blue Pearl Haliotis iris Green-Blue, with varied overtones
    Cortez Mabe Pteria sterna White, silvery gray, purple, emerald green, blue, red, coppery and golden, with varied overtones
    Some coomon Colors for Mabe pearls

    In the case of artificial colorations, we have the typical “bright” colors (such as flamingo-pink, lemon-green, deep-golds, deep-blues, etc.) and the more traditional colorations, such as mother-of-pearl white, cream and gold and even blacks. In every case, these colors take advantage of a very thin nacre coating, so the color is actually found just beneath the thin nacred dome. There are basically three ways these colors are produced:

    1. The Mabe insert (nucleus) has the desired color, and the color is seen through the very thin nacre coating.
    2. During processing, the Mabe blister dome is filled with a colored epoxy, this being the color that will display through the thin nacre coating.
    3. A lacquer coating is applied to the inner Mabe blister dome, and this is the color that will be displayed.
    Mabe with Artificial Colorations

    Naturally colored blue pearls -such a as those found in Eyris and Cortez Mabe pearls- are rare and valuable, whereas those using artificial coloration are usually produced in some parts of Asia and are quite inexpensive.

    Next Entries on the Subject:

    4) Mabe Pearl Luster
    5) Mabe Pearl Surface Quality
    6) Mabe Pearl Nacre Quality
    7) Mabe Pearl Dome Height
    Last edited by CortezPearls; 08-23-2021, 11:26 PM.
      Posting comments is disabled.





    There are no tags yet.

    Latest Articles


    • DIY Project: Make your very own Pearls in Half!
      by CortezPearls
      You have probably seen those photos of beautiful pearls that have been "cut in half" so you can see their inner structure, and you probably wondered how those are worked: are they sawed off? maybe a machete?

      Well, wonder no more! This little video explains in detail how you can make your very own, very nice...pearls in half.

      You will need:
      1. Sandpaper sheets, one of each: 60 (very rough), 80 (medium grit) and 220 (fine grit, also called "water
      10-26-2021, 07:30 PM
    • 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...
      10-11-2021, 05:12 PM
    • Mabe Pearl Grading - 7) Dome Height
      by CortezPearls
      Part of the beauty of a Mabe pearl comes from its “dome” (height). When a Mabe pearl displays a low dome it most closely resembles a piece of mother-of-pearl shell than an actual pearl. Unfortunately, many Mabe pearls today are grown too flat, due to the intrinsic characteristic of the host shell: Pinctada shells are usually flatter than Pteria shells (the shells being much more concave) which does not allow for the use of tall implants, since these will touch the opposite shell and will cause the...
      08-23-2021, 11:20 PM
    • Mabe Pearl Grading - 6) Nacre Quality
      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...
      08-23-2021, 03:47 PM
    • Grading Mabe Pearls -5) Surface Quality
      by CortezPearls
      As with other pearls, surface quality is an important attribute: the cleaner the surface is, the more desirable the Mabe is and more valuable too. The usual surface imperfections found in these are:

      • Missing Nacre: whitish, bite shaped marks.
      • Spots, pinpricks: dark or light-colored pin-prick markings.
      • Rippled surface: these are markings caused by the growth of the abductor muscle on top of the blister pearl. This marking causes the appearance of wavy...
      08-23-2021, 03:30 PM
    • Grading Mabe Pearls - 4) Mabe Luster
      by CortezPearls
      Mabe pearls are not very known for their great luster, although many of these pearls may display amazing luster. Mabe usually display a more silky or subdued luster, especially in the Pinctada species and is most shiny in the Pteria species…but luster is usually enhanced by means of a final polishing, done with a high-speed cloth-wheel and a polishing compound, although much care must be taken to avoid excessive polishing that leads to heat and may ultimately damage the pearls by “burning”...
      08-23-2021, 03:26 PM