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  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - Abalone Mabe

    VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - Abalone Mabe

    C. Abalone Mabe (Genus Haliotis)

    Abalone (or “Ear-shells” as they are sometimes referred) are not pearl oysters at all; they are, instead, an ancient group of marine “snails” known as Archaeogastropoda (Ancient belly-crawlers). Because they are snails, they move about their environment, living on rocks and grazing on brown seaweeds (kelp). Another interesting difference with pearl oysters is that these animals have a temperate water affinity: they prefer cold...
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  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - B. Mother-of-Pearl Oysters (genus Pinctada)

    B. Mother-of-Pearl Oysters (genus Pinctada)

    Black Lip Pearl oysters (Pinctada margaritifera)

    Black lip pearl oysters are known mainly for their beautiful, dark, cultured pearls but they have also been used to produce Mabe pearls, although in not great numbers.

    Part of the production strategy for Mabe pearls in French Polynesia and Fiji is at the very last part of the pearl producing cycle:
    Cultured (loose) pearls are produced for up to three cycles (first,...
    See more | Go to post

  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - “Rainbow Lipped Pearl Oyster”

    “Concha Nácar” or “Rainbow Lipped Pearl Oyster”

    This species of pearl oyster (Pteria sterna) has been used to produce both cultured loose pearls and Mabe pearls in Mexico. The first Mabe pearls were obtained back in 1994 and were the main product for the Guaymas based pearl farm until loose cultured pearls became more common (2002). Since 2010, “Cortez Mabe” have been produced in a steady number between 1 to 5-thousand pearls per year. There is an experimental Mabe pearl...
    See more | Go to post

  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - A. Winged Pearl Oysters (genus Pteria)

    There are several varieties of commercially grown Mabe Pearls that can be found at jeweler’s displays or on online vendors, but many have become rare over the years. The three main sources for Mabe pearls today are:
    1. Winged Pearl oysters from genus Pteria, including the “original” Mabe-gai (Pteria penguin) and the “Rainbow-lip” pearl oyster (Pteria sterna).
    2. Mother-of-Pearl oysters from genus Pinctada, mainly from the larger Silver (Pinctada maxima) and Black (Pinctada margaritifera) lipped pearl
    ...
    See more | Go to post

  • V. Processing Mabe or Natural Blisters

    V. Processing Mabe or Natural Blisters

    Since these pearls are not very useable in jewelry with the entire shell, they are processed: first they are cut from the shell, with the help of a handsaw, Dremel tool, core-drill or tile cutting saw. The type of tool will depend on availability and production volume, the first used mainly by occasional processing and the latter for commercial production.

    A lineup of the Mabe pearl process.

    Once the blister is separated from the shell, these are rinsed to remove grime,...
    See more | Go to post

  • You Are Invited to: PEARLS BY THE BAY 2021!!!

    You Are Invited to: PEARLS BY THE BAY 2021!!!

    It's the event we've all been waiting for, after two years of online everything... we can finally glow together!


    Date and time
    Sun, October 3, 2021
    1:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

    Location
    Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa (Junto)
    801 Bridgeway
    Sausalito, CA 94965 United States
    • We will meet in the open-air Junto Room at the Casa Madrona Hotel in Sausalito.
    • We will start with a plated lunch at 1pm. The event will be catered by Poggio's
    ...
    See more | Go to post

  • IV. Mabe Pearl Production Technology

    IV. Mabe Pearl Production Technology

    Ever since those Chinese monks started their first cultured blister pearl, the technique has basically remained the same: an “implant” is glued to the inner shell of the mollusk, under the animal’s mantle. The mantle will cover the said implant and then slowly secrete nacre on top of it until -some months later- the Mabe blister has a good enough coating of nacre to be harvested and processed.

    One of the important aspects of this pearl producing technique is the use...
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  • III. The Culture of Mabe Pearls

    III. The Culture of Mabe Pearls

    From 1908 to 1943, many Japanese entrepreneurs attempted -with mixed results- to utilize the “Penguin Shaped Pearl Oyster” (Pteria penguin) to produce both cultured blisters and whole cultured pearls. It all began with Sokichi Igaya on Amami Island in 1908, but his experiments soon closed. Jusaku Nakamura and Anami Oshima were more successful, but they always had problems securing enough wild adult pearl oysters for their farms. The main problem in this initial stage was the use of wild-caught adult...
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  • II. History of Blister Pearls

    II. History of Blister Pearls

    Blister pearls are probably the first variety of pearl product ever encountered by Humans. In Nature about one out of every 10 thousand mollusks will yield a natural, non-attached pearl (an actual pearl) but in the case of Blisters this number increases dramatically. Unfortunately, most of these blisters are not that shapely nor comely so they are never used, but those that were attractive were used for beautiful and unique settings.

    There are three different kinds of Blister pearls,...
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  • I. Introduction to Blister and Mabe Pearls - Ultimate Guide

    I. Introduction to Blister and Mabe Pearls - Ultimate Guide

    I. Introduction

    Blister pearls -and Mabe pearls, their modern equivalent- have been coveted, enjoyed, and worn for Centuries. But these products are not equivalent to actual pearls. Most pearl farmers consider Mabe pearls (also known as “Half-Pearls”) as a side-product, used by pearl farmers to supplement their yearly income.

    These pearls can be considered as “Pearls-on-a-Shell”, since they will be attached to the mollusk’s inner shell, either...
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  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - Abalone Mabe
    by CortezPearls
    C. Abalone Mabe (Genus Haliotis)

    Abalone (or “Ear-shells” as they are sometimes referred) are not pearl oysters at all; they are, instead, an ancient group of marine “snails” known as Archaeogastropoda (Ancient belly-crawlers). Because they are snails, they move about their environment, living on rocks and grazing on brown seaweeds (kelp). Another interesting difference with pearl oysters is that these animals have a temperate water affinity: they prefer cold...
    07-21-2021, 12:23 AM
  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - B. Mother-of-Pearl Oysters (genus Pinctada)
    by CortezPearls
    B. Mother-of-Pearl Oysters (genus Pinctada)

    Black Lip Pearl oysters (Pinctada margaritifera)

    Black lip pearl oysters are known mainly for their beautiful, dark, cultured pearls but they have also been used to produce Mabe pearls, although in not great numbers.

    Part of the production strategy for Mabe pearls in French Polynesia and Fiji is at the very last part of the pearl producing cycle:
    Cultured (loose) pearls are produced for up to three cycles (first,...
    07-21-2021, 12:14 AM
  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - “Rainbow Lipped Pearl Oyster”
    by CortezPearls
    “Concha Nácar” or “Rainbow Lipped Pearl Oyster”

    This species of pearl oyster (Pteria sterna) has been used to produce both cultured loose pearls and Mabe pearls in Mexico. The first Mabe pearls were obtained back in 1994 and were the main product for the Guaymas based pearl farm until loose cultured pearls became more common (2002). Since 2010, “Cortez Mabe” have been produced in a steady number between 1 to 5-thousand pearls per year. There is an experimental Mabe pearl...
    07-21-2021, 12:06 AM
  • VI. Common Mabe Pearl Varieties - A. Winged Pearl Oysters (genus Pteria)
    by CortezPearls
    There are several varieties of commercially grown Mabe Pearls that can be found at jeweler’s displays or on online vendors, but many have become rare over the years. The three main sources for Mabe pearls today are:
    1. Winged Pearl oysters from genus Pteria, including the “original” Mabe-gai (Pteria penguin) and the “Rainbow-lip” pearl oyster (Pteria sterna).
    2. Mother-of-Pearl oysters from genus Pinctada, mainly from the larger Silver (Pinctada maxima) and Black (Pinctada margaritifera) lipped pearl
    ...
    07-20-2021, 11:59 PM
  • V. Processing Mabe or Natural Blisters
    by CortezPearls
    Since these pearls are not very useable in jewelry with the entire shell, they are processed: first they are cut from the shell, with the help of a handsaw, Dremel tool, core-drill or tile cutting saw. The type of tool will depend on availability and production volume, the first used mainly by occasional processing and the latter for commercial production.

    A lineup of the Mabe pearl process.

    Once the blister is separated from the shell, these are rinsed to remove grime,...
    07-20-2021, 11:44 PM
  • You Are Invited to: PEARLS BY THE BAY 2021!!!
    by CortezPearls
    It's the event we've all been waiting for, after two years of online everything... we can finally glow together!


    Date and time
    Sun, October 3, 2021
    1:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

    Location
    Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa (Junto)
    801 Bridgeway
    Sausalito, CA 94965 United States
    • We will meet in the open-air Junto Room at the Casa Madrona Hotel in Sausalito.
    • We will start with a plated lunch at 1pm. The event will be catered by Poggio's
    ...
    07-10-2021, 11:05 PM
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