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Pearl Treatments

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Pearl Treatments Defined
Pearl treatments are defined as any action other than polishing which alters a pearl's appearance which may include:

irradiation
bleaching
heating
filling
waxing
drilling
cutting
faceting and
working

Pearl Treatments just after Harvesting

After harvest, most pearls are always processed in one way or another. This processing may be subtle or less so.
South Seas, Tahitians and Cortez pearls are usually just washed and will undergo minor tumbling with waxed bamboo...

Pearl Weight

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Cultured and Natural Pearl Weight Descriptions

Pearl weight is expressed in carats or grains when describing natural pearls, or kilograms, kan or momme when describing cultured pearls.

When Is Pearl Weight Used Instead of Size?

Most of the time, pearls are described primarily in terms of their size (diameter) and expressed in millimeters. Weight is typically only described within the wholesale trade or when dealing in rare wild pearls such as abalone or conch.

How to Weigh Pearls
Natural...

South Sea and Tahitian Pearl Grading

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Grading South Sea and Tahitian Pearls

While there is no internationally recognized number or letter system for pearl grading, there are best-grading practices that are accepted and recognized by all professional pearl dealers within the industry. Understanding grading attributes and quality characteristics of South Sea and Tahitian pearls is imperative to properly shop and compare.

Pearl Grades: Combining Seven Different Value Factors

As pearls have many differing value factors such as...

Mother-of-Pearl (MOP)

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Mother-of-Pearl Defined

Mother-of-Pearl (MOP for short) or Nacre (as it is also known) is the iridescent coating on the inside of some mollusk species which is composed of aragonite and calcite, both being calcium carbonate polymorphs. MOP also contains water and binding proteins secreted by the mollusks, the most important being conchiolin.

Mother-of-pearl is also the primary material used in pearl nucleus manufacturing. MOP beads are still the most common nucleus (core) used to produce...

Pearl Farming

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Marine Pearl Farming Defined
Pearl farming is the industry responsible for growing farm-raised pearl mollusks and producing cultured pearls. These cultured pearls make up nearly 100% of the pearls sold today.

What Is Pearl Farming?

Cultured pearls are grown on what are known as pearl farms. Depending on the variety of mollusk employed at the farm, these will be located inside protected bays or in channels or in lakes, ponds or streams (for pearly freshwater mussels). In this chapter we...

Pearl Harvest

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The Pearl Harvest
The pearl harvest is the pay-off for years of investment and arduous work. The harvest most-often happens during the winter months as the host mollusks' metabolism slows and nacre platelets become thinner as deposition decreases. This has proven to increase the luster upon harvest.



Pearl Production Times Vary

Cultured pearls are harvested from the pearl farms after a period that may stretch from 8 months to 6 years. Akoya pearls are typically cultured from 8 months to 2...

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