Pearl Education

Melo Melo Pearls

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Melo Melo Pearls Defined
A melo melo pearl is a non-nacreous, natural calcareous concretion produced by the marine volute gastropod melo melo.

Melo melo shell (from Wikipedia)

Melo Melo Pearls are Non-nacreous or "Porcelaneous Pearls"
The melo melo "pearl" does not come from an oyster or mussel, but comes instead from the "melo melo" marine snail, which is found in the waters of the South China Sea, as far south and west to Singapore and Andaman Sea. Like conch pearls, the melo melo gem is...

Conch Pearls

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Conch Pearls Defined
A Conch Pearl is a non-nacreous, porcelaneous pearl produced by the "Queen Conch" (Lobatus=Strombus gigas). "Conch pearls" -also known as "jellybeans" in the trade- often exhibit a unique flame-like pattern due to their concentrically arranged calcium carbonate platelets, arranged in a lamellar fashion. This beautiful optical effect is much harder to say and understand than to admire: the pearls seem to have "tongues of fire" within their interior.

A closeup of a Conch...

Abalone Pearls

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Abalone Pearls Defined
Abalone Pearls are natural pearls found in the gastropod mollusk Haliotis. The shells and pearls are most often an iridescent blue color, and the most common shape for pearls are baroque and "horn".

Abalone Shells from Mexico and the United States

Abalone Pearls: Some of the Most Beautiful Pearls in the World
Abalone pearls are considered by many to be some of the most beautiful pearls in the world, and they are also some of the rarest. Abalone pearls come from the...

South Sea Pearls

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South Sea Pearls Defined

A South Sea pearl is pearl produced by the Pinctada maxima mollusk. They are currently cultured in areas throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, primarily in Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.

South Sea Pearls - Among The Largest In The World

South Sea pearls are among the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13 mm, with most harvests producing a range of sizes from 9 mm to 20 mm...

Mabe Pearls

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Mabe Pearls Defined
A Mabe pearl is a worked and assembled blister pearl (attached to the shell). It is typically of hemispherical shape and is grown against the inside of the oyster's shell, rather than within its soft tissues. Natural blister pearls are commonly found in nature.

Cultured Mabe Blisters on their shells. Photo courtesy of Dr. César Lodeiros and his research team in Ecuador.

Are Mabe Pearls Rare?
Mabe pearls are not considered rare or highly valuable, except those grown in...

Keshi Pearls

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Keshi Pearls Defined
A keshi pearl is a non-beaded pearl formed by accident, as a by-product of the pearl culturing operation.

Akoya Keshi Pearls

How Keshi Pearls Are Formed
Keshi pearls are formed when the oyster rejects and spits out the implanted nucleus before the culturing process is complete, or the implanted mantle tissue dislodges and forms a separate pearl sac without the nuclei. These pearl sacs eventually produce pearls without a nucleus.

Keshi Pearls Can have Salt or...

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