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Pearl Education

Grading Mabe Pearls - 3) Colors

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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...

Grading Mabe Pearls - 2) Mabe Shapes

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Mabe pearls can have any shape desired, as long as you attach it to the mollusk’s shell. Some cultured pearls have done this same thing, especially some freshwater pearls that have used faceted mother-of-pearl beads to produce so called “diamond pearls”, or star- and even shuriken- shaped pearls, but in the case of Mabe pearls it is even much varied and you can find hearts, stars, teardrops, ovals, crosses, and basically, any other possible combination you can think of as long as there is a...

Grading Mabe Pearls

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VII. Grading Mabe Pearls

Mabe pearls can be graded using most of the same grading standards that we have already seen for the traditional cultured pearl:

Surface Quality
Nacre Quality

But we can add an additional one that is quite important for this variety of pearl:

7. Dome Height

Even so, many of these value factors are not as employed as strictly as they are with regular cultured pearls, but may actually be quite lax, and if we know that there is no...

The Sustainability Corner - Part 3

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Pearls in the Web of Life – Part 1

Pearls are not only a product of a living being -a mollusk- but their “mother mollusk” is also a host for dozens of other life-forms! When we think about other animals that we use in our lives (as a food source or as a luxury good, such as furs) we can rarely imagine these creatures being a part of something larger or co-existing with other animals from different species. We may picture a henhouse bursting with chickens, or a pen full of cows, but we find...

Sustainable Pearls - Links Section

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This section will have articles to Sustainable Pearl Farming and other related news.

"The Sustainability Corner" Series is here:

1. Introduction
2. Sustaining Life with Pearl Farming
3. Pearls in the Web of Life Pt 1
4. Pearls in the Web of Life Pt 2
5. Pearls in the Web of Life Pt 3

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

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“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 farm in La Paz...

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