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  • #16
    Originally posted by JerseyPearl View Post
    Jeremy, do you think with the change in the standards by the government of FP we will be seeing more of these junk Tahitians?
    It's possible, but although the law changed, it hasn't been enacted. Pearls are still required to go through export controls. But anyone who has been to the Tucson Show would know that a large number of destroy-grade pearls make it out of French Polynesia. Anytime you see Tahitians with holes in the nacre, often looking like black spots as though someone held a pearl over a lighter for a period of time, you know they're smuggled.

    There is (unfortunately) a market for these types of pearls, especially in the design community, which is why we see them in Tucson. You can get really large (think 15 mm+) for little of nothing, while a fine quality 16 mm Tahitian costs thousands.
    Jeremy Shepherd
    President and Founder
    PearlParadise.com, Inc.
    The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
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    • #17
      How interesting, Jeremy. I'm afraid I really like the shape and luster of Wendy's pearl, I would have bought that dragon egg too

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      • #18
        Really interesting Jeremy. I dont think my eyes are good enough to see that pattern .. I'm going to have to take my magnifying goggles to the next show and look like a complete turkey. Goodness knows there are some dreadful pearls around...
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        • #19
          Originally posted by jshepherd View Post
          ... Anytime you see Tahitians with holes in the nacre, often looking like black spots as though someone held a pearl over a lighter for a period of time, you know they're smuggled.

          There is (unfortunately) a market for these types of pearls, especially in the design community, which is why we see them in Tucson. You can get really large (think 15 mm+) for little of nothing, while a fine quality 16 mm Tahitian costs thousands.
          Jeremy, do you happen to have any photos of Tahitians with that kind of flaw?

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          • #20
            I don't have a photo, or at least I don't know where I might have a photo. Blaire may have one taken in Tucson.
            Jeremy Shepherd
            President and Founder
            PearlParadise.com, Inc.
            The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
            PearlParadise.com on Flickr
            PearlParadise.com on Facebook
            Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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            • #21
              This is a very cool pearl! Even if it was poorly treated, I think the result is a happy accident. Neat collection item!

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              • #22
                Thanks. I've seen my fair share of poor Tahitians, but I can't say I've ever seen one that looks as if it's been burned. I do know what a burned one looks like...a little "experiment" with a keshi!
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JerseyPearl View Post
                  Thanks. I've seen my fair share of poor Tahitians, but I can't say I've ever seen one that looks as if it's been burned. I do know what a burned one looks like...a little "experiment" with a keshi!
                  Ugh, it's so hard to describe. It's like a black hole in the nacre, but not like a clean hole from drilling ... more jagged. It's missing nacre with concentrated conchioline and other organic matter. The rim of the "hole" often has a whitish coloration too. It's like a little bomb went off on the surface, lol.

                  I can picture this in my mind easily, but even going on Google image search, I can't see to find one.
                  Jeremy Shepherd
                  President and Founder
                  PearlParadise.com, Inc.
                  The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
                  PearlParadise.com on Flickr
                  PearlParadise.com on Facebook
                  Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

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                  • #24
                    Darn. I don't have a photo, but I know what you are talking about.

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                    • #25
                      This is a photo of some Tahitians I pulled off an old thread on PS. I do not own these pearls so can't supply any more photos.

                      I don't thnk this is the kind of flaw you are referring to, but what exactly are the white spots in the pearl on the right? Is it just that that's the color of the nacre there? The large divot in the pearl on the left also looks white inside.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #26
                        Those are different flaws and wouldn't preclude the pearls from export. Now I have to find one to post a photo. It might not be until the next trip though.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
                          Tbut what exactly are the white spots in the pearl on the right?
                          It's the prismatic layer, which are lathes of calcite.

                          The triad of shell (pearl) structure is periostracial -> prismatic -> nacreous.

                          In lay terms, water barrier -> strength -> finish.

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                          • #28
                            To be a little more elaborate, I'll include the material produced by the e-cells during their respective period in the growth cycle.

                            periostracial (conchiolin) -> prismatic (calcite) -> nacreous (aragonite)

                            Not all mollusks though. In the case of scallops or some gastropods it's:

                            periostracial (conchiolin) -> prismatic (calcite) -> foliated (calcite)

                            In nautilus and other gastropods it's:

                            periostracial (conchiolin) -> prismatic (calcite) -> columnar (aragonite)

                            Technically, there's actually four layers, but only in over-mature shells. Pearls are harvested young.

                            periostracial (conchiolin) -> prismatic (calcite) -> nacreous (aragonite) -> calcitic (calcite)

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                            • #29
                              Here's a diagram I drew up a few years ago. It defines shell structure in all mollusks.
                              Attached Files

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                              • #30
                                Thanks for your very complete answer, Dave!

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