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Luster treatments

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  • Luster treatments

    Before I start, I want to let you know I learn a lot by reading you! Thank you very much for all the useful information.
    Here is my question. You are aware of the luster treatment of the pearls. Is it becoming to be something we will see on all FW pearls in the future? Is it going to be the norm?
    I am working in Asia and I went to different pearl's markets. I am not an expert but I can see those markets offer a lot of pearls with luster enhancement. I was with some friends this weekend and they didn’t want to buy the not enhance one. Can you explain in more details what kind of treatment it is? This enhancement will last for a while… but how much time?

  • #2
    This really depends on the treatments done to the pearls. Some are fine, and more or less universal, others are in the grey area. Do you know what treatments were done to the pearls of which you are referring?
    If you are referring to a coating, this will not last forever and it really is not a good way to go.
    Bleaching and polishing are fine, and it is nearly impossibly to find freshwater pearls that have not gone through at least this.
    Heat treatment (common with Akoya pearls) is not a good treatment as this makes the nacre brittle and can lead to darkened pearls in the future.
    Let me know if this makes sense!


    • #3
      Thank you for your answer. I am referring to a coating. Last year I saw nothing like what I see now. This winter I went to Pearl town in Shanghai and some of the boots had pearls with a shine I never saw before. This spring I visit other pearls markets and saw the same enhancement on pearls. Most of the pearl treat that way seems to be of some lower quality but I saw some very round pearl treat that way too. When asked, the sellers denied any coating treatment. That's why I am a bit confused but I didn't expect a straight answer. I read something of a luster treatment done to pearl that lasts around 7 years. I think it was on my way to the US few months ago on the plane. Maybe it was a Japanese advertisement, I am not sure anymore. I think this is a shame to change the luster of a pearl by a coating of some sort.


      • #4
        Dear Pauline,
        I believe you are referring to the shiny lacquer type treatment. This is looked down upon and I highly recommend staying away from these pearls. The coating will wear away. The pearls are low quality to begin with and the lacquer treatment is used to portray higher quality pearls so that the sellers can get a higher price. I agree with you that it is a shame to coat the pearls, especially if people are being dishonest and trying to sell them as if they were not treated in this manner.