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FW pearl nucleation?

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  • #31
    I guess that the bead nuked flameballs are an attempt at making freshwaters consistently rounder, especially in the bigger sizes. I think that the 9-12.5 mm nuclei are pretty much from the big clam.

    I too wonder what the fascination with flameballs is. I bought a pair of earrings way back when I didn't know what they were, out of curiosity. They are, in reality, just a by product of Chinese experimentation geared towards making perfectly round freshwaters. A "by product" that has found a market here in North America. After all, we will buy anything, even someone's fruits of failed experiments. On some flameballs I have examined, you can plainly SEE the outline of the nucleus. I dunno but that's not very attractive and totally in a different direction from what makes a pearl beautiful and valuable, not to mention the disregard for an endangered species. As for wild colour, I'll pick Jeremy's freshwater exotics in 100% nacre over nuked "by products" any time.



    • #32
      I guess that I'm actually hoping that this project will fail. As a consumer, it's difficult to know what you are getting when it comes to pearls. Especially when dealing with pearls from China, unfortunately. As the technique for bead-nuked freshwater pearls starts to produce more consistently round pearls, it will eventually be impossible to tell the bead-nuked from the 100% nacre. And you won't be able to trust sellers to fully disclose this information, even if you ask directly.

      There are plenty of pearls out there with bead nuclei for people who like that sort of thing. I just wish that they wouldn't mess with freshwaters. Just my personal opinion.



      • #33
        That's why I have been saying that top quality freshwaters are an investment. Get them now, because when bead nucleating is a mature science/art in China, even the larger pearls will be done in a season and then the solid nacre two-four year pearls will be a thing of the past.

        Wild, natural, gem quality freshwaters have always been worn by royalty, right along with their salt waters and you really can't tell old wild freshwaters from cultured ones. At least not until they start nuking them.

        So invest in the best quality freshwaters you can and pass them down for generations, just as royalty always has with their wild natural pearls.

        How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

        My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.


        • #34

          I applaud your principled stance not to carry the flame ball pearls for environmental reasons. I would definitely include that as an important plus when I tell others about Pearl Paradise.



          • #35
            I was in Inhorgenta and then I had forgotten the password(), so I have delayed to reply the above message.

            Jeremy, you are right that the circled material is bead and arrow shows the outlayer. I have checked it again and think that the bead is probably also a pearl as you, which has probably been processed before nucleation. It is a natural thought to insert a pearl into the mussel because they are cheap and accessible as well as have the same composition. Any way, I think that the pearls are bead-nucleated, but I can not prove which beads are used. Beads can have button form. Some try to produce bead-nucleated ?mabe? pearls (I had some, which are really half pearls). If you are interesting at it, tell me your address. I can send you some pearls in the above picture for check.

            In order to explain which beads are used in new fresh water pearls. I have spent some time to collect the information and to ensure that they are correct, I have called some bosses and common people in the bead factories. The beads in China are produced in a community in Province Jiangxi. They claimed that they produce 95% of the beads in China and one factory produces alone about 75%. They have also about 70% of bead market for SSP and Tahiti.

            The most used materials for beads are mussels from Mississippi river and the wild mussels from Po Yang Lake (one of the largest three lakes in China). The beads with Chinese wild mussels can be larger than 10 mm and have been exported to other countries for Tahiti and SSP. One can see some pictures with the link The left lowest picture shows some beads produced with mussels from Mississippi and Po Yang Lake for Tahiti. The mussels used to produce the pearls can not be used for large beads.

            I have clearly asked whether the shell of gigantic clams has been used in the production of beads. They told me that the factories in that community (which produces 95% of beads in China) do not use that shell now to produce beads. The causes are that the death rate of mussels is too high and the material is too hard (then also problems in the late processing). The pearl farmers will not use it. They told me that probably some small factories in Province Hainan or Hunan try it.

            Some people told me that the shell powder and glue are used for the bead production. The factories told me that the density is too low and death rate is high and it is easy to break off. So it is not used.

            The collusions are: fresh water mussel shells are mostly used for the production of beads. Bead-nucleated pearls, SSP and Tahiti use almost the same materials.
            Jun Wei


            • #36
              Originally posted by JWei View Post

              I have checked it again and think that the bead is probably also a pearl as you, which has probably been processed before nucleation.
              What about this 'inner pearl' makes it likely to have been a different pearl used for nucleation... rather then being just an layer of the same pearl growth?


              • #37
                It seems that the bead is a pearl for me and sometimes processed, but I am also not sure.
                The factory told me that the pearls are bead-nucleated. But they probably decided according to the surface and luster. Any way, they are normal small cheap pearls.
                The large bead-nucleated pearls have no such problems. They are not only large but also obviously have other features.
                Jun Wei