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How do you bleach a f/w pearl?

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  • #16
    Greetings All,

    Sound a fury, where it that coming from? Well an overnight bath in pure h-p with ultraviolet produced some bleaching. The pearls went from mauve to pink losing basically tone. In addition when compared to the control samples they lost luster and overtone as well.

    It is actually quite a relief to know, as I had been told, that two hours in an h-p solution won't turn them white. Thanks to Slraep for explaining in advance the effect of the solution on the conchiolin.


    • #17
      Hi Richard,

      Glad to know the results of your experiment. H-p is likely something I would not be safe with, as I already know how to make a big mess with water and to stay away from fire! (Although I would love to be able to make my own headpins!)

      so many pearls, so little time


      • #18
        Originally posted by Richard W. Wise View Post
        Sound a fury, where it that coming from?
        It's a soliloquy from Shakespeare's Macbeth (if that's what you were asking. If not... don't mind my craziness):

        "She should have died hereafter;
        There would have been a time for such a word.
        To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
        Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
        To the last syllable of recorded time,
        And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
        The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
        Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
        And then is heard no more: it is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing."
        Some days you're the bug. Some days you're the windshield.


        • #19
          I am familiar with Shakespeare's MacBeth. I was alluding to a comment made by Ashley on the previous page. Sort of a joke.


          • #20
            sorry! wasn't sure...
            Some days you're the bug. Some days you're the windshield.


            • #21
              So who's the idiot?
              P?cheur de Perles - London Theatre Tickets


              • #22
                Originally posted by effisk View Post
                So who's the idiot?
                That would be me as usual. I seem to remember an article a while back saying kind of the opposite of what I'm hearing here. That article seemed to say that the cream colored, otherwise Freshadam quality pearls were lightly bleached and I thought that light treatment helped with the shine as well as the whiteness. I'm pretty sure I remember that only the white Freshadama are treated in any way. Otherwise, just a gentle polishing.
                I do understand that you can't bleach much without doing damage but moderation in all things, I guess.
                This would be a good one for the Shephard boys. If I can find the relevant article I will mention where I found it.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by jshepherd View Post
                  Can you imagine the confusion if we were to try to grade per Tavernier? I am sure our French customers would appreciate it, but many others may getting confused with grain and carat approximations!

                  I do think it is important to note, however, even on the top quality freshwater pearls bleaching is still going to be part of the process. I firmly believe it brings out the beauty of pearls, and without any bleaching the ratios would just be too low from a merchant's standpoint.
                  This is a different thread from the one I remember but it's still Jeremy talking about whitening and brightening Freshadama.


                  • #24
                    I did something really silly with hp. I bought some food grade for my plants. I probably let the bottle flop over and a few drops spilled out in spite of the safety cap. I didn't realize it, but suddenly felt a burning sensation on my finger tip and saw it turning white. Flushed it with water immediately, and put some bicarb of soda (I think derms recommend baking soda but I didn't have any). Luckily the discoloration and burning went away. Just applied cream on it. So be really careful and don't get the really strong stuff unless you know what you're doing. Now I'm just jumpy about the whole thing and I'll be keeping the bottle upright, wearing gloves and eye protection when I handle it for my plants. If I don't end up finishing it quite soon I might just dilute it and then pour it away.
                    Last edited by Raisondetre; 12-22-2008, 08:45 AM.
                    Aspiring ninja. Go Storm Shadow!