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a question of color....

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  • #16
    I'm guessing that it is a proteinaceous layer laid down late in growth. They used to toss these pearls out because it is almost impossible to remove the "pondslime" layer without destroying the pearl. These are great bad examples, probably tumbled in polishing compound. They are ugly when they are just layered with opaque brown (upper left), but where the layer is flaked off (upper right), you can see it is the more desirable transparent gold.

    This transparent gold layer, when laid over colors such as lavender, create a pleasing bronzing effect. Or, pleasing to some!

    Click image for larger version

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Lagoon Island Pearls View Post
      Are you sure about that? Is this a post harvest treatment or are you suggesting a discrete change in epithelial behavior during the last phase of growth?

      I'm curious because my work with Pododesmus macrochisma investigates this behavior. It was long believed the green color was caused by algae growth within the shells, but since I discovered green colored natural pearls in this species, that theory has been debunked. Simply put, there is just no possible way photosynthetics take place within a closed metabolic process.

      From http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/...roschisma.html
      I would agree that algae can't grow in the closed environment of the shell. You see how little we know that we have to guess about a lot of these things, but that didn't make sense. Those little green pearls are a turn-on! I wish they were bigger!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by GemGeek View Post
        Those little green pearls are a turn-on! I wish they were bigger!
        Me too!, mind you I've been studying young adults for the most part. In old growth specimens I might find something bigger eventually.

        I see what you meant in the image you posted, on one pearl with part of the layer missing, I see a marked difference in the outer layer. It's not typical for a mollusk to change that radically in such a short time without intervention.

        Perhaps a graft or re-graft using a pearl instead of a bead?

        I really like the greens and golds in those pearls. I also like the wrinkled surfaces. Kasumi pearls and their like are among of my favorite cultured pearls.

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        • #19
          Great examples, GG, Dave; I too love the little green pearls! Thanks to you both for the scientific interpretations~
          Pattye


          PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

          facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

          SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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          • #20
            Lately, you can't find any pearl-as-nuclei in freshwaters for sale. One grower that likes to experiment toyed with it briefly, but they stopped. It isn't worth the result, apparently. No, these pearls with the odd coating have been around for a long time, but were considered rejects. Now that they have some popularity, nothing will be wasted. You have to hand it to the Chinese - they are so resourceful! Who would have dreamed that they would be growing the kind of pearls featured in Kevin's Hong Kong report?

            I think I might have to get out a hammer now, just to be sure...

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            • #21
              Thanks, Pattye. I bow to Dave's pure science!

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              • #22
                Yes!! Get the hammer! That's as scientific as I get!
                Pattye


                PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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                • #23
                  LOL, I LOVE it!

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                  • #24
                    Why can't it just be a genetic variation? I remember a while back there was discussion about achieving color by where in the mantle a bit of graft tissue was placed. If one mollusc can produce different colored pearls at one time (or is it called a multi-seeded batch?), I think it follows that they might well do it on one pearl. After all, we're looking right at it (proof) with the pondslimes.

                    Not only that, but I've shaved some bi-colored pearls after I removed the poor dye-job with bleach. These were cheap pearls, so it was just for fun.

                    I mostly saw peach and white combinations, and blue and peach. As I scraped I saw that the colors didn't blend like paint, or layer color like a transparency, but seemed rather to diffuse across a border.

                    The border shifted a bit like a spiral, but not that regular, and there wasn't much in the way of luster. I ought to just send my favorite blue/peach to one of you excellent photographer-scientists...just for science's sake.


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                    • #25
                      ​Not only that, but under some of the bumpy or frosty-looking pearls I shaved was a layer of smooth, gorgeous luster. Unfortunately, the lustrous layer wasn't uniform. It always was marred by an area of cloudy blah. Not powdery, just cloudy. It was still a fun experience.

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                      • #26
                        Post-Mortem Pearls! Go Lisa!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by lisa c View Post
                          ​Not only that, but under some of the bumpy or frosty-looking pearls I shaved was a layer of smooth, gorgeous luster. Unfortunately, the lustrous layer wasn't uniform. It always was marred by an area of cloudy blah. Not powdery, just cloudy. It was still a fun experience.
                          Um, just what did you use to shave the pearls, Lisa??!! I'm usually much more destructive than that!
                          Pattye


                          PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                          facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                          SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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                          • #28
                            LOL, post-mortem...and hammer-whacking, you guys always make me grin. Hi, you cats and kittens! (Phrase from my X-m-i-l)

                            Shaving/scraping --> pearl in one hand, slightly dulled blade yellow metal utility knife in the other, proceed with caution!

                            This was back in the early days when I was experimenting with solvents to see which removed bad dye from inexpensive pearls most effectively. Scraping was the mechanical way to remove dye. I could remove tiny amounts of pearl at a time, once they'd been bleached...

                            One thing led to another, ya know? I could see colored pearls under the bad dye jobs, couldn't resist.
                            Last edited by lisa c; 09-14-2013, 06:27 PM.

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