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  1. #1

    Default Red abalone pearl (unique)

    I've been diving for abalone off the Mendocino coast, in Calif, for over thirty years and have never found an abalone pearl like this one. I found this very unique shaped pearl off Mendocino Nov 2015. I've researched these pearls and have not seen anything like this. It appears to have formed into two different shaped pearls that are stuck together. One jeweler suggested it be offered to someone as a collectible due to its shape. Since I know very little about abalone pearls, I thought I'd post some photos on here to see what you all think of it. This is what I know about it so far: weight 1.6 gm, 18mm x 13.5mm thicker domed side, 18.5mm x 15mm flatter side. The abalone shell this pearl was retrieved in is still in my possession. I hope some of you will give me your advise on what you think this may be worth and possible markets to present it in.

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    Last edited by davcz; 01-10-2016 at 02:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Davcz, is there a photo? I don't see one on your post, but would love to see your pearl and shell.
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  3. #3
    Pearly pearl Senior Guide Member Jacques's Avatar
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    Sounds great! Please post a photo so we can check it out!


  4. #4

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    Sorry about not posting a photo at time of post. I was using my cell phone and couldn't figure out how to upload a photo. Got it figured out now. More photos available if needed.

  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert la_corsetiere's Avatar
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    What an interesting pearl! I love the shape. Need another glass of wine before mulling over what sort of pearl creature that could become...

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Davcz, welcome!

    That is unusual! Some gorgeous color there! It's super to see the shell also. Thank you!
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  7. #7
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by davcz View Post
    It appears to have formed into two different shaped pearls that are stuck together. One jeweler suggested it be offered to someone as a collectible due to its shape.
    Hi davcz, welcome to P-G.

    Your pearl is interesting. Red Abalone (Haliotis rufescens) is the largest of the abalone family and ranges from Baja to British Columbia.

    This type of pearl is what's known as a perforation. It's the most common type of pearl we'll see from gastropods of this genus. Abalone have very thin mantle skirts which are normally quite flexible because these animals are highly mobile. However during these stretches, abalone are quite vulnerable whether by straining or attacked by predators. If a small tear in the mantle occurs, they'll usually heal normally, but if the perforation is large enough, a pearl will form to fill the space. After all, the mantle builds the shell.

    This one is interesting because it appears to be a double pearl. meaning that it once dislodged itself from the mantle. The fourth image shows this very clearly. You'll notice the right side has a brown edge surrounding it. This is the active attachment to the mantle. The left side of the pearl popped out, turning a few degrees, re-lodging itself in the extrapallial space. As the right side formed, the left side continued to be mineralized which is why it's bigger and has no visible periostracial ridge. (It's buried in subsequent growth)

    Abalone pearls a nice in that they are easily identified as such. Unlike most pearls which can be difficult to identify. They have rich colors, luster and density and often tremendous size.

    The classic horn shapes from hepatopancreatis are sought most often. Round, baroque or free form shapes from the gonadal or adductoral linings are also sought. Unfortunately, perforations are the least desirable from this species unless they have an appealing shape to a crafter. Pearls of this type are more suited to folk art pieces or collectibles as curiosities.

    At P-G we're wary to appraise value because in pieces like these, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. More often than not, we'll suggest the finder retain the item as a keepsake and enjoy it for the experience. Abalone diving in California is a great opportunity.

    You have a terrific pearl and a rare find. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. #8
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    You may contact Pacific coast pearls LINK.
    Tish and Wes Rankin know more about California abalone than anyone else I know, and have the hugest collection.


    What can one do with such a pearl in the way of jewelry - or another idea?
    Caitlin

    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.

  9. #9
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Davcz, that's an interesting, lovely and LUCKY find ... how exciting for a diver. If it were mine, I'd stare at it a lot, and then pass la_corsetiere another glass of wine Caitlin has a terrific suggestion as well. Good luck, and please come back and share with us what you do with it!
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  10. #10
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    A collector might be interested in your pearl, but Lagoon Island Dave is probably right. I would set about making a display case for it. Very cool.

  11. #11
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    davecz, you have a beautiful pearl! Thank you so much for sharing here.

  12. #12
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    In every view, it looks like a partially open mollusk to me.....

    While I think you should show it around to experts, I doubt you will ever be offered enough to be worth giving it up. You are highly unlikely to find another such treasure, so why not keep it?

    I second Kathy Keshi. Do look at Sheri's (Le Corsetiere) jewelry designs, whatever else you do.
    Caitlin

    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.

  13. #13
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    In every view, it looks like a partially open mollusk to me.....

    While I think you should show it around to experts, I doubt you will ever be offered enough to be worth giving it up. You are highly unlikely to find another such treasure, so why not keep it?

    I second Kathy Keshi. Do look at Sheri's (Le Corsetiere) jewelry designs, whatever else you do.
    Caitlin I thought the same thing! If it were my pearl, I would rim it with gold and fill the open clamshell with gemstones and wear it as an enhancer, pin, or set it on a spectacular cuff

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