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  1. #1

    Default what kind of pearls result in teardrop shape?

    Hi everyone, back again. Since getting a pearl necklace, I've been looking at pearl earrings. It's a bit like that picture book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk, and then once he gets that, he asks for a straw, and so on!

    I really love the teardrop shaped pearl for earrings, like what the Queen and Kate wear from the British Royal Family jewel vault. Just not as large perhaps, as more dainty jewellery looks better on me, and well, I'd like to be able to afford to eat still To clarify: what I mean by teardrop/raindrop shape is where the pearl is more of a rounded triangle than spherical or oval. What kind of pearls result in such a shape? Looking online, I did find a pair of Sea of Cortez earrings that were slightly tear/raindrop shaped and in the most glorious color. I really love that kind of color, like a pastel or subtle neutral color, and that the pearl looked smooth and without ridges. Do they come in such shapes normally or is this an exception?
    Last edited by mariepearl; 02-16-2019 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    That's a good question, Mariepearl. Every variety of pearl produces some teardrop (drop) shape pearls. Cortez Pearls have amazing color, I agree!

    The challenging part is matching two similar pearls for earrings, no matter what the shape!

    Gemological Institute of America gives 7 shape classifications: (Yes, I dug out my book from my studies.)

    SPHERICAL
    Round - appears round to the eye.
    Near-round - appears almost round to the eye. some might be slightly out-of-roud, elongated, or flattened.

    SYMMETRICAL
    Oval - symmetrical, rounded, oblong shape.
    Button - symmetrical, flattened or slightly flattened, circular shape. Can be a high button or low button.
    Drop - symmetrical, rounded, pear shape. Can be a long drop or short drop.

    BAROQUE
    Semi-baroque - non-symmetrical, off-round, slightly irregular oval, button, or drop shape.
    Baroque - non-symmetrical shape - will have a noticeable irregular appearance.
    Pattye


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  3. #3

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    Thanks Pattye for posting the definitions! This is really helpful to google things better with the official terminology. Are the Cortez pearls considered metallic in their luster? Most stores in my area offer comparatively flat-looking pearls, pretty in their own way I suppose but also sort of look like a bead. By the way, I looked at your Etsy store, and wanted to say your silver ripple pearl necklace is beautiful! Those overtones are also what I really like.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    It's only my opinion, Cortez Pearls are known for their intense play of rich colors on the mabes especially and iridescent overtones on their bead nucleated cultured pearls and their rarity (small yearly harvests).

    The extremely rare Japan Kasumi pearls can be metallic.

    The metallic pearls are occuring in the cultured freshwater pearls from China, but I don't know what percentage of a harvest is metallic. Some pearls are more intensely metallic on one side.

    Thank you very much for the compliment on the silvery gray ripple strand and for stopping by my etsy shop. Many of the forum members have online stores, linked in the signature of their post, where you can see various types of pearls, photographed to the best of our abilities, lol, and accurate descriptions.

    Each variety of pearl is cultured in a specific mussel (freshwater) or oyster (saltwater), each of which has its own range of colors and characteristics!

    I feel you'd really enjoy taking the PEARLS AS ONE course; it would give you so much interesting info, photos and videos to see all sorts of pearls! Jeremy was instrumental in developing the course for the CPAA; the best part is you can take the class free! Jeremy has given out the code here on another thread and I also have a code for free access (just send pm). You are awarded a certificate upon completion, so very cool!
    Pattye


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  5. #5
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    It's a bit like that picture book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk, and then once he gets that, he asks for a straw, and so on!
    Such a fun book, this Grandma knows it well! Good analogy!
    Pattye


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  6. #6

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    Thanks for the tip about the Pearls as One course. I'll take a look at it. The kasumi pearls are beautiful too, very soft and warm toned.

  7. #7
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    I have not seen a clear answer of the question 'what kind of pearls result in a peardrop shape'.

    I had discussions with the owner of the Pulau Talisei pearl farm in Sulawesi about shapes of pearls and he made a remark about 2 Japanese grafters in his team. One was good in letting grow round pearls in oysters and the other one in peardrop shapes.

    The conclusion of the discussion was the place in the gonad or pearl sack where the bead was placed.

    Hope this info helps a bit in this discussion.

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    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Cees that's really interesting ! I thought it was totally random !

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    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    Cees, thank you. I've always wondered myself. I know I had read that it was difficult to seed a teardrop shaped nucleus bead because the mollusk will rotate the bead in all sorts of directions.

  10. #10
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Thank you, Cees! So interesting. Is it correct that most pearl farms still use Japanese grafters? Sounds like they are still holding onto their secrets!

    Josh of Kamoka Pearls does seed his own oysters, having learned from Japanese technicans early on in his career.
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  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    I know they use Japanese grafters also in Fiji. It depends on the connections farms have with their wholesalers in Kobe. Much depends of those who are involved in farming or in auctions.

  12. #12
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing your insights, Cees.
    Pattye


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  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Cees, thank you. I've always wondered myself. I know I had read that it was difficult to seed a teardrop shaped nucleus bead because the mollusk will rotate the bead in all sorts of directions.
    And I thought I heard somewhere that part of the pearling process involves rotating the mollusk, as well.

    I have some Tahitian drop shaped earrings that are extremely well matched for shape, size and color. I suppose I should appreciate them more -- purchased several years ago from The Pearl Outlet.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  14. #14
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    So, let's clarify a few things here, because we don't want to confuse ourselves! Mikeyy is our resident expert on pearl nuclei, and he confirms that nuclei in salt water cultured pearls are all round. This means Tahitians, South Sea, Golden SS, Akoya. Round, lustrous pearls are the most valuable, of course. Mother Nature, however, does produce many other shapes, including baroques, drops, keshi and more. So to have a well matched pair of drops is a miracle indeed!

    The oysters, growing their pearls, are on lines or baskets, constantly moved by the currents. Additionally, they are removed from the water and cleaned many times during their growing period.

    Chinese cultured freshwater pearls can be nucleated with various shapes, coin, heart, flower, teardrop.

    This is it in a oyster shell! Gotta run to an appt, so I'm being brief, but I'll check back later ~
    Pattye


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    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Cees, when you mentioned how one Japanese technician specialized in pearldrop shape, did you mean he used a teardrop shaped nucleus or round?
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