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  1. #1
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    Default Natural Tahitians, or maybe dyed?

    Name:  A10E6D97-A9F8-417C-B922-CBF7BD53E5F7.jpg
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Size:  69.3 KBName:  image.jpg
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Size:  79.7 KBHi there. Iím a new Tahitian pearl lover after recently buying a beautiful vintage pendant on eBay that came with its certificate (atoll of Manihini). It just said black/green and Iíd like to know its color designation, which looks to me like it has some deep purple and copper or Rose as well as green and black.

    The second part of my question has to do with the next Tahitian pearls I then bought, a pair of earrings which I bid on and ended up winning at about $160.Name:  image.jpg
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Size:  90.8 KB There was not much interest, only one other bidder (whereas I bid against a lot of people for the pendant).

    The earrings were described as Tahitian withName:  F024F730-5B65-4B44-B1FF-BAB5A1314A30.jpg
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Size:  47.1 KB ďunusual NATURAL colorization of dark pistachio peacock nacre with coppery rose high luster, these genuine pearls measure 8 MM in size. ď
    These Iím not so sure of. When I saw the pendant there was a je ne said quoi that immediately said they are natural and genuine. The earrings to me Look more shiny or ďmirroredĒ than iridescent. Iíve taken lots of photos but none really are true to either pearl in terms of the colors. but I am posting both the pendant side-by-side with the earrings. Any thought on whether the earrings seem natural vs dyed? Thank you so much for giving me your time!

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    The colors look natural to me. (Tahitian pearls are cultured.) Congratulations on your lovely new Tahitians!
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 03-16-2019 at 10:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    A'Marie1,

    Welcome to the forum. What size are the pearl earrings? What is the metal? They seem round not button or flattened. I feel all three pieces are natural color cultured Tahitian pearls, very pretty. Pearls are notoriously difficult to photograph!
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Lugana's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I cannot really see the color properly - oh those pearl are a challenge to photograph! - but the luster on the earrings might be enhanced. Have you tried rubbing the earring pearls against each other, does it feel gritty or almost smooth? Not like glass (artificial) smooth, but sort of different to the normal gritty feeling when your rub cultured pearls?..
    Pearl and opal specialist (Institute of Gemology of Spain, IGE, Madrid)

  5. #5
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    Default Natural vs color enhanced

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugana View Post
    Hi there,

    I cannot really see the color properly - oh those pearl are a challenge to photograph! - but the luster on the earrings might be enhanced. Have you tried rubbing the earring pearls against each other, does it feel gritty or almost smooth? Not like glass (artificial) smooth, but sort of different to the normal gritty feeling when your rub cultured pearls?..
    Thanks, Lugana! I ended up returning them as something about them didnít sit right with me and in the final analysis, they didnít spark joy in person the way the pendant does.

    A follow up clarification - so youíre saying that color enhanced pearls are less gritty to the teeth/rub than natural (untreated) pearls, somewhere between the mirror-smooth of fake pearls and the grittyness of natural pearls. Is this how one can tell if a pearl is natural or color-enhanced? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiguamarie1 View Post
    ...
    A follow up clarification - so you’re saying that color enhanced pearls are less gritty to the teeth/rub than natural (untreated) pearls, somewhere between the mirror-smooth of fake pearls and the grittyness of natural pearls. Is this how one can tell if a pearl is natural or color-enhanced? Thanks!
    Color enhancement doesn't affect grittiness in my experience.

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Lugana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiguamarie1 View Post
    I ended up returning them as something about them didnít sit right with me and in the final analysis, they didnít spark joy in person the way the pendant does.
    I think it's a good decision you will find lovely pearls that you are sure to keep!

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiguamarie1 View Post
    so youíre saying that color enhanced pearls are less gritty to the teeth/rub than natural (untreated) pearls, somewhere between the mirror-smooth of fake pearls and the grittyness of natural pearls. Is this how one can tell if a pearl is natural or color-enhanced? Thanks!
    My point was that I cannot tell about the color by the photo, but the luster could have been enhanced.

    Luster enhancement is the process of simply polishing the pearl with mild abrasive materials - it makes it shiny, but the shine is different to the normal luster of the pearl, because the natural luster in a pearl is determined by the penetration and reflection of light through the crystals of the nacre and conchiolin layers. Those crystals are irregular in shape and under the microscope have "edges", they are like little tiles. These edges is what give real cultured pearls some grittiness when rubbed. If the pearl is polished - those edges are smoothed and polished down, so even that the pearl is still "real cultured" the luster enhancement process makes it feel more smooth when rubbed.

    Color-enhancement doesn't affect the shape of crystals and thus cannot be determined by rubbing the pearls against each other
    Pearl and opal specialist (Institute of Gemology of Spain, IGE, Madrid)

  8. #8
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    Mmmhh, polishing doesn't give more luster.
    A dull pearl is a dull pearl, even artificially polished.
    Maybe these pearls are not the very best ones about luster, but they truly look fine.
    I think just photos don't show them enough well.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Lugana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericw View Post
    Mmmhh, polishing doesn't give more luster.
    A dull pearl is a dull pearl, even artificially polished.
    What exactly do you refer to Eric?.. Polishing by hand with a cloth wouldn't make any difference, you are right But tumbling for hours with mild abrasive media creates artificial smoothness that shines. It's same process (with different media) that is applied to tumble minerals, for example.
    Pearl and opal specialist (Institute of Gemology of Spain, IGE, Madrid)

  10. #10
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    Lugana, I carve pearls and I had carved many kinds of fine stones, more or less hard '(sapphire and ruby the harder I worked). Then, I polished these different materials with there right abrasive medium, especially al the diamond powder mesh squale, but also many other kinds of abrasive media (oxides).
    Of course, I have experimented that on the nacre of pearls.
    So, may I assure you that a professional polishing manner doesn't improve luster of a pearl?
    Just it can change it a bit, into a bit more "glassy" brightness, but very far from a miracle.
    Last edited by ericw; 03-27-2019 at 08:09 AM.

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