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  1. #31
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    From what I have seen the dyes are mainly organic based. But each factory has a proprietary mix of chemicals and dyes that they use. It all starts with little bags of colored powder and a labs worth of equipment. Some do a better job than others. I have never found one, however, that does a perfect job all the time.

  2. #32
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Irradiation: Isn't the post office using irradiation and isn't there a concern of the effects on gemstones, although I haven't heard of the effects on pearls specifically.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  3. #33
    Slraep
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    For the most part, the more valuable coloured gemstones need an extremely intense source of nuking and lengthy time in the tube for producing lasting colour effects. In other words, the electrons have to get really hot and bothered in order for a lasting colour change change to occur. I'm not sure the post office is using such power or nuking for more than a few seconds. I sure hope not! I'm guessing they use your averge X-ray in order to detect metals and maybe a different type of irradiation for certain foods before they are either sent out of the country or coming in. Food irradiation is making someone in government a whole lot of money while further devitalizing our food supply.

    I don't think the postal nuking affects pearls in any way, except maybe if they were infested with live insects, fungi, mold or bacteria(???). Too bad the government can't figure out how to get rid of heavy metals instead.

    Slraep
    Last edited by Slraep; 09-23-2007 at 11:12 PM.

  4. #34
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    Default nuked pearls

    Many years ago pearls were irradiated as the early attempts to make "off color" and "off lustre" pearls more sell-able, create new colors, more demand. There have been many more processes discovered that do a safer/better job of it, so irradiating pearls has sort of gone by the wayside.


    A 3rd pearl

  5. #35
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Josh's Avatar
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    Default cheating

    OK, thanks everyone. Shouldn't dyed pearls be considered second rate to beautifully occuring natural ones? Am I alone in thinking it is sort of dirty and cheating? Am I gonna make a lot of people mad with that question?
    Josh Humbert
    Pearl farmer and Tahitian pearl farming consultant.
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  6. #36
    Valeria101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh
    [dyed pearls be considered second rate] Am I gonna make a lot of people mad with that question?

    Not here... I wouldn't thin so. The case for untreated pearls has been made over and over on this forum.

    Shops such as Pearl Paradise and Cortez Pearls even came up with untreated pearls to follow the enthusiasm for pristine pearls (non-exhaustive list).

    Treatments remain accepted too.

    'Place for everyone.


    At least this is the image I go from the months I've been hanging around.

  7. #37
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Josh's Avatar
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    Alright, thanks Valeria101. My French side got the better of me. Just trying to start an argument, like at the dinner table.
    Josh Humbert
    Pearl farmer and Tahitian pearl farming consultant.
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  8. #38
    Valeria101
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    Hm.... if you would have proposed to consider treated pearls 'better', that would have started quite some conversation, I'd bet!

  9. #39
    Slraep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh

    OK, thanks everyone. Shouldn't dyed pearls be considered second rate to beautifully occuring natural ones? Am I alone in thinking it is sort of dirty and cheating? Am I gonna make a lot of people mad with that question?

    Way. No way. No way, dude.

    Slraep

  10. #40
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh
    OK, thanks everyone. Shouldn't dyed pearls be considered second rate to beautifully occuring natural ones? Am I alone in thinking it is sort of dirty and cheating? Am I gonna make a lot of people mad with that question?
    I personally prefer untreated pearls. But I would like to know on what basis you call dyed pearls "dirty and cheating" ? They are very strong and judgmental words.

    Thanks,
    Pernula

  11. #41
    Administrator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Kevin Canning's Avatar
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    to me its only cheating(and I use the word lightly) if the pearls are dyed to achieve a color that can and does occur naturally.

    If the pearls are dyed or treated to achieve a result that will not occur in nature then why not, as long as the dealer is open about the treatments.

    Whatever your thoughts are on Akoya pearls, its hard to argue against the fast that a high quality white Akoya strand is a classic look on a woman; Yet you aren't going to achieve that look without treatment.

    As long as the consumer knows exactly what they are buying and the treatments are disclosed then I don't mind. Of course if you can get the look without treatment that would be preferred.
    Kevin Canning
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  12. #42
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Shouldn't dyed pearls be considered second rate to beautifully occuring natural ones? Am I alone in thinking it is sort of dirty and cheating?
    What is it possible to do with dye to make the pearl look deceptively better?

    I just thought of dyed golden colors that increase the pearl's value and are used to trick people if the dye is not disclosed. Strack said in her 2007 lecture in Tucson that such dyes are obvious if people know what to look for, but we all know the dismal ignorance of buyers and jewelrs both.

    There is a class of cultured freshwater pearls, that don't make the "best pearl" cut. They are second rate pearls. I prefer the name "commercial grade" to second rate though. These pearls are most often color treated, whether bleached or dyed and the dye jobs are about 99% obvious. These pearls are really fun and have created a way to sell a lot more pearls.

    There is one kind of color description of black dyed CFWP that is really cheating which is calling a dyed black freshwater pearl a "Tahitian black pearl". Thus they use those three words to trick careless readers into thinking they will get a Tahitian Pearl.

    I am sure I have missed some examples of lousy cheating dye jobs.....
    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. #43
    Third-graft Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Josh's Avatar
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    Pernula, on what basis do I call dyed pearls dirty and cheating? Dunno. Is it actually possible to get "strong and judgemental" on the internet? Dunno that either. Glad to hear you prefer natural ones like me.
    Kevin and Caitlin: thanks for your thoughts. I guess as a black pearl farmer I have butted up against other kinds of "black pearls" over the years and it always put the hair up on my neck. Also, it's my life's goal (not too lofty, huh?) to make pearls as colored as possible so it always leaves me a bit flat to see those outrageous freshwater dyed jobs as they make my work seem bland in comparison. If I wasn't me (that would suck) I'm sure I would see those fakes as fun instead.
    Josh Humbert
    Pearl farmer and Tahitian pearl farming consultant.
    www.kamokapearls.com
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    @KamokaJosh

  14. #44
    boo
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    While I have a preference for naturally colored pearls, I do have a few dyed ones - mostly royal blues, since there are no strong blues in pearls (or so I thought until someone here posted a photo showing otherwise didn't they, Douglas?). I have a fair number of black freshwater as well (again, hints of blues and violets...). However, I would never, ever say that they make the real thing seem bland in comparison. They are gaudy and bright and fun, but they are the cotton candy fluff of the pearl world. I don't stare at them for minutes at a time, like I do my cortez pendant and the Mana necklace I have (a baroque little beauty that is purple on one end and green on the other - I actually wear it most frequently as an anklet so I can admire the pearl while I am wearing it!).

    Continue on with your life's goal and make them Tahitians glow with otherworldly color so that they move beyond being simply "black pearls"!

    There is a Hawaiian singer who wrote a song which is (ostensibly ) about the pearls he saw in Tahiti called "Ipo Lei Momi". When I heard him teaching the hula to the song, he talked about how he had a cool attitude toward Tahitian pearls because the ones he had always seen were just grey, but that when he visited Tahiti he was blown away by the colors of the pearls that he saw there. Get those colors out there, and folks will see that there truly is no comparison.

  15. #45
    Valeria101
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    'Dirty cheating' ? Well... cheating is dirty business, no ?

    If we were to count all the instances when someone is buying a strand of cultured pearls ignoring the practice of enhancements, but would not have done so if treatments were disclosed Would you think those are many? Dying seems to be a particularly insidious treatment - as it makes such great change in appearance.

    I'd call such practice names too... if I dared.

    Probably a majority would buy nonetheless, and just a few folks - the ones deeply passionate about their pearls - would turn away, perhaps favoring guarantees, perhaps away from pearls... The story sounds familiar because of those 'orange sapphires' - not that they're not pretty and they do sell, and the large sell for allot of cash even with disclosure. The only side that got hurt by disclosure of treatment a couple of years down the road appears to be the scam business (saying this from an outsider's view) - as those stones have a hard time passing for the real deal at top end. Otherwise, the world seems happy about the a few years down the road. Maybe the story has something in it for pearls too... I think it does, but that's not much saying.

    It does seem strange that cases are still reported (by gemological laboratories) of buyers that are not aware of the cultured nature of their impressive pearls! But then, that seems a bit much to blame on 'disclosure' by now.


    What do you think?


    Brothers! I say:

    Last edited by Valeria101; 09-26-2007 at 08:48 AM.