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Thread: Keishi pearls

  1. #1
    Decha Nuntanajaroenkul

    Default Keishi pearls

    Dear Sir:

    1. Can Keishi pearl have size more than 10 mm?
    2. If they have size larger than 10 mm or more, can it come from
    freshwater, or it must be only saltwater (south sea, Tahiti)?
    3. how could we distinguish or identify which keishi pearl is
    freshwater or saltwater?

    Thank you for your information.
    Best regards,
    Decha Nuntana
    Pranda Jewelry Thailand

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Marina del Rey, CA

    Default Re: Keishi Pearls

    Yes, Keshi pearls can grow larger than 10mm.

    Large freshwater keshi pearls do exist. They are typically elongated, however, and form as the commonly known stick-pearl.

    Akoya keshi pearls are typically much smaller as they form in a small oyster, and look like miniature branches.
    South Sea and Tahitian keshi pearls are the best known. These grow much larger and have wonderful shapes that are very popular in jewelry designs.

    Determining if the keshi pearls are saltwater or freshwater is not very difficult. The freshwater and Akoya may be very slightly similar in shape, but most freshwater keshi are substantially longer. Freshwater keshi also form in the mantle versus the gonad giving them a flat, elongated shape.

    South Sea and Tahitian Keshi, on the other hand, are from the gonad of the oyster. These pearls do not have the inherent flat shape, but a bulkier, full shape. I have also seen some with a stick-like appearance as well, but even these are typically easy to identify.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 06-12-2015 at 02:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Marina del Rey, CA

    Default Interesting Keishi Facts

    Keshi (Japanese for poppyseed)

    Many people consider keshi pearls to be natural. This is because they are not intentionally produced. While they are indeed little "accidents," they cannot be considered natural pearls. Keshi pearls are actually bi-products of the culturing process. Although unintentional, they are still cultured pearls as they have been induced.

    Keshi form when epithelial cells break away from the mantle tissue implanted in the mollusk's mantle or oyster's gonad and form new pearl sacs. Nacre is then secreted around these sacs and a pearl is produced.

    Although the formation process of keshi pearls is still debated today, there are two generally accepted descriptions.

    First, when an oyster is nucleated a mother-of-pearl bead is implanted with a small piece of mantle tissue from a donor oyster. A percentage of the implanted oysters will undoubtedly reject the bead, but the tissue may remain. This tissue then stimulated the oyster to produce a pearl sac. Because the pearl sac does not contain a round nucleus a keshi pearl will then form.

    The second is when the oyster successfully forms a pearl around the bead, and during this process small pieces of the mantle tissue separate and induce separate pearl sacs. As with the first method these pearl sacs are free of a round nucleus and a keshi pearl is formed.

    Keshi pearl strands can be very beautiful and very inexpensive. While South Sea and Tahitian keshi can be quite expensive, Akoya and freshwater water are very inexpensive.

    Although saltwater keshi pearls are less expensive than round cultured pearls they can be very beautiful. This is because they are solid nacre. This is similar to most freshwater pearls, but saltwater solid nacre pearls have an extremely high orient and luster not typically found in freshwater pearls. Very few cultured pearls have orient, but keshi pearls typically abound with it.
    Last edited by jshepherd; 06-12-2015 at 02:28 PM.

  4. #4

    Cool myanmar keshi

    I recently purchased a 22" strand of what is described as myanmar keshi pearls.
    They are about 10x8 mm, plump and look like baroque sea water pearls.The color is pinky peach, some are flat on the bottom.They sound like either fresh or sea. I think that they are painted sea heshi, which is unfortunate.

    Can you remove color if its slathed on the outside? It obscures the luster and depth.I was also told that some color is introduced into the mollusk at inception. Is this true?that would be more acceptable, I guess.

    I have studied and learned that this type of pearl will become more valuable as xrays will allow the farmers to abort them. They are cool.

  5. #5
    Zeide Erskine

    Default Pinky peach keshis


    Typically you find golden and white saltwater pearls in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) from the pinctada maxima. Pinky peach also occurs and tends to have an almost fake metallic look. If they look really metallic close to car paint, rest assured, that's real. It's actually the second most expensive south sea pearl color after lavender pink that also occurs in Myanmar but more often in the Philippines. I advise against trying to do anything to your pearls until you have an expert look at them. Big south sea keshis are becoming more rare as pearl farmers try to eliminate them as soon as possible because a mussel only produces so much nacre and whatever it expends on keshi production is taken away from the cultured round pearl.

    Zeide G. Erskine
    Last edited by Zeide Erskine; 03-18-2006 at 01:40 AM.