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  1. #1

    Default Advice Appreciated - Purplish Pearl With Flame

    Hi, this is my first posting on here although I have been lurking with great interest for a while now.
    I would very much appreciate the Forum's views as to what mollusk the following pearl, which weighs 4.54ct, could be from. I have had it certificated by GIA but it simply came back 'Natural Pearl, Saltwater, Mollusk Undetermined'.
    From my side at least, I have not seen this combination of a purplish grey colour together with a clear and beautiful flame patter.
    All advice and feedback most welcome !
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  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Connoisseur Senior Guide Member DrTKStern's Avatar
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    Nice pearl similar to ones I have seen with lilac hue from China Sea clams, of which there are literally hundreds of types, many of which produce pearls. Do you have higher resolution photos and close-ups under varied lighting?

    Thanks for posting.

    Tom Stern,MD

  3. #3
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    It's a lovely little pearl. I agree with Tom, it would be great to see more photos.

  4. #4
    Pearl Girl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ashley's Avatar
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    Wow- what a great shade of purple- it's like a saturated lilac! Definitely send more photos- it would be really nice to see the flame a bit sharper
    Ashley McNamara, CEO
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    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert smetzler's Avatar
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    Yes, another shot or two under different lighting/background would be nice. Good to know about Tom's Chinese clam pearl shades.
    Steve
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  6. #6
    Pearl Girl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ashley's Avatar
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    I had thought that flame patterns came mainly from marine gastropods- the only pearl producing Chinese clam that I have done any research on is the Tridacna which produces pearls that are nothing like the example shown above... Hmmm. Definitely something to look into a little deeper...
    Ashley McNamara, CEO
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  7. #7
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert smetzler's Avatar
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    20-carat Tridacna drop with flame (also have its 14-ct twin!). The chatoyant/halo effect more typically featured in photos of Tridacna comes from looking at the ends of these fibres from the polar perspective, usually under strong lighting. It's also less common to be able to see the flames in Tridacna due to their lack of color to help create contrast. This aragonite structure is called crossed-lamellar.

    Only Natural: Any hint of the lilac mollusk as indicated by the finder/seller?
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    Steve
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  8. #8
    Pearl Girl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ashley's Avatar
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    I stand corrected and in awe of your gorgeous Tridacna pearl. Many thanks for the wonderfully clear photo- I'll be sure to file this info away for the future-Tridacna pearls are usually they're so freakishly lumpy (at least all the images that I've yet seen) and, well, gross looking, but this...

    This is an absolute GEM!
    Ashley McNamara, CEO
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  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert smetzler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley View Post
    …Tridacna pearls are usually so freakishly lumpy...
    Pending Only Natural's source data for the lilac clam pearl, more Tridacna deviation…

    Pearl of Allah and its peers have given Tridacna a terrible name. Such pearls are in all likelihood blister pearls, separated from the shell and appropriately polished to appear as gargantuan loose pearls.

    It is very difficult to explain such delicate aragonite structure as in the drop above from a mollusk that achieves its shell strength through pure bulk. The key appears to be finding them when they are still in the sac, with what is called an 'axis of symmetry.'
    Last edited by smetzler; 08-25-2010 at 05:22 AM.
    Steve
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  10. #10
    Natural Pearl Connoisseur Senior Guide Member DrTKStern's Avatar
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    Hi, From what ocean did that pearl come?

    I recently was SCUBA diving in a colony of Tridacna gigas that must have contained 2,000 clams of around 3-4 foot length, and they were so beautiful. In addition to these giants, in other areas there were much smaller clams maybe a foot across that looked different in several ways, and I suspect that variations of type result in slightly different types of pearls. I've seen light rose colored, tan, off-white, pale blue, lilac, yellow...all with delicate flame, good symmetry, and perfect surfaces.

    Tom
    Last edited by DrTKStern; 08-26-2010 at 01:57 PM.

  11. #11
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Those tridacna gigas look so beautiful when they are in their habitat. You must have been overwhelmed with pleasure at such a sight. It's nice to know that they are unmolested.

    You know, Tom, we would love it if you would share a few photos, too! ;-)

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert la_corsetiere's Avatar
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    Where were you diving, Tom???? Sounds like my idea of paradise!

    Please tell me. I promise not to molest the mollusks.

    Sheri

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CLICLASP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTKStern View Post
    Nice pearl similar to ones I have seen with lilac hue from China Sea clams, of which there are literally hundreds of types, many of which produce pearls.

    Tom Stern,MD
    Tom would you post some lilac pearls, if any, for comparison (and for pleasure as well) ?
    I browsed the 39 pages of your thread and did not find any .

    I was wondering about flame, do only univalve mollusk create flame on "their" pearls ?
    CliClasp

    My book on clasps' history with lots of pearls in : http://www.editions-terracol.com/en/...jewellery.html
    My versatile jewelry : http://e-boutique.anna-tabakhova.com/en/
    My vintage coral : http://www.etsy.com/shop/OnlyVintageCoral
    Photo report on pearl exhibitions & museum (Paris, London, Berlin, Basel, Geneva ...) http://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/showthread.php?10427

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert smetzler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLICLASP View Post
    I was wondering about flame, do only univalve mollusk create flame on "their" pearls ?
    Any mollusk that produces the aragonite microstructure called 'crossed-lamellar' can produce flamed pearls. This is most common in non-nacreous gastropods (conch, cassis/helmet, melo), but it is also produced by Tridacnidae (bivalves).

    It would be interesting to see a complete breakdown of the types of aragonite (and calcite) found in each species/genus. This is the crux of current work with Nautilus, which appears to produce every known aragonite microstructure EXCEPT crossed-lamellar.
    Steve
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  15. #15

    Default Finally some information..........

    ......from my dealer, who managed to track down the diving team who found this pearl around 3 years ago.

    The pearl is apparently from Chicoreus Axicornis and was found in Pangkep Island in Indonesia.

    Many thanks to all those who have assisted me with their valuable contributions

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