Brackish water pearls (saltwater? or freshwater?)

Roy

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
10
Are pearls harvested from the brackish water where a river joins the sea considered saltwater or fresh water pearls?
 
true estuaries are a saltwater environment but technically it would depend on the species of mollusk the pearl came from. Regardless of where the mollusk was found certain species are considered "freshwater" or "saltwater".
 
This is a picture of the black pearls from this environment:
 

Attachments

  • Black_Zoom2.jpg
    Black_Zoom2.jpg
    45.7 KB · Views: 131
The pearls don't look bead nucleated, as one would expect for saltwater pearls - the shape is much more freshwater in nature, and therefore color treated post harvest. Where were the pearls purchased, Roy? I haven't ever come across pearls marketed as being 'brackish water' before...
 
The pearls are untreated and natural. They are neither freshwater or saltwater but rather were harvested between the two. The pearls really shine.
 
The pearls are untreated and natural. They are neither freshwater or saltwater but rather were harvested between the two. The pearls really shine.

There is no evidence that brakish water produces black pearls, as a single factor. Of the few producers who grow in or near brakish water, they claim it only provides a slight tint to otherwise light colored pearls.

Those appear to be dyed freshwater pearls.

The black string and charcoal color are the giveaway. Tahitian black pearls themselves are rarely jet black, but when they are... are very, very expensive.
 
Roy can you tell us more about when and where they were purchased? Do you know the mollusk species from which they were harvested?
 
Last edited:
Caitlin there are a few around being dyed that really intense black. I have some cheap-as-chips wonky baroque strands that I ordered as black, and were dyed this obsidian black rather than peacock black for me. I do get asked for this color very occasionally - I also have a few large drop shaped FW and larger buttons - I will post pics tomorrow when i am back in the office.
 
I love them!

A perfect example how pearls like these still have allure to even the most discriminating enthusiast.

I would like to think marketing them as "dyed freshwater pearls" would enhance their image as an inexpensive alternative, as opposed to scamming the buyer into thinking they are something they are not.
 
A perfect example how pearls like these still have allure to even the most discriminating enthusiast.

I would like to think marketing them as "dyed freshwater pearls" would enhance their image as an inexpensive alternative, as opposed to scamming the buyer into thinking they are something they are not.

i agree! They are indeed beautiful, and hence the need for disclosure in selling. They are what they are, and should be appreciated as such! Roy has lovely pearls here, but yes, they should have been inexpensive - I hope the scammer in this situation hasn't profited too much!
 
Thanks Nerida! We don't post enough beading pearls!

I skipped the tents last year which is where the dealers of acres and acres of commercial pearls set up shop. Every year, they have new and wonderful pearls. I think this obsidian color is what many people imagine black pearls to be. I love the ones with overtones, but if I were not retired, I would certainly include this solid black pearl in my enormous cfwp pearl wardrobe. ( cfwp=Chinese, or cultured, FreshWater Pearl,)
 
As I said in another thread, there were a few of these heavily dyed blacks around in Hong kong last month. Laying with lots of other pearls they looked very over processed and 'dead'.
I too got some like this (by mistake ordered in) , luckily only 6mm for my beading customers, who like them a lot. they are a real dense blue-black
 
As I said in another thread, there were a few of these heavily dyed blacks around in Hong kong last month. Laying with lots of other pearls they looked very over processed and 'dead'.
I too got some like this (by mistake ordered in) , luckily only 6mm for my beading customers, who like them a lot. they are a real dense blue-black

I'd love to see a photo!
 
true estuaries are a saltwater environment but technically it would depend on the species of mollusk the pearl came from. Regardless of where the mollusk was found certain species are considered "freshwater" or "saltwater".
So, having established the premise that the host species would determine the classification,
should I assume that species of molluscs found to range in distribution from the brackish waters into coastal saltwater environments to be considered saltwater?, whilst those whose environmental distribution tends from the brackish waters into the freshwater be considered freshwater pearls?
This is the most logical conclusion I arrived at from your comment anyway.
 
Back
Top