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Candled Natural Pearls

Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Thank you Dave,

I thought the mobility and flexibility on the steel one might be very handy for easily clearing any size box used when candling so I ended up getting both. :( I will add some photos from my camera soon and more and better ones when my first microscope arrives.

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Hi Dave and All,

I am hoping you can "read" my candling photos for me. These are photos of two rings I have. I know the photos are not perfect but at the time I only had my camera to use. I bought 2 USB microscopes and one has arrived but not with a readable CD - one of those tiny ones that are useless for most computers. I am downloading drivers I hope will work on my mac. The other microscope seems to be totally lost in the US postal system. Seller sent it via USP and it ended up delivered to some firm in the US after I paid $30 for a fast delivery. Grrrrr

I will add photos of other items later. Sometimes (often) I am not really sure what I am seeing. Need to learn what I am seeing.

I have other photos but thought to get opinions on these first. I believe both are natural pearls. At the moment I still sometimes get a halo around the pearls or the light shines straight through them. The 3 light system may be too much light, not sure.

As a set up I am using an 80mm x 55mm box with a 3 light torch in it. That can be used easily just by pushing on the top to turn on and off. The lid is tight so no light escapes that way and no need for a cord or wire out the side of the box. Also using Blu Tack to cover any holes not in use and after a few tries decided to use it on top as well by cutting a small square of Blu Tack and using the Wad Punch to cut a hole in that too. That helps to keep light from glaring out around the pearl.

I have set 3 boxes up with 3 holes in each of varying sizes. Have more boxes so will probably try out different types and sizes of holes to look at strands once I get a microscope working. The boxes and little battery light were cheap. It is just a matter of changing the lids for different hole sizes.

Sorry about blurry photo of set up but the extra lenses were still on the camera.

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

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Lagoon Island Pearls

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
1,913
Very nice progress Dawn!

These views indicate a few points supporting the pearl is natural in origin. There is no geometric circle or occlusion, hence no shell bead nucleus. Randomly ordered dark patches and spots are strongly supportive signatures in naturals. I do not see features typical of tissue grafting, which often show square shaped contrasts with contoured margins or rolls. The light passes the pearl with medium density and in one of the images presents with a deep layer of iridescence, demonstrating the over-maturity of the pearl.
 

FrenchPearl

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
155
Hi Dawn,

Congrats on the pictures ! the first one of the first ring in particular is beautiful !
I'm not expert, but I spent quite a few hours trying the candling. I failed to take any good picture as I don't have a microscope.
Like you, I got stuck with interpreting what I was seeing....
One thing that help me is to compare with candling cultured pearls and even fake pearls. Then you can see clearly what a bead looks like with candling, and the lack of glow / translucence with a fake pearl.

Hope some expert will jump in to give their opinions, as this is a really interesting technique.
*edit*: saw that Dave has answered at the same time - Great Insights !!
Best,
Sophie
 
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Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Thank you so much Dave and Sophie,

I did believe those two rings had natural pearls but we all like confirmation of what we are seeing when learning. Dave the over mature pearl is the one I want to get peeled one day. It is beautiful but does need it as apart from a little peeling it also has damage where a prong was pushed in too deeply. As it is damaged I get to keep it. :) Sophie I did at first take photos of a Tahitian and Cortez pearl and it was plain to see they were cultured but then I thought I should have used Akoya as a type of cultured. I am not sure what the beads in Tahitian and Cortez look like and thought they might be darker which could have skewed what I thought I was seeing. I did take photos of a likely cultured pearl necklace so will go through them.

Below are photos of one piece of jewellery. With large pearls and smaller pearls. Depending on what you think I may have to take photos of each and every large pearl and possibly a lot of more of the smaller to make sure.

I am fairly pleased with the results so far and once I get the microscope working it should hopefully be a lot easier. The Ashes (cricket) were on today and although I could work online a little I couldn't start pulling everything around to try and set up. :) The Ashes had to come first. Even for me.

Please do tell me what you think about these pearls from a bracelet. Some of the ladies might recognise it from Dawn's Pearls.
Photos taken of 2 of the large pearls and a few of the smaller sections. These only represent it for the time being. Still a lot more to be taken.

If you think natural please do let me know and why if possible and if not well ??.. no harm done. I am still going through the many photos trying to work out what I am seeing.

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

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MSC

Natural Pearl Lover
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
2,827
Awesome photos, Dawn, I can't wait to see when you get the microscope working or in the mail!
Would anyone post photos of candled cultured or fake pearls? Or is there a thread with those already up?
 

Lagoon Island Pearls

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
1,913
Dawn: The last set of photos don't have enough critical focus to read the views. Keep trying!!!

I initially posted this particular array of images because they have markedly different nuclei, yet we still know the harvester, location, date and species. Likewise, we know for certain they are not shell bead or tissue nucleated.

Even though my approach is largely scientific, I cannot expand enough on the importance of provenance in each case.

I'm certain you understand I'm pragmatic and hesitant to jump to conclusions based on single points of data. Although I do from time to time when other data is available, it's only meant to support or preclude... not necessarily confirm or deny. It's my purpose to guide others in determining whether it's worthwhile to send pearls to the lab or not, as that question seems to come up often in this forum.

If anything, I'm deeply flattered that you (and others) have adopted some of my methodology to make your work better, for the greater good.

It's not so much a matter of what I think, but what you think when you compare your pearls to my exemplars.

Andrea: Good point. Unfortunately I have no undrilled CFWP at the moment, but perhaps my neighbor might. I will ask to borrow some. I have drilled ones which clearly show tissue nukes, but I'm not fond of demonstrating altered or otherwise destroyed pearls. I do have American river mussel nuclei though, so I'll post some candlings of them later.
 

CharmedOne

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
258
Dawn, Thank you for showing photos of your set up. It helps out quite a bit. The photos of the ring are great!!!
 

Caitlin

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Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,568
Wow! Do you LOVE being able to do that? It should be a huge help. Your photos are beautiful with the backlights!!!

Out of curiosity, would you candle an akoya or other beaded pearl with the same light setup? It might make a good comparison. on this thread.
 

FrenchPearl

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
155
Hi Caitlin,

Yes, you can do this with any pearl (cultured, fake) and it's actually quite interesting and helpful to see what a beaded pearl look like. I could not do any pictures (my set up is not as elaborate) but i've educated myself by playing with all my all my pearls.
With akoyas, you can really see the bead and thickness of the nacre layer. In on case, the layer was so thin (clearly well used pearl) than you could barely make the difference between nacre and bead.
Those areally no brainers.

I look forward if dave can post pictures and insights on cfwp (per his previous post), as i could not say much of mine.
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,568
Pardon me, I should have said, "Would you please post a candled akoya photo?" I asked, not because I don't know, but to have a good comparison right on the same page.:cool:

I want to see the difference with Dawn's setup, just for consistency, and maybe Dave doesn't have too many beaded pearls lying around, but his version sure would be helpful, too.

I would like to see a lot more examples of candled pearls, both wild and farmed.
 

FrenchPearl

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
155
Pardon me, I should have said, "Would you please post a candled akoya photo?" I asked, not because I don't know, but to have a good comparison right on the same page.:cool:

Ooops, that's when i realize that my english is still frenchenglish in grammar. Sorry about that, of course you would know !

FrenchPearl - youngspat ;-)
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,568
Yet, on my part, leaving out the, 'please' makes makes the word, "would" a bit ambiguous and have another meaning of, "is it possible"? as well as, "would you please?" (with an implied please) which means "please do it", not "is it possible?". I must admit I rarely think about non-native speakers or even realize the ambiguity in such a statement unless something like this happens.

Please, don't mind my remarks- I now see how I directed you to think exactly what you said. We can laugh about this in the future... I really need to remember how many people who come here have learned English and may miss subtleties, especially when written, not said aloud.

In any case, I hope you also will post some candled akoyas pix. Even if your equipment isn't quite perfect, It will be possible to learn how your equipment's photos compares with other equipment's photos, for instance.
 

FrenchPearl

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
155
Will do ! You will laugh about my set up (blue Gap gift box, keychain led light and an old vodka tumbler to hold the light). The set up works fine, but it's taking photo "macro mode" in the dark and without flash that is challenging....
 

Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Out of curiosity, would you candle an akoya or other beaded pearl with the same light setup? It might make a good comparison. on this thread.

Will do Caitlin. I am only half awake at the moment (bad night, little sleep) but will add some photos soon before trying for some more sleep.

Dave thank you sincerely. We do look upon you as our in house expert on reading photos which cannot be easy for you. I wasn't sure if that last lot of photos were up to scratch.

I will upload a lot more photos soon, bit by bit, and if you can "read" them it would help all who are following to start reading their own candling. I a sure many are working on comparisons between yours and to a smaller extent CharmedOne's and mine.

Being in a bracelet made them hard to focus. Will take better ones. I had trouble reading them. Also because it is a bracelet with wire wrapping it makes taking good photos hard and I wondered if there was a mix of natural and cultured so better photos are definitely needed.

Just found the photos of a Tahitian pearl and a Cortez pearl so adding them now. The Tahitian is the one with blue fire. Will find or take a good Akoya photo and add it a little later.

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

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Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
I chose a cultured pearl necklace a few days ago. One I have listed as cultured but the results from it seem as if it might be mixed. I will add them here but it is just confusing me so not a good exemplar. I will choose a cheap Akoya necklace or pearls for a clearer comparison but don't have that right now.

FrenchPearl, I am sure no one will laugh and your results are likely to be much better than this lot of photos.

I will do better with a cheap Akoya as I cannot work these photos out. In one there is even light blasting right through the pearl. Different pearls so it is possible it is a mix of both. Even the photo of which necklace, showing the clasp, only shows light coming through. We do take photos of the clasp either side so no mistakes can be made about where the pearl came from. I am confused. :(

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

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Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Hi All,

Yes it could be GemGeek but the first photo is of the same pearl and it doesn't show that. Confusion reigns !!!

I am adding some photos of that bracelet that I put up a photo of in Dawn's Pearls. The larger pearls are cultured Akoya from the look of it.

What I don't understand is why I am getting some pearls (other necklace in last post) with only light showing or a pale look to them and then these photos which are showing very dark centres which must be a bead.

I am also thinking it may not be necessary to have the room completely dark as it is so hard to focus when in the dark and also that I might have too much light hitting the pearls (look at set up above). Then I get these really dark looking pearls with beads. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Did take more photos today of a different supposed cultured pearl necklace although that is in dispute and results are different again.
Will go through them and see if any are worth adding.

I must be doing something wrong. :(

Dawn - Bodecia
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dawncee333/m.html
eBay Seller ID dawncee333 Natural pearl collector & seller. And all round pearl lover.
 

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