Eastern North Atlantic Shellfish Pearls




I'm starting this thread here because this is where it belongs. It's really a continuation of the "mussel pearl" thread in Natural Nacreous Pearls.

I visited Bear River, Nova Scotia today and had the privilege of photographing interesting natural pearls. They belong to a member of this forum named Scallop007, or Eric and some are really amazing so here is the slide show!



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I have more... I am so surprised by the variation in these pearls. If any of you natural pearl experts out there have seen these before, please, chime in!

I'm particularily stumped by the blue and white ringed button and those mottled mettalics with much more lustre than the others. ?



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Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! When Scallop was talking about these, I was so intrigued. Gorgeous pictures of some wonderful, special pearls!
Thanks to you both, Pierrette and Eric, for sharing!!

Those pearls are truly amazing, I look forward to many more of your adventures and photos!! And insights into the pearl production. It is all fascinating. What may seem everyday to you, relating the details, is insightful and so interesting to me and many others on this forum.

so many pearls, so little time
thanks for the visit and taking the pic's pierrette they turned out great.oh i found that purple scallop shell just after you left (typical of me to put something somewhere's and cannot find it ,lol) you guys come up anytime, the doors open.. really nice to meet you guys,, we will come down and check ya out soon ,007 A&E
These are wonderful pictures and they sure add an intresting note to this forum as even the experts don't seem to know much about these guys.

I am going to move the other thread too.

Thanks to Eric for posting and Pierrette for the travel and photos. Some of those guys are great!

I wonder if they can be drilled?
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Hi eric
I saw you posted May 5th, but you seem to have dropped out on us. Are you out on the boat?

I was really hoping to have a sample of your mussel pearls by now.....:rolleyes:
pierrettedE said:
I'm particularly stumped by [...] those mottled metallics with much more lustre than the others. ?


These! ... other than looking nacreous to me too... it will surely be someone else that can solve this puzzle. Any chance there might be a survey of mussel species in your area that could yield the maker of those pearls by elimination?

Some of the pearls look very attractive, in a delicate way: couldn't imagine a drill through them, but would wish to see them put to wearable use :cool:
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Interesting pearls! Quite a collection! Is it typical of the specie to have big chances of producing a pearl?
perlas said:
Interesting pearls! Quite a collection! Is it typical of the specie to have big chances of producing a pearl?

There was a bit of talk about this on the first thread... (that the environment does it to them, not that the species is more pearl-prone by itself).

If I remember well, there were at least three accounts around here of such natural populations prone to producing quantities of pearls: about the pipi, about the early cultivation in Mexico and this.

Don't know anything more than putting bits and pieces together and following the subject. Could be seeing things too.

...but, what a 'scandal' :eek: if it turned out that at least small natural pearls can occur in quantity - at least comparable to whatever 'quantity' might be expected from any gem material, rather than 'one in a million' or something. I didn't realize there was a problem, until telling the story to a friend who doesn't spend as much time :rolleyes: reading gemology journals...

Basically, I would sure love to hear more, as usual ;)
Valeria: If virgin sharks can give birth ...
Good morning!

It's busy season for us now. I spend my "real life" with pearls too... :) I am a jeweller, I adore pearls, I've spent countless hours reading, researching, examining, buying... It is my favorite material! Though I still do make custom & one-of-a-kind fine jewellery [can't lose that creativity!!] , I have developped a collection for fine handcraft galleries. It started in 2001 and now I've actually been able to hire an assistant -woohoo-and we sell to about ~20-30 galleries in Canada.

Anyway, all that to explain my near-disapearance from the forum in the past month.

I did get an email from Eric saying something about having "finally found a blister for Caitlin". I believe that he may be fishing at this point.

These are amazing...thanks for sharing..we all like to look at pearls..any kind.
Yahoo :D

I got a new Canon scanner. Not very artistic but very detailed. I will post a bunch of natural blue mussel (M. Edulis) and Atlantic Scallop pearl groupings later today.

The attached is of a pretty little mauve mussel pearl. It's about 3.2mm and comes from The Bay of Fundy, NS. Received from Eric Orde (Scallop007). It seems less round than it is to the eye but it's rather close-up too.



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Hi Pierrette,

Just lovely pearl! Wish it was as large as the scan!!!;) Wonderful, rich color! Fun to learn about your business also! And I recall you also have some small children to keep you busy!! Would love to see some photos or scans of your designs, especially ones incorporating pearls!

so many pearls, so little time
Good morning! Yup, have a 15 month old girl climbing on me now ... so this will be short. Just to post a couple scans.


Some are my own, some were given to me by Eric Orde. All are natural, Atlantic Ocean, mussel pearls (M. Edulis) or scallop pearls (Placopecten magellanicus)

I do have extreem close-ups too if any of you want to see. The structure of some of the nicest scallop pearls is platelet-type and neat!



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hi, ok. here's a "platelet shot". I always get a bit of reflection that interferes. The pearl is about 6.5mm in reality. The "platelets" lay one on top of the other in layers. Kind of like a translucent patchwork quilt that wraps around itself.

I can almost see it better if I zoom out...


(It was so cold out this morning in South-West Nova Scotia that I wore a winter jacket and a hat, a HAT I say!)


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howdy. I'm still trying to get better close-up shots. I'm working with a scanner and a Canon Power Shot A75. We should be getting a new LSR digital shortly and I'll try again.

Meanwhile, Look at my new blue mussel blister pearl. It's HUGE.... 14-15mm huge. Dark navy into white. I don't know what to do with it... I wish a could take a better picture.


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scanner try... I can't focu the whole thing.. anyway next to the little 3.2mm and the ruler, you can tell its' size... that was one annoyed mussel.


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