Keshi Pearls

Keshi Pearls Defined
A keshi pearl is a non-beaded pearl formed by accident, as a by-product of the pearl culturing operation.
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Akoya Keshi Pearls

How Keshi Pearls Are Formed
Keshi pearls are formed when the oyster rejects and spits out the implanted nucleus before the culturing process is complete, or the implanted mantle tissue dislodges and forms a separate pearl sac without the nuclei. These pearl sacs eventually produce pearls without a nucleus.

Keshi Pearls Can have Salt or Freshwater Origin
Keshi may form in either saltwater or freshwater pearls. They are generally small in size and, because there was no nucleus to guide the ultimate shaping of the pearl, their shapes vary widely. Keshi come in a wide variety of colors and tend to have high luster and even rare orient. This is due to their solid-nacre composition.

Keshi Pearls Are Known For Their Luster
Because the oyster has expelled the implanted nucleus of the pearl, the resulting keshi pearl is made up of 100% pearl nacre. This gives it an especially lustrous and shimmering surface quality. Many keshi have greater luster than some of the highest quality cultured pearls.
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Beautiful Cortez Keshi pearls

Keshi Pearls Are Not Considered Natural Pearls
The fact that keshi pearls are solid nacre does not, however, give them the classification of natural pearls. This is because keshi are a bi-product of the culturing process, and not a natural occurrence.

The inner structure of keshi pearls is quite different from the "onion-like" inner structure found in natural pearls.

Keshi Pearls Are Now A Very Rare Find
Keshi pearls, especially Tahitian and South Sea keshis, were once quite the bargain, yet beautiful and unique pieces. Today, Keshi pearls are much rarer. This is because Tahitian and South Sea pearl farms are now x-raying oysters to determine whether the nucleus has been expelled. When a nucleus-free oyster is found they are then re-nucleated before a keshi has time to form. This practice has made keshi pearls much more of a rare find than they once used to be. The word keshi means "poppy seed" in Japanese, thus these pearls are sometimes also referred to as "poppy seed pearls."

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