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Mabe Pearl Grading - 6) Nacre Quality

The most important factor here is nacre thickness. Many Mabe are cultured for short periods of time (4 months) to obtain the most perfect shape, but at the expense of their nacre thickness and durability. On the other hand, there are producers that grown them for too long (over 12 months) and end up having pearls that have thick nacre, but their shapes are not standardized, and they may display one or more of the surface imperfections we discussed in the previous paragraph. There is usually a middle ground for optimal Mabe pearl production, balancing the amount of pearl covering and the best looks.
SSP-Mabe-in-Half-Components.png - SS Mabe pearl cut in half
The thickest Mabe pearls are usually Cortez, South Sea and Tahitian, and the ones with thinner nacre are the traditional Mabe (Pteria penguin), which are mostly now produced in Indonesia, and Abalone Mabe.

Next Entries on the Subject:

7) Mabe Pearl Dome Height
 
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