Natural Blister pearls from Baja California, Mexico


PG Forum Admin
Aug 26, 2005
My friend Edgar Rodriguez (aka Baja Pearl Hunter) sent me these amazing photos of some natural blister pearls he was able of securing this Summer.
I tell him that some of these look like "topos", the name the Spaniards gave to pearls (natural of course, from the days of "New Spain") that dislodged themselves from the mantle and then fell inside the shell and were subsequently covered with nacre and attached to the shell of the mollusk.

Most of these are from the "Rainbow Lip Pearl Oyster" (Pteria sterna) and there is one form a red abalone (Haliotis rufescens).

Some very unusual shapes and large sizes there! Hope you enjoy them.
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All of the oysters have adductoral as opposed to pallial involvement. This is quite typical in this type of blister.

The abalone is intriguing because it's clearly a case of hepatopancreatitis by the obvious horn feature, but it's also broadened across a mantle perforation. I suspect it was perforated first by an environmental stress, then the HP gland became infected (likely protozoa) subsequent to that.

Senor Rodriguez certainly finds some interesting specimens! Thanks to you and he for sharing these.