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Need help from experts - what happened to this WSS pearl?

StarryPearl

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Dec 29, 2020
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263
My recent purchase of a lovely WSS drop shows something I've never seen: There seems to be a flat surface near the tip of the drop, virtually dividing the pearl into two parts that reflect light differently. When I look at the surface around the "cutting disc" carefully, I can see some very fine crease under the outermost transparent layers of nacre. Peeking from the hole, I can see the nacre is very thick.

IMG_4483.jpg

IMG_3066.JPG

The pearl is beautiful but I am worried about this fracture-like "cutting disc". What do you think it is? Is it natural or a damage? Will this pearl last? I tend to keep this pearl and make it into a pendant for myself but I need to take these worries off my head first.

Any opinions would be very much appreciated. :) Would be glad to take as many pictures as needed from certain angles or light conditions.
 

echo

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Jul 4, 2021
Messages
91
Would love to hear from experts about this as well. I have a GSS pendant with the exact same ‘cracked’ layer like this one :confused2:
 

CortezPearls

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Aug 26, 2005
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Wow! StarryPearl these are GREAT PHOTOS...you managed to capture this effect to complete perfection. :You_Rock_Emoticon:
Will get back to you in minutes...just got back from the beach and I required a good shower!
 

CortezPearls

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Ok! I'm back to dry and unsalty self now ;)

When I was a part of the Cortez Pearl Team (seems it was ages ago!) we would every so often encounter these very same inner fractures. At least that is what I believe they are. But these fractures are not exposed, but found several layers below the outer layers. These were commonly observed in drop shaped pearls and sometimes in button shapes too.

Wish I could have used at least one of those to cut them and have a closer examination. I never did. Anyway, these pearls were considered to have a "fatal flaw" (we believed they could ultimately crack completely) but some were even tested: set on jewelry for testing under a real life scenario. They never did crack, but maybe they will in 20-30 years...maybe?

Drilling may be a cause of this issue, but I have seen undrilled pearls displaying this same issue, so: maybe not!

I'm sure that a lot of people can help us out with this...@pearlescensce kojimapearl jshepherd : you have probably examined millions of pearls in your lifetime and seen similar "fissures" or inner cracks, your input -and that of many others- would be quite welcomed!
 

StarryPearl

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Dec 29, 2020
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263
Thank you so much for sharing such interesting experience, Douglas, I appreciate it! :cool: It's interesting that this was also seen on undrilled pearls... I have decided to keep this pearl. It has beautiful surface and I love its shape and size, and now there is mystery added. 20-30 years sounds good enough for its price.

Welcoming more opinions. If there is no conclusion in the end, I have the confidence to live another 20-30 years and I will remember to come and update:lmao:.
 

echo

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Jul 4, 2021
Messages
91
CortezPearls thank you for your explanation. I had this GSS pendant for almost 8 years. Can’t remember if this internal fracture was present when I just got it. It is at the opposite end of the drill/bail. The fracture is like you said internal as the edge feels smooth to the touch. If this one eventually cracks I will provide a photo. I’m keen to see its inside as well. Guessing the nucleus is sitting right above the fracture

Click image for larger version  Name:	840E7F2B-124B-463A-920D-D016F84C0114.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	84.5 KB ID:	456748
 
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CortezPearls

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CortezPearls

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CortezPearls thank you for your explanation. I had this GSS pendant for almost 8 years. Can’t remember if this internal fracture was present when I just got it. It is at the opposite end of the drill/bail. The fracture is like you said internal as the edge feels smooth to the touch. If this one eventually cracks I will provide a photo. I’m keen to see its inside as well. Guessing the nucleus is sitting right above the fracture

filedata/fetch?id=456748&d=1632109328

It's a beautiful pearl! The fissure is distracting...but it's gorgeous!
 

StarryPearl

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Dec 29, 2020
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Update: I just heard back from the seller. She said this was a natural occurrence as the pearl grows and was not caused by drilling, and that she had seen this in quite a few large pearls over the years. She certainly did offer me to return if I was not happy with it.

I am keeping the pearl so that's no question. But I find it interesting that she saw this in LARGE pearls. The one I have is 13mm, echo 's GSS looks pretty large, too. (Thanks for sharing the picture, echo :D! Your GSS is gorgeous, so lustrous even after 8 years' wearing! ) If that really is the case, sounds like there is bigger hope this happened naturally than I had thought. :arms:
 

CortezPearls

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It's good to know StarryPearl
If the vendor is willing to take the pearl back it is a good sign, I think. And the pearl is very attractive...so it will be a great addition to your treasure chest :)
 

StarryPearl

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Dec 29, 2020
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Yes, CortezPearls . Maybe some day in future I really cannot stand the curiosity and then I will cut it open - already watched a tutorial on Youtube how to cut a pearl without power tool :cool2: - unless some other expert in the forum is able to provide a definite explanation.
 

CortezPearls

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I will certainly make a video if you want me to! :yes(1):
 

echo

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Jul 4, 2021
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StarryPearl thank you for making this post. I had doubt about my GSS for a while. I’m glad to find answers here with you. Good choice of keeping your pearl. It is very beautiful:)

CortezPearls thank you Douglas. It is my first GSS pearl. Luckily the fissure is at the bottom when worn so it’s not visible unless inspected closely
 

CortezPearls

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No, I just need to buy a couple of simple items, get my cameras ready, shoot, edit...should be done in about 6 months ;)
Kidding...just a couple of weeks.
 

CortezPearls

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I like it! Wish I had made one like yours when I had the chance :yup:
 
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