Pearl split along ring line


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2016
I bought a strand of inexpensive freshwater ringed pearls and one of them split in half right at the ring line. Is this a common occurrence in inexpensive pearls? Could this happen in any ringed pearls, fresh or saltwater? Is this a consequence of over processing? Including photos because I thought the pearl anatomy was interesting! Apologies for my bad macro photography


It's not common, but sure is interesting to be able to see perfectly what's inside the pearl. Can you take a clearer photo of the insides? I'm fascinated.

Don't throw it away. It's a great teaching tool.
Agree with BWeaves, not common. I wonder if the nucleus was cracked and then separated inside the mussel. I have seen pearls crack when drilled, or at least the nacre cracked. Probably not related to any processing. Fw nucleus could be of a different material than the mother of pearl beads used in Tahitian, SS and Akoya pearls. Thanks so much for sharing!
One more shot. Not sure it's any better. I will try to get a better photo

Still not quite in focus enough to blow up the photo. But it looks like the nacre is very thick.
I have not seen a pearl just splitted like that. Where and how did you buy it? Was it already splitted when you got your hand on it or did it suddenly splitted when you try to work something on it? Very interesting split tho
I have a different take on this, be it a good or bad pearl.

It looks like there are two drill holes, from the pictures shown.

Combining Mr Magoo’s apprentice in drilling, and a potentially loosened nucleus - would have hastened the pearl’s early demise.

You do see such clean breaks from time to time in repairs, even in cultured Akoya’s.
Just one drill hole, the brown spot next to the droll hole looks like organic matter to me. Possibly where the mantle tissue graft was inserted. It looks to me like the pearl was implanted with a small pearl? Is that a pearl culturing technique? To make these larger freshwater pearls?

Pearl was intact when I strung it, I wore the strand once and noticed it was broken when I put it away. Just one dud pearl. Happy with the rest of the strand.
Thanks for sharing the picture. I always wanted to see what a dissected pearl might look like.
I think you're right about the brown spot being the mantle tissue. The bead at the center is made from a mollusk shell, which is also nacre. If the center bead was another pearl, it would itself have some growth rings, which I don't see.