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Pinctada mazatlanica?

pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
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Aug 18, 2007
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I was channel-hopping last night and ended up on our UK tv jewellery shopping channel, just as the presenter started to get very excited about some new pearls which are about to replace Tahitian pearls. There were maps, there were photos: there was my jaw dropping. 'what new species of oyster/'
I managed to grab my phone and got these two pix . This was claimed to be Pinctada mazatlanica, a new gulf of california/Cortez Sea pearl species which was now producing all new wonderful pearls.
Here was a photo of this new commercial pearl species
hand holding.jpg
Now to me that looked like Pteria.
But hey
So I watched on, jaw slowly dropping. The pearls looked just like Tahitians and were priced pretty much as this channel prices their Tahitians (average lustre and flaws, but of course the best available in the world...)
This is one eg pendant.jpg
The also had a strand of around 10mm roundish dark pearls which eventually went down in price (they sell by reverse auction) to about, I think £700 (around $1k)
I have no idea what is going on here, but that defo looked like a pteria Sterna shell. Has anyone heard of big production of Pinctada mazatlanica?
 

CortezPearls

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LOL!
Nice catch Pearlescence!
The photo you took from the TV screen looks like my hand during the 2019's Pearl Harvest and that shell is a "Rainbow Lip Pearl Oyster", which we all know is a Pteria sterna, not a "Panamic Black-Lip Oyster" or Pinctada mazatlanica.
And we did produce pearls on the Black-Lip, some years ago we had some trials...but we produced less than 60 pearls and just around 100 Mabe pearls from this species of native pearl oyster. So, if Mexico were to "beat Tahitians" with these many pearl oysters...those TV guys are seriously delusional!
Finally, that pearl pendant looks like a dyed-black freshwater pearl.
 
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CortezPearls

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I think many of you saw my blog report, years ago...about the best "black pearl harvest" we had in Mexico. If not, read it here.
Wow. It was waaay back in 2015!
Anyway, look at the pearls...
Perlas%u00252Bde%u00252BPinctada%u00252B%u00252BImplantadas%u00252BJunio%u00252B2013%u00252By%u0.jpg

Those were some of the BEST we had that given year...I really don't foresee the Tahitian pearl industry trembling! Most of the pearls actually look more like white SSP!
On the other hand, the real "Cortez Pearl" (produced from the Rainbow-Lip or Pteria sterna) is a beautiful pearl that at 6 kilos of yearly production in 2020 (that is just over 6 thousand pearls) is still no threat to Tahitian pearls!
And to be clear: Tahitian Pearls ARE Tahitian Pearls and they are unique and beautiful...nobody, anywhere, can take that away from them. Ever.
 

CortezPearls

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Finally... $1K USD for a Cortez Pearl necklace, 10 mm in diameter?!?!?!? Really????
I sold a beautiful round pearl necklace with 7 mm pearl at that price years ago...with 10 mm pearls I would sell it no lower than $50K!!!
Or I could use baroques in B+ grade (akin to A-) in 8 mm size to get to that price.
 

Charlotta

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Jul 27, 2014
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Haha, that was so funny. They sure know how to sell them. It's almost like those tinned oysters with pearls put in to them scam.
 

Pareltje

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Very informative, Douglas. Exactly what we need to know that we don't fall into this bs.
 

Camhatch

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Jun 3, 2013
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Love the fact that not only did Douglas recognise that what the jewellery channel was saying was completely wrong, but he recognised his own hand!
 

Marianne

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Great catch, Wendy. Wonder if there is a way you could call them out on their lies?
 

pearlescence

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I know the company owner. I'd have said he was reputable and proud of the reputation of his company, which is family owned. I've emailed him my confirmed concerns. We'll see.
 

pearlescence

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I am slightly embarrassed to have to admit I was watching a TV jewellery channel, but they do have a certain fascination!
 

pattye

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Wendy, how interesting and great catch! That company owner needs to hire you as his pearl authority! How will this play out? Stay tuned folks~ Must say, I watched many hours of jewelry shows before I cut off my cable.

Cracks me up that Douglas recognized his gloved hand (and of course, the Pteria shell and pearl, lol). Thank you, Douglas, for linking to your blog; I missed this post first time around.
 

CortezPearls

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Of course, it could all be just a mistake...an honest mistake.
I cannot tell the many times I read good books on pearls mentioning "the Gulf of Mexico" as a great source of natural pearls...when this area never, ever, sustained a pearl fishery. The real place was "the Gulf of California, Mexico"...but someone made the mistake of eliminating California and this error became an error for many other authors that never looked for a different source and the mistake just got carried over and over...
And since the main pearl producing species in Mexico WAS the Pinctada mazatlanica, one can see the mistake playing out there...just like the "Grain of Sand Theory"...for decades, centuries...
 

CortezPearls

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Wendy, how interesting and great catch! That company owner needs to hire you as his pearl authority! How will this play out? Stay tuned folks~ Must say, I watched many hours of jewelry shows before I cut off my cable.

Cracks me up that Douglas recognized his gloved hand (and of course, the Pteria shell and pearl, lol). Thank you, Douglas, for linking to your blog; I missed this post first time around.
I have a very recognizable -and sexy- gloved hand ;)
Of course, it might not be my hand...but I am sure I have the original photo and it was my hand...yet, I turned 51 years old and my memory is not what it used to be!
 
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JerseyPearl

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Wendy, such a wonderful thread! I am so impressed that you picked up on this. And Pattye, I would know nothing about jewelry shopping via TV. One of the fun things to do during Tucson: watching the TV shopping channels broadcast live! And to Douglas, you're a mere child!
 

CortezPearls

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LOL...a child...I suddenly felt like "Baby Yoda" ;)
You know...he's but a tiny, big eared baby...yet he is 80 years old!
 
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