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Purple fade

JerseyPearl

Active member
If you study a few shells you can see all the colours. They are in there genetically. For eg, some white South Sea shells show a real pink touch. Pink SS pearls are out there but very unusual.
As to why molluscs have such colour when they are down in the dark, don't have eyes and don't need pretty colours to pull a mate...I've never seen an evolutionarily sound explanation.

And thank goodness for that! (responding to Douglas' comment...not sure why that didn't quote properly)
Wendy, very interesting topic. Thank you for posting that GIA link. I had a conversation with a pearl dealer a few years ago in Tucson about this very subject. Her speculation was that the purples were treated in some way.
 

pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
The GIA finding is that the answer is 'maybe or maybe not' no way to tell just by looking at them, you just have to wait.
I seem to be seeing strand upon strand of dark purple/violet/mauve Edisons since posting the first post here. I suppose the only way to be even a bit sure is to ask the seller if they have held the stock for - say - six months.
It's all a big secret hush hush operation though. Grace/Edison staff were told very firmly that the colour was all natural.
 

CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
The GIA finding is that the answer is 'maybe or maybe not' no way to tell just by looking at them, you just have to wait.
I seem to be seeing strand upon strand of dark purple/violet/mauve Edisons since posting the first post here. I suppose the only way to be even a bit sure is to ask the seller if they have held the stock for - say - six months.
It's all a big secret hush hush operation though. Grace/Edison staff were told very firmly that the colour was all natural.

Always good to have some "Inisider Information" :147:
 

TriciaS

Member
Wow...that is some fade! Thank you for the information, @pearlesence. How ironic that Bweaves and I both received our purple CFWP pendants on the same day that the information on the GIA report and your first hand experience was posted. I purchased the purple CFWP necklace about six months ago. I guess I'll wear it and the pendant as much as I can, sooner rather than later, and hope for the best. (And I had been eyeing your lovely purple studs, @pearlesence. How shocked you must have been when you pulled them out.)
 

TriciaS

Member
Lagoon Island Pearls, thank you for your take on the fade. Very interesting. Perhaps it's the natural purple pearls that are fading before the (potentially) color treated pearls? And you seemed to have hit on a solution...somehow stablizing the purple color post harvest.
 
Thanks for sharing the pictures and the article, pearlescence . Very interesting topic. Would love to know whether all the natural purple will eventually and how long the quicker ones will fade to white. It would also be interesting to know whether it's the dyed ones or the natural ones fading so quickly.

Kinda wondering what was the purpose the original producer of Edison pearls sent those pearls to GIA for testing - they knew exactly how those pearls had been processed and treated. Were they trying to test whether GIA could detect or not?

Your post reminded me checking my colorful Edison pearl necklace. Maybe I should post it in a new thread.
 
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CortezPearls

PG Forum Admin
I've taken the liberty to share an excerpt from Wendy's ( pearlescence ) Blog on this subject:

At the same time the Edison company has for some years churned out strand after strand of dyed gold pearls as imitation gold South Sea pearls and, more recently, pearls dyed to resemble Tahitians as well as many strands of very shiny round white 8 and 9mm pearls clearly designed to usurp the Akoya market.
A few years ago the first jaw dropping violet and purple Edison pearls appeared. They were new, they were stunning, they were gorgeous. The colour was amazing. We scrambled to buy.
n-6128-purple-magenta-edison-9-rose-verm-1022x1024.jpg

You can read the entire post and learn about these "purple fades" from here
 
Fascinating, and worrisome. Thank you all for the perspectives, data and information. Interesting that even in Lagoon Island naturals, the purple pigments fade. It's never made sense to me that the same creatures that produced pale peaches, pinks, cream, white etc. in freshwater pearls would suddenly begin to produce jewel tones in large sizes simply because a nucleus was added, unless some other factors were at play. As Wendy says, no shame so long as you're not mislead or mischarged. So far, my few FW nucleated look fine, but I only have one large strand (copper, burgundy, rose etc)., one pair of earrings, and one large single pearl ... so far so good.

I read some saying those mollusks were fed with pigments and that was why the pearls got jewel tones. Are those pigments able to go through the whole way and end up in conchiolin? Maybe?? :22:
 
I read some saying those mollusks were fed with pigments and that was why the pearls got jewel tones. Are those pigments able to go through the whole way and end up in conchiolin? Maybe?? :22:

Only in a tiny number of instances, but otherwise no. You are right in the second part of your question. It's a metabolic, not physical process.

It's actually kinda silly when you think about it. Where does one buy dyed oyster food? No less for oysters you don't have to feed in the first place.
 

lilliefuzzysocks

Active member
I read some saying those mollusks were fed with pigments and that was why the pearls got jewel tones. Are those pigments able to go through the whole way and end up in conchiolin? Maybe?? :22:

This is said over and over at scammer Pearl Parties on Facebook and other open the oyster parties online . One person actually colored the pearls they were selling with permanent marking pens when customers demanded Skittle's candy color pearls.
 
This is said over and over at scammer Pearl Parties on Facebook and other open the oyster parties online . One person actually colored the pearls they were selling with permanent marking pens when customers demanded Skittle's candy color pearls.

Have to say technologies develop fast and things "said over and over" are simply repeating themselves year after year. One person's marker pen doesn't explain the natural purple color pearls - or, was s/he being sarcastic :rolleyes:?
 
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Only in a tiny number of instances, but otherwise no. You are right in the second part of your question. It's a metabolic, not physical process.

It's actually kinda silly when you think about it. Where does one buy dyed oyster food? No less for oysters you don't have to feed in the first place.

You are right in that "you don't have to feed" the mussels - but the farmers do "feed" the ponds/lakes etc. And they probably do add special element(s?) for the colorful Edison's, despite not pigments directly.

I just had a chat with my friend who is authoritative enough for this topic and got tons of info, still in shock and digesting...
 
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Turned out the source of the bright and dense purple color is from the hybrid with a third species of mussel. And there is a fourth species, and there is more... The commonly known Hyriopsis cumingii and Japanese Hyriopsis schlegeli hybrid is undoubtedly correct, yet dated. And there are intricate ways to regulate those mussels to create different colors and tones of pearls...

I just need to confirm with my friend whether it would be appropriate/allowed to share more details in the forum. Stay tuned, friends.
 
Turned out the source of the bright and dense purple color is from the hybrid with a third species of mussel. And there is a fourth species, and there is more... The commonly known Hyriopsis cumingii and Japanese Hyriopsis schlegeli hybrid is undoubtedly correct, yet dated. And there are intricate ways to regulate those mussels to create different colors and tones of pearls...

I just need to confirm with my friend whether it would be appropriate/allowed to share more details in the forum. Stay tuned, friends.

The purple color is not immediately attributed to genetics, insomuch as indirectly.

Purple is the direct result of thin epithelii. In fact most bivalves in the animal kingdom have purple ridges along the periostracial margin. This is because not one, but two epithelii must occupy a minimal adjacent space. 99% of the purple patches on my pearls are from flat spots. Again, two sacs pressed together within the least possible space.

When space is limited, there is no room for orient in a 3D world, instead the tablets of aragonaite lay nearly perfectly flat in relation to one another, hence the refracted color is nearest the violet end of the spectrum.

Please remember pigments weakly or do not pass light. They occlude it. Superficial color is easy to spot as opposed to metabolic color. The properties are very different from one another.
 

BWeaves

Active member
Interesting. I feel like the chocolate dipped plum pendant I bought recently from Kojima isn't as dark purple as I expected from the original glamour photos, but I chalked it up to the photos. It's still a beautiful pearl, but it's not as dark purple as I expected.

I know a lot of people bought the dark Edison necklaces that PP was selling a few years ago. How have they held up? I never see anyone post photos of wearing those strands.
 
The purple color is not immediately attributed to genetics, insomuch as indirectly.

Purple is the direct result of thin epithelii. In fact most bivalves in the animal kingdom have purple ridges along the periostracial margin. This is because not one, but two epithelii must occupy a minimal adjacent space. 99% of the purple patches on my pearls are from flat spots. Again, two sacs pressed together within the least possible space.

When space is limited, there is no room for orient in a 3D world, instead the tablets of aragonaite lay nearly perfectly flat in relation to one another, hence the refracted color is nearest the violet end of the spectrum.

Please remember pigments weakly or do not pass light. They occlude it. Superficial color is easy to spot as opposed to metabolic color. The properties are very different from one another.

Hmm, your theory is different from what I learned from the first-line insider with Edison pearls.

Your reply to my post changed my mind. I didn't expect those answers and info could get denied here before even heard:dunno:. That's fine. Saved me trouble to ask for permission to share more details. Stick to your theory. I shall stay clear from this topic now. :yup: Never mind.
 
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pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
Grace staff were all told repeatedly, for years, that the colour was fully natural. The GIA investigation now shows that it was. For some pearls. Other pearls got helped. Why did Grace give the GIA the samples? No idea?
 

lilliefuzzysocks

Active member
Have to say technologies develop fast and things "said over and over" are simply repeating themselves year after year. One person's marker pen doesn't explain the natural purple color pearls - or, was s/he being sarcastic :rolleyes:?

In your post you mentioned feeding mollusks pigment to turn pearls Jewel Tones. The hucksters on facebook pearl parties said this was how their obviously dyed Jewel tone and Skittle candy color pearls were grown. If you google skittle pearls they are easy to find on line. One seller couldn't get skittle color pearls in the shell their customers were demanding so they used a set of permanent marker to make their own when the pearls opened didn't produce the colors customers requested. Yes, they showed it.
 

Katbran

New member
Recently, I was deciding on a strand of pearls to wear. My eye was drawn to my “Holy Grail” large freshwater pearls.which I hadn’t worn in quite some time. I almost didn’t recognize them. Although still lustrous they were meh. All the purple shades had faded and now showed mostly peach and pink. Now I understand why.

That's a real shame ! Im sure under the circumstances you could return them no matter if it's been a few years. No seller wants a customer to buy something that won't last and have wasted their money I'm sure they thought there was no problem. It's just been the past few years that it was made clear to the industry that the pearls were dyed.
 
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