Scallop Pearl from North Sea?


Nov 12, 2020
Hei .
My wife find this at costline ,very close to the water(saltwater),between small stones .Norway.A simple walk by the fjord.My wife was in our daughter's expectation ,so walking along the water was part of the daily routine.Round object are kind of gritty to the teeth and 16mm in size, shape is round,but not perfect factory round.Color white,some parts kind of gray.
In year 2016 there was a couple very strong storms.And previous night ,before she found this object ,was one of the strongest..She bring it home and moving from one shelf to another , after a while we forget about it.So several years have passed and one day ,sitting and reading a book,I hear that something is falling in the next room and a rolling sound continues.:confused: I went to look and was surprised to see this bullet that resembles a pearl.So I thought - it's time to find out what it is! :rolleyes: Do you have any guesses? I think here in Norway there is no place where I can check its origin..
greetings from I+I = Sofija ;)


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Hello Ivars, and welcome to our pearl loving forum.

Just because of its sheer size, roundness and how you found it I would believe that you have a ceramic ball/bead. It does look somewhat oval shaped, which would make it less man-made.

It could be a snail/conch pearl from any of your local snail species, but to find it on the beach would be a very rare occurrence, a very, very lucky thing.
I believe you could find people that could help you out in a local University, anyone in the Mineralogy department could find out if it is made out of calcium carbonate...even you could do it if you are not afraid to damage your bead a little: use some brand new white vinegar and apply a very small portion (less than a full drop) on a part of the "pearl" that has an ugly spot (we don't want to damage a good spot) and watch the reaction: if it starts fizzing and bubbling, the material is prone to be affected by acids so it could be a pearl (made of calcium carbonate).
This would be the first step...then others would follow!

It is always interesting to be doing "Pearl Investigations" :)

Let us know what you find.
maybe scallop ? Since in Norway we dont have big sized snails/conch species.Photo with conch shell is just for attraction,my father bring it somewhere from North Atlantic Ocean other side in late 80,he was a sailor in those days. Scallop population here is kind of big,thats why i thought..
It looks like a tumbled pebble to me. Or like sea glass, ceramic that's been tumbled round by the movement of the ocean. It doesn't look like a pearl to me.
pearllines.jpg pearllines1.jpg in one of pictures invisible wavy lines in a darker color,between what I noted
There are some interesting patterns, but does not seem to be like any kind of porcelaneous pearl that i have ever come across...and I've seen plenty of clam and snail pearls, and many, many scallop pearls too.
Without having it in my hands I could not really say it is a pearl. My instinct just tells me it is not. Glass or ceramic bead.
Did you try the vinegar?
It looks like glass to me. Interesting find.

Yes...I agree Marianne.
I have this story...I was called by a man from Puebla, Mexico, just a little over 2 months ago. He called to let me know he had found some natural pearls (wish I had stored the photos) and he needed my help for appraising. So, I get the photo of these 7 white, 14 mm round spheres that look like ceramic. I ask him in what kind of "clam/snail" he got them out. He tells me: "Oh, no animal! Found them near the train tracks. But thet train had come from your area, so it came from the sea!". I could not simply convince him he had some ceramic beads and he argued about the "orient" on the pearls (they were just opaque white) and I could NOT see such a thing.

Now, Ivars has something that looks more interesting here, but it is so hard to evaluate just with photos, especially if we are talking about uncommon pearls. I am sure that if we had them in our hands we would immediately be able to dispel any notions.

Please try the vinegar, or if you can find someone with a microscope!
A loose pearl cast ashore would undoubtedly become dull, pitted or otherwise damaged. After all, they are < 4 on the moh scale.

Any weather exposed pearl will revert to calcite rapidly and as Douglas suggested, there's little to no chance of finding one laying on a beach in plain sight. And again, even if it were true, the likelihood of damage is exceedingly high.

This piece has a uniform shiny surface of a much harder mineral than aragonite or calcite. The imperfect surface is a distraction as opposed to a supporting factor identifying this object.

I've seen slingshot ammo (marble) strewn across areas. A while back, a local resident found a handful of these and thought she won the lottery.

A few years ago, I submitted a photograph of true a scallop pearl to Wikipedia. Link here

While the color is similar, the structure is markedly different.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but thank you for posing a valid question and sharing your experience with us.
Thank you for sharing Dave/Lagoon Island Pearls :)
I think this was the last nail in the coffin that Ivars required to ascertain the origin of his mysterious sphere.
Have a great weekend everyone!