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Term for half developed pearls

F

fractal

Guest
I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could tell me the term, if there is one, for pearls that are 1/2 developed and still attached to the shell. They look like half a pearl set in mother of pearl and are set in a sterling, bib style necklace. There is a pronounced dome that is a bit larger than a pearl cut in half that is firmly part of the shell base.
Many thanks,
Betsy in Maine
 

Caitlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
8,572
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F

fractal

Guest
Thanks so much! I just did a look-see on ebay and they are blister pearls. It always feels so nice to put the proper name on things! Your help is greatly appreciated!
 
Z

Zeide Erskine

Guest
Hi Fractal,

Although the industry has adopted the term "mab? pearl" to refer to glue filled pearly caps with mother of pearl backings from all kinds of host shells, the term actually refers to the Japanese word mab? gai that means pteria penguin scallop.
Zeide
 
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jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,682
Mabe-gai from the Pteria also called eboshi.

I think it is important to note that fractal was describing a blister pearl, not Mabe in the original post. A Mabe pearl is one cut from the shell and filled (in the current industry sense). A blister pearl is the same, except still attached to the shell.
 
Z

Zeide Erskine

Guest
Hi Fractal & Jeremy,

Yes I understand that Fractal was describing something that sounds like a blister pearl but then called it half-developed. Blister pearls, however, are overdeveloped, if anything. A blister pearl typically forms when a whole pearl that developed in the mantle of the mussel is being incorporated into the shell after the pearl sac was injured or metabolically dissolved on the shell side. Sooner or later this is the fate of all pearls growing in the mantle covered by shell. Pearls growing in the soft tissue or in the lip are safe from this particular fate.

Zeide
 

jshepherd

Natural Pearl
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,682
I agree with you. But thinking of this from a layman's point of view, it looks like a half pearl, one that did not grow into a full round. Did you notice she wrote "half-developed, and still attached to the shell"? It was as though the pearl was expected to fully develop and detach from the shell.
Remember, pearls were once created by dew drops when the oysters were swimming at the surface with their mouths open!
 
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