Where do teardrops come from?


Well-known member
May 13, 2015
I'm not sure I've ever seen this addressed here.

How are teardrop shaped pearls cultured?

I know the baroque ones are probably grown when a round nucleus doesn't get covered evenly, and ends up pointier on one end.

But how are the perfectly shaped teardrop pearls cultured?
Do they implant a teardrop shaped nucleus?
I've never seen one.
I know they put in all sorts of other shapes, like hearts and sticks and coins, etc., but I don't think I've ever seen a teardrop shaped nucleus.
I believe the nucleus is round and the shape occurs naturally. That is why there are so few perfect drops, and matching a pair is so hard.


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Just a happy accident.

I was told by a producer that they used to occur often because the shells weren't fussed with as much. But now farmers move and clean their shells a lot more, which lessens the chance of a perfect drop.

I can't say if it's true or not, but that particular producer is known for having the best selection of high grade true drops - so he must know a bit about the subject.
When I was last month at the pearl farm near Manado on the island Pulau Talisei, the owner of the farm told me that of the 2 Japanese grafters one produced more round pearls and the other one more ovals and drops. According to the owner is it is the place in the gonad where bead is placed.
Fascinating. I figured that had to be several different ways of producing them. But I also figured that it would be the most difficult to get perfect teardrops.
How interesting! The happy accidents are real treasures. I had no idea teardrop nuclei are being used. Why the blue color?
I agree, fascinating info! Thanks for sharing the knowledge! ;)
Thanks Pearling tech. On my screen, the sky blue color is very distinct (and pretty!)
Yeah they are a bit pricey. Even though they're made in China and labour is cheaper, they're essentially all hand made and polished, so cost is higher than machine made rounds. Not sure that many would be using these and most of the drops on the market would most likely have round nuclei within them anyway. When we've done nuclei recycling, we've found a few of these drop nuclei as well as other weird and wonderful stuff being implanted!
When we've done nuclei recycling, we've found a few of these drop nuclei as well as other weird and wonderful stuff being implanted!

Interesting comment Pearling Technologies. Out of interest what "other weird and wondeful stuff" please?

Also worth remembering that not all cultured pearls are beaded. Quite a few Keshi are oval/drop, perhaps more likely than BC pearls. They tend to form in specific areas & although by definition they should originate from the gonad I have heard of people report Keshi from the mantle. This is hence no doubt a debating point as some believe that only natural pearls come from the mantle. Important point: I am taking about SALTWATER cultured pearls here NOT freshwater.