Are All Tahitian Pearls Black?’ and Other Pearl FAQ Answers What’s the distinction between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl?
Are freshwater pearls inferior to saltwater pearls? Excellent concerns. With all the various pearl colours and types out there, it can be tough to know just what you’re taking a look at. For those interested in purchasing pearls, or for gem enthusiasts who wish for more information, here are responses to some of the most commonly asked questions about pearls.
Are All Tahitian Pearls Black? Not just are Tahitian cultured pearls not specifically black, they’re likewise not grown in Tahiti. Called “black” due to the fact that of their unique dark colours, Tahitian cultured pearls can also be grey, blue, brown and green. Tahitian pearls are cultivated for about two years in Pinctada margaritifera cumingi, a large mollusk belonging to French Polynesia. One of the methods this unique oyster differs from other species is its interior shell colour, which is dark. This so-called “black lipped” oyster also has black mantle edges– the “lips” that provide this animal its detailed name. Today, the most popular Tahitian cultured pearls are dark green-grey to blue grey or purple overtones.
Pearl colours are identified by numerous factors, including variations in the host oyster, colour variation of the implanted donor mussel tissue, the number and density of nacre layers, and variations in growing environment such as temperature and water quality. Tahitians are usually variations of grey, black, green and blue, but other colours exist. According to the newest details from the Gemmological Institute of America, up to 40 percent of implanted black-lipped oysters produce a gem-quality cultured pearl, however just about 5 percent of the pearls they produce are round. And only 1-2 percent of the entire crop will result in round cultured pearls of the finest quality.
If you desire to wear Tahitian cultured pearls, one method to do so without breaking the bank is to pick a pendant-style necklace with a single pearl, pearl stud earrings, a single pearl ring, or baroque (non-symmetrical) pearls. What’s the distinction in between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl? Natural pearls are formed when an irritant, such as a parasite, makes its way into a pearl-producing animal such as an oyster or mollusk. To protect itself, the animal coats the irritant in nacre– a combination of natural substances that also makes up what we call mother-of pearl. With time, the layers of nacre develop around the trespasser and ultimately form the natural gem all of us called the pearl. Cultured pearls are formed in the very same way as natural pearls, with one big difference: they get their start not by chance, however intentionally, when man intervenes with nature.
To produce cultured pearls, a competent service technician, called a nucleator, causes the pearl-growing process by surgically positioning an irritant– a mother-of-pearl bead and a piece of mantle tissue, normally– into a mollusk. The animal is then positioned back into the water and kept an eye on, cleaned up, etc. till the pearl is all set to be gathered. The Chinese have been culturing freshwater blister pearls (pearls that grow below the mantle on the inside of the animal’s shell) since the 13th century, but Kokichi Mikimoto, a Japanese man, is credited with establishing modern-day pearl culturing strategies. By the early 1920s, Mikimoto was selling his cultured pearls worldwide. Thus, nearly all pearls sold today are cultured pearls. South Sea cultured pearls, Tahitian cultured pearls and akoya cultured pearls are all types of saltwater pearls. Are saltwater pearls better than freshwater pearls? It depends on who you ask, but lots of pearl professionals today agree that freshwater cultured pearls can rival the beauty of their saltwater cousins.
Due to improvements in culturing strategies, freshwater pearl farmers are producing gorgeous, round, lustrous pearls that are a huge enhancement over the old and wrinkly, rice-krispie-shaped gems that epitomized the freshwater pearl crop of the not-so-distant past. Produced generally in China, freshwater pearls are often nucleated, or implanted, with mantle tissue only (rather than a mother-of-pearl bead).
By contrast, pearls that are bead-nucleated and collected too soon often have only a thin finish of nacre that will peel or flake. Freshwater cultured pearls can be found in numerous lovely natural pastel colours consisting of cream, white, yellow, orange, pink and lavender. (Universally flattering lavender pearls are preferred right now.) White pearls are bleached to improve their natural shine. Black freshwater cultured pearls are treated with dye or heat to produce their inky colour. In general, freshwater pearls are more plentiful than other pearl types, therefore they are usually more cost effective. Are South Sea pearls truly golden? Pearls produced in the aptly named “gold-lipped” oyster (P. optimums) can be a beautiful creamy yellow, referred to as “golden” in the trade. Grown in the South Seas– which extend from the southern coast of Southeast Asia to the northern coast of Australia– these pearls are grown in one of the biggest oysters used in pearl culturing.
What’s the difference in between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl? According to the most current information from the Gemmological Institute of America, up to 40 percent of implanted black-lipped oysters produce a gem-quality cultured pearl, but just about 5 percent of the pearls they produce are round. If you want to use Tahitian cultured pearls, one method to do so without breaking the bank is to select a pendant-style necklace with a single pearl, pearl stud earrings, a single pearl ring, or baroque (non-symmetrical) pearls. Hence, nearly all pearls offered today are cultured pearls. South Sea cultured pearls, Tahitian cultured pearls and Akoya cultured pearls are all types of saltwater pearls.