Home


2014 News!
About Betty Sue
How To Order
Pearl RoundTable
Pearl Qualities
Pearl Cultivation?
Care of Pearls
Blog TalkRadio
WJA Shining Star
Tucson Retro
Terminology
Fun
Kudos
Contact
Gia Pearl Seminar
How Green Are Your Pearls?

Homeland Security Form

King's Ransom ~ Pearl Terminology

Akoya Pinctada fucata

bullet

The mollusk used to produce saltwater cultured pearls. It is found in Japan, China, throughout East Asia, the Indo-Pacific area, the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, South Africa and in the Caribbean.

Biwa Pearls

bullet

Cultivated with Hyriopsis schlegeli in Lake Biwa, Japan, the country's largest freshwater lake. Environmental conditions have contributed to the demise of pearl production. Chinese "Biwa" have the characteristic softly rounded rectangular shape and are usually called "Biwa" even though they are not from Japan.

FWP

bullet

Commonly used abbreviation for freshwater pearls. CFWP is technically the correct form indicating that the pearls are cultured freshwater pearls.

Grafters

bullet

Technicians who cut strips of mantle tissue and insert it into the mussel or mollusk.

Hyriopsis cumingi

bullet

The Chinese "triangle mussel" used as both donor of the mantle tissue and for culturing freshwater pearls.

Iridescence

bullet

The interplay of light and color on the surface of the pearls in which the reflection and interference of light waves produce a rainbow of changing color. This is a component of orient.

Luster

bullet

The most important quality in evaluating the beauty of a pearl. It is the reflection of light on the surface layers of nacre. The brightest reflections are the most desirable.

Mollusk

bullet

Chiefly salt water invertebrates with a mantle, a soft body, and a protective calcareous shell pearls are grown in oysters, clams and abalone, all mollusks.

Mantle

bullet

The tissue surrounding the soft body of a mollusk is also known as the epithelium. It is made of epithelial cells that secrete the nacre that forms the shell and forms the pearl sacs. In this way, the mollusk protects its delicate soft tissues from irritation or infection.

Mussel

bullet

A generic name for certain types of freshwater bivalve mollusks with a dark, elongated shell. Most freshwater pearls are cultivated from the freshwater mussel family, Unionide. Today, the species most widely used is Hyriopsis cumingi.

Nacre

bullet

The combination of microscopically think platelets of calcium carbonate crystals that are cemented together by conchiolin, an organic protein glue that creates nacre. This is the substance of which pearls are composed.

Nucleus

bullet

Most freshwater pearls are tissue-nucleated using the mantle tissue of the mollusk. Some are shell-nucleated using a piece of preformed shell and a piece of mantle tissue. These are typically pearls in specific shapes of coins, squares, hearts, etc. Most saltwater pearls are implanted with a preformed sphere of shell and a piece of mantle tissue as well.

Orient

bullet

As light rays strike the surface of a pearl, it interacts with each microscopic layer in a slightly different way. This interference causes light to break up into its component colors, much like a prism. This creates this rainbow effect or orient.

Oyster

bullet

A bivalve, saltwater mollusk. This is used for cultivating South Sea, Tahitian, Philippine and Akoya pearls.

Pearl

bullet

A nacreous growth that forms around an irritant such as a piece of tissue and/or bead in order to protect the mollusk, and produces a pearl. If the irritant occurs naturally, the pearl is a natural/genuine pearl. Most pearls in the marketplace are grown by man and are cultured pearls

Pearl Farm

bullet

An operation where mussels are bred and grown in captivity for producing cultured pearls. Another farm may nucleate them and then several other farms may tend to them until the cultured pearls are ready to be harvested.

Periculture Pearl

bullet

cultivation or pearl farming: the practice of inducing pearl formation in mussels/oysters by implanting with tissue and/or shell.

Pinctada margaritafera

bullet

Mollusk that is used to produce the Tahitian black pearl found in Tahiti, the Cook Islands and other parts of the South Seas.

Bibliography for Terminology

bullet

Akamatsu, Shigeru, Zansheng, Li Tajima, Moses, Thomas M., & Scarratt, Kenneth, "The Current Status of Chinese Freshwater Cultured Pearls," pp.96-113, Gems & Gemology, Summer 2001, Volume XXXVII. GIA, Carlsbad, CA
92008

bullet

GIA Course on Pearls, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 1999

bullet

Joyce, Kristin & Addison, Shellei, Pearls, Ornament & Obsession, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 10020, 1999

bullet

Landman, Neil H., Mikkelsen, Paula M., Bieler, Rudiger & Bronson, Bennet, Pearls: A Natural History, Harry N Abrams, Inc. in association with The American Museum of Natural History & The Field Museum, New York, NY, 2001

bullet

Muller, Andy, for the Golay Buchel Group, Cultured Pearls, the First Hundred Years, International Ad Co., Osaka, Japan, 1997

bullet

Gail Brett Levine, GG Publisher, Auction Market Resource - the book.  Your prime sources for prices of gems and jewelry sold at auction.

© June 2002 by Betty Sue King and AuctionMarketResource.com.  All rights reserved.

 

Contact Betty Sue - the Pearl Goddess!
webpage designs © 2014 jb at venice windows