July 30, 2021

What causes Color in South Sea Cultured Pearls?

By Francisco Javier Fernandez Sanchez
What causes Color in South Sea Cultured Pearls? | The South Sea Pearl
Colour in cultured pearls has many causes, namely organic pigments and the chemistry related to the water reservoir where the pearl shell is grown (sea water and freshwater have different manganese (Mn) concentrations with impact on nacre's colours). The pearl mollusc species is, of course, one of the most important factors in this process, specially the donor specimen that provides the mantle tissue that is inserted in the gonads or mantle (depending on the culturing method) of a productive pearl mollusc for the formation of the cultured pearl sac. Understanding colour mechanisms is critical in the laboratory to determine if the colour of a pearl is natural or a resulto or a treatment (e.g. dyeing, heat, bleaching). 

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