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Keshi pearls wholesale : Natural pearls and cultured pearls (A basic concept and its variations)

Keshi pearls wholesale : Natural pearls and cultured pearls – A basic concept and its variations

keshi pearls wholesaleAbstract: For the production of cultured pearls a small number of main options can be chosen to constitute a general method. Non-beaded cultured pearls are usually mantle-grown in freshwater mussels. Beaded cultured pearls are usually gonad grown in saltwater oysters. Minor variations lead to a greater number of different products available in the market today. With this article the author intends to remind the basic concept and possible variations in order to use correct terms for the different products. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

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Introduction

In previous articles one of the authors has described the principles of growing cultured pearls and the usage of various bead materials (Hänni, 1997; Hänni, 1999; Hänni, 2006; Strack, 2006; Southgate and Lucas, 2008; Superchi et al., 2008; Hänni et al., 2010 a, b; Hänni, 2011). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

From former investigations it became obvious that a large variety of nucleus materials and shapes can be coated with nacre together with the inserting of a piece of mantle tissue grafted into the mantle or the gonad. A core introduction process is optional and can be performed in saltwater pearl oyster or freshwater mussels. The options for making cultured pearls can be summarized in Table 1. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

The terms used for a product description have to be in line with the nomenclature regarding pearls (natural, cultured and imitations), and must always be in line with the international standards and trade rules of CIBJO – The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO, 2007). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of an opened oyster. The outer part of the shell is made of columnar calcite (1), the inner part consists of nacre (2). The mantle is retracted on the diagram and extends to the outset part of rim in original state. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of an opened oyster. The outer part of the shell is made of columnar calcite (1), the inner part consists of nacre (2). The mantle is retracted on the diagram and extends to the outset part of rim in original state. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.

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Capacity of mantle tissue

The mantle is a part of the body of the shell. The mantle lines both wings of the shell, and the outer layer of mantle epithelium cells have the capacity to secrete calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in different mineral varieties and geometric shapes, characteristic for each species. Shells of gastropods and bivalves consist mainly of aragonite in tabular or fibrous array. The first product secreted by the very young mantle tissue cells is an organic thin layer of conchiolin. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Right after that the same cells follow the genetic programme and produce CaCO3 with subordinate amounts of conchiolin. While younger mantle cells work on forming calcite in parallel prismatic orientation, older mantle cells lay the bricks that constitute nacre: the aragonite tablets. Figure 1 gives a survey of an oyster and its organs in respect to shell and pearl growth. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Evidence of these two tasks of the mantle tissue cells is furnished when one looks at an open shell, e.g. Pinctada radiata. Its outer rim is of brown colour and is not shiny (Figure 2). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 2. A shell of Pinctada radiata from Bahrain with a natural pearl (6 mm). The organs have been removed and the inner shell shows the two growth sections: columnar calcite (brown) and mother of pearl (silvery with iridescence colours). Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 2. A shell of Pinctada radiata from Bahrain with a natural pearl (6 mm). The organs have been removed and the inner shell shows the two growth sections: columnar calcite (brown) and mother of pearl (silvery with iridescence colours). Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

It represents the mantle’s first calcium carbonate formation, the columnar calcite part. Subsequent to the brown rim we recognise the silvery white part that corresponds to the product precipitated by older mantle cells: aragonite tablets i.e. nacre, mother of pearl. The mantle tissue cells have the know-how of nacre formation. A natural pearl may show the same products from the centre to the outside: first columnar calcite, then a coating of aragonite nacre (Figure 3). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 3. Cross-section through a drilled natural pearl of approximate diameter of 5 mm. The inner part is rich in organic material and shows a columnar structure, made of calcite prisms. The outer part shows fine concentric rings and is made of nacre, aragonite in sub-microscopic tablets. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 3. Cross-section through a drilled natural pearl of approximate diameter of 5 mm. The inner part is rich in organic material and shows a columnar structure, made of calcite prisms. The outer part shows fine concentric rings and is made of nacre, aragonite in sub-microscopic tablets. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

The conchiolin is too thin and only seen by the dark colour that it lends the columnar growth area. This succession directs our explanation of natural pearl formation to the juvenile mantle tissue, producing brown columnar calcite before nacre. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Natural and cultured blisters
Bodies placed under the mantle of the shell become coated during the normal precipitation of nacre to increase the shell thickness. Even a dead fish could serve as core for the blister formation as long as the shell is kept horizontal in the net (container in the pearl farm) for a certain period of time. In this orientation the oyster cannot move and get rid of the foreign body. Bari and Lam (2009, pp. 26-27) describe a fish buried under nacre layers as natural formation.

It is however easy to slide a dead fish or a crab unde(source: Keshi pearls wholesale)r the mantle of an oyster, and such blisters are not at all rare or natural (Figure 5). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 5. A dead symbiotic oyster crab (left: down side, right: upside) was buried under the mantle and then subsequently covered with nacre. In nature, the shell would have expelled the crab by just flushing it out. As the P. maxima oyster has been kept in the net of a pearl farm, it did not have the freedom to do so. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 5. A dead symbiotic oyster crab (left: down side, right: upside) was buried under the mantle and then subsequently covered with nacre. In nature, the shell would have expelled the crab by just flushing it out. As the P. maxima oyster has been kept in the net of a pearl farm, it did not have the freedom to do so. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

Wild oysters can often travel quickly by clapping the two wings. With such motions they would definitely get rid of disturbing objects under the mantle. Farmed oysters kept in nets would not have that liberty; therefore the fish blister can hardly be of natural formation. In ‘The book of the pearl’ by Kunz and Stevenson (1908) . That the encysted fish in the same book (opposite p. 42) is a natural formation can be questioned, as the technique of sliding objects for a nacre coating under the mantle has been known long before. The classic mabé pearls (cultured pearl doublet) is another example of the handling that the oyster exercises with objects placed between mantle and shell. The hemisphere glued under the mantle of older P. maxima is readily coated. Later the lump is cut out and closed with a nacre base on its rear side. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

On the other hand, there are natural blisters that represent the mantle’s effort to keep an intruder away from the soft body. When an attack of a drilling worm is sensed, an increased amount of nacre can be secreted on the spot where the penetration is expected. A thick lump in the shell is the result of such defence. Even when the worm has reached the inner part of the shell, the fight may go on. A typical reaction of the mantle would be the formation of a conchiolin coat on the intruder, followed by calcium carbonate in primitive form as spherulites (prismatic CaCO3 in radiating array) composed by columnar aragonite. Figures 6a and 6b show an example of such an incident. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 6a. A cut open blister on a wild Pinctada radiata shell (Bahrain). The horizontal layer is the shell, drill hole and accumulation is visible in the centre. In the hollow space was organic material. Width 7 mm. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 6a. A cut open blister on a wild Pinctada radiata shell (Bahrain). The horizontal layer is the shell, drill hole and accumulation is visible in the centre. In the hollow space was organic material. Width 7 mm. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 6b. SEM picture of details from the surface on the inside of the blister in Figure 6a. On the back is conchiolin with drying fissures (lower left). Elongated aragonite sticks forming aggregates up to spherulites. Magnification 400x. Photo © Marcel Düggelin, ZMB, Basel.
Figure 6b. SEM picture of details from the surface on the inside of the blister in Figure 6a. On the back is conchiolin with drying fissures (lower left). Elongated aragonite sticks forming aggregates up to spherulites. Magnification 400x. Photo © Marcel Düggelin, ZMB, Basel.

Mantle-grown natural pearls All natural pearls are understood as formations subsequent to mantle injuries that lead to the formation of a pearl sac by displaced external mantle cells (Figure 7a). By the injury through an animal attack some of the external mantle cells are moved into the conjunctive tissue, the layer somewhat deeper in the mantle. Here the cells may stay alive and constitute a cyst or pearl sac. All external mantle cells are born to secrete calcium carbonate. On the pocket’s inner side the precipitation of calcium carbonate thus starts, forming a small accumulation that may grow to a pearl. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 7a. Schematic diagram showing the shell and the mantle related. The pink layer represents the external mantle tissue whose cells have the capacity of forming CaCO3. The mantle tissue is always sitting on its production: on the right side the old tissue has produced the thickest wall. © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 7a. Schematic diagram showing the shell and the mantle related. The pink layer represents the external mantle tissue whose cells have the capacity of forming CaCO3. The mantle tissue is always sitting on its production: on the right side the old tissue has produced the thickest wall. © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

The pocket grows as the pearl is increasing in size, and is now called pearl sac (Figure 7b). All natural pearls are mantle-grown, as the mantle is the only organ that is able to secrete CaCO3 and thus form pearls without human intervention. This explanation of natural pearl formation excludes the wide spread sand-grain theory mainly because sand grains are inactive and never actively intrude into the outer mantle tissue (Hänni, 2002). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 7b. Schematic diagram explaining natural pearl formation. The white layer is the conjunctive tissue that can accommodate accidentally displaced cells. They may form a pearl sac that contains the CaCO3 precipitation. The injury usually affects young mantle tissue at the rim of the shell. Cells of that juvenile age are secreting columnar CaCO3, as found in many natural pearls in the core. © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert
Figure 7b. Schematic diagram explaining natural pearl formation. The white layer is the conjunctive tissue that can accommodate accidentally displaced cells. They may form a pearl sac that contains the CaCO3 precipitation. The injury usually affects young mantle tissue at the rim of the shell. Cells of that juvenile age are secreting columnar CaCO3, as found in many natural pearls in the core. © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert

Mantle-grown cultured pearls Mantle-grown cultured pearls originate from a transplant of external mantle tissue into the conjunctive tissue of a recipient shell (Hänni, 2007). This small tissue piece, when grafted, folds back and transforms into a pearl sac. Evidences for this process are all those mantle-grown cultured pearls without a bead, typically formed in Chinese freshwater mussels. As a rule several pieces of tissue are arranged in three rows in each wing of the mussel. Herewith, up to 50 pearls can be harvested after a period of time (Figure 8). (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Figure 8. A just opened freshwater mussel from Donggou (China) showing a large number of beadless cultured pearls in the mantle of one wing. Length of the shell is approx. 16 cm. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 8. A just opened freshwater mussel from Donggou (China) showing a large number of beadless cultured pearls in the mantle of one wing. Length of the shell is approx. 16 cm. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

A further development of mantle-grown cultured pearls is the use of a flat coin-shaped nucleus, seen in round, square, etc. shapes. The grafting was performed at the outer part of the shell, easy to reach from outside, where the two shell halves are still close. That the same pearl sac is used later for housing a
spherical bead is just a clever advancement. The further growth of the shell after the flat bead introduction has moved the pearl sac deeper into the shell where a spherical bead can now find enough space (Fiske and Shepherd, 2007).  Results of this mantle process are the classical beadless cultured pearls like Biwa, China freshwater and Mississippi. Similar mantle-grown products from saltwater oysters (except Akoya keshis) are presently only suspected (Hänni, 2008).(source: Keshi pearls wholesale)

Articles source: Natural pearls and cultured pearls: A basic concept and its variations, Prof. Dr H.A. Hänni, The Australian Gemmologist | Third Quarter 2012 | Volume 24, Number 11. (source: Keshi pearls wholesale)
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Pearl beads wholesale : care requirements for natural and cultured pearls

Pearl beads wholesale : care requirements for natural and cultured pearls

pearl beads wholesalePearls Normal care (Pearl Beads Wholesale Tips)
With all natural, cultured and imitation pearls avoid rough handling and when not wearing items of jewellery keep them separated from each other to avoid scratches. In addition, cosmetics should be applied before and not after any natural or cultured pearls are put on. Following wear, natural and cultured pearls require cleaning with a soft cloth that has been dampened in clean water. When not worn for extended periods; at regular intervals natural and cultured pearls should be wiped, with a soft cloth that has been dampened in clean water. (Detail Info: pearl beads wholesale)

Pearls Special Care (Pearl Beads Wholesale Tips)
In addition to normal care, some natural and cultured pearls have special care requirements.

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Special care for natural and cultured pearls (Pearl Beads Wholesale Tips)
Natural and cultured pearls shall have special care advice that includes instructions that they should not be worn while carrying out heavy work, should be kept away from all solvents, should not be wrapped in cotton wool or moisture absorbing materials or subjected to high temperatures as well as ultrasonic cleaning and should be kept away from acids during the manufacturing process. (Detail Info: pearl beads wholesale).

Special care for Abalone pearls, natural and some cultured blisters (Pearl Beads Wholesale Tips)
Abalone as well as natural and cultured blisters are prone to fracture easily and shall have special care advice that includes instructions that they are not for everyday wear and should not be worn while carrying out heavy work. (Detail Info: pearl beads wholesale).

Fading and other colour changes (Pearl Beads Wholesale Tips)
The colour of some natural and cultured pearls may fade when exposed to natural sunlight, artificial light or strong display lights. Some natural and cultured pearls that have been colour treated may fade or revert to their original colour when exposed to natural sunlight, artificial light or strong display lights. In these cases, special care advice shall include instructions that these natural or cultured pearls should not be exposed to strong natural or artificial light or to strong display lighting for an extended period of time. (Detail Info: pearl beads wholesale).

Articles source: THE PEARL BOOK, Natural, Cultured, Composite & Imitation Pearls — Terminology & Classification (Including information on modifications), 2013-08-12, CIBJO/Pearl Commission. (Detail Info: pearl beads wholesale).
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This is my name, my phone number and my address, as a sender (written by FedEx)
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Wholesale pearls beads : Pearl producing mollusc descriptions and definitions

Wholesale pearls beads : Pearl producing mollusc descriptions and definitions

wholesale pearls beadsFor the purposes of these CIBJO Standard/rules, the following terms and definitions apply;

6.1. Abalone
ear-shaped marine gastropod (6.21) of the genus Haliotis (6.24), with nacre in multi-hues of blue, green, cream, red and purple; the meat is edible; produces distinctive natural pearls (5.118), blisters (5.117) and cultured blisters (5.1) are produced in several regions (e.g., California, New Zealand); also known as paua (New Zealand) and awabi (Japan). (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.2. Actinonaias pectorosa
Actinonaias pectorosa (Conrad, 1834) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known the Pheasant shell and the Cumberland Mucket. It is a large roughly elliptical, thick-shelled mussel. The periostracum is golden brown with broken green rays; older individuals may become brown or black. The nacre may be bluish to creamy or silvery white with iridescence along the margins. This species is found in the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins, and lives in sand and gravel in fast river currents. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.3. Akoya pearl oyster
Pinctada fucata (martensii) (6.45) is used extensively for pearl culture in Japan, China and other areas. Akoya is the Japanese name for this pearl oyster (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.4. Amblema plicata
Amblema plicata (Say, 1817) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the three ridge mussel, Blue-point, purple-tip, or fluter. The shell is elongated or rounded shell with ridges or folds on the posterior half. No sculpturing on the anterior end. Nacre pearly white, frequently stained, iridescent. Some individuals have a purple tint. Amblema plicata live in small to large rivers and impoundments in mud, sand, or gravel (2005a, 2005b). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.5. Argopecten purpuratus
the pectinid bivalve Argopecten purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819) or Chilean scallop, inhabits the Pacific Ocean, between the northern coast of Peru and central Chile, and has become an important commercial species. It is distributed along the Pacific coast between Arica (18°25″S) and Valparaiso. This species lives on sedimentary grounds in sheltered areas (Moragat, 2001). Produces scallop pearls similar to those from the Lion‘s Paw (6.31) (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.6. Atlantic Pearl Oyster
Pinctada imbricata (6.46); the pearl oyster native to the Caribbean and southeastern North America, which was exploited by Spanish pearl gatherers in the 16th and 17th centuries (Mikkelsen, 2003).

6.7. Black-lipped Pearl Oyster
Pinctada margaritifera (6.49), used extensively for pearl culturing in French Polynesia. The widest-ranging pearl oyster, it has a history of natural pearl gathering in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, throughout the Indo-Pacific islands, Mexico and Japan (Okinawa). Also Pinctada mazatlanica (6.51), Mexico and Panama.

6.8. Cassis madagascarensis
of the family Cassidae, Cassis madagascarensis also known as the Emperor Helmet (6.18), is a large species with an almost flat spire, the body whorl has three rows of spiral blunted knobs and fine rounded axial ridges. The underside is peachy orange – reflecting the colour of some pearls produced by this mollusc. The lip bears about 10 strong denticles and the columella bears strong white spiral ribs and folds, tinged between the dark brown or black. (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.9. Ceylon Pearl Oyster
Pinctada radiata (6.52), the pearl oyster with the longest history of sustained harvesting, native to the Gulf of Mannar, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.10. Chambered nautilus
a native of the tropical Pacific, a cousin of the octopus and is a living link with the past—little changed for more than 150 million years. The nautilus has more than 90 tentacles. These tentacles have grooves and ridges that grip food and pass it into the nautilus‘s mouth. A nautilus swims using jet propulsion—it expels water from its mantle cavity through a siphon located near its head. By adjusting the direction of the siphon, a nautilus can swim forward, backward or sideways. See also Coque de perle (5.45). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.11. Conch
common name applied to some species of marine snails (i.e., gastropods 6.21) including the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) (6.67), Horse Conch (Pleuroploca gigantea) (6.54), and the Emperor Helmet (Cassis madagasgerensis) (6.8) (see also 6.18). (Wye, 1991, Kamat, 2000). Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.12. Cristaria plicata
or Cockscomb Pearl Mussel; the freshwater pearl mussel originally used for pearl culturing in both Japan and China. In Chinese, the name is zhou wen guan bang; in Japan, it is known as the Karasu mussel (Mikkelsen, 2003).

6.13. Cumberlandia monodonta
Cumberlandia monodonta (Say, 1829) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known Spectaclecase. It is an elongate shell, usually pinched in the middle, dark brown to black, with poorly developed teeth. Nacre is white, iridescent. Length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). It lives in large rivers with swiftly flowing water, among boulders in patches of sand, cobble, or gravel in areas where current is reduced. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.14. Cyclonaias tuberculata
Cyclonaias tuberculata (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Purple Wartyback, Missouri mapleleaf, purple pimpleback, or deerhorn. It has a rounded shell with a fairly prominent wing, beak covered with fine wavy sculpturing, no green stripe on the umbo, purple nacre and a deep and compressed beak cavity. The nacre is usually deep purple, or occasionally white with a purple tinge. Cyclonaias tuberculata lives in medium to large rivers in gravel or mixed sand and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.15. Cyrtonaias tampicoensis
Cyrtonaias tampicoensis or the Tampico pearly mussel has no significant external shell sculpturing and may reach over 130mm in shell length. Colouration varies from yellowish-brown to dark brown and black. Internally, nacre is typically purple, but may be multi coloured. Pearls are the same colours as the nacre. Their habitat ranges from relatively small streams to large reservoirs in waters less than 20 feet deep in Texas USA (Howells, 2005). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.16. Ellipsaria lineolata
Ellipsaria lineolata (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Butterfly. It has a triangular, flattened shell, sharply angled posterior ridge, yellowish brown, with broken brown rays, the nacre is white and iridescent. Ellipsaria lineolata live in large rivers in sand or gravel. Length to 4 inches (10.2 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.17. Elliptio crassidens
Elliptio crassidens (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Elephant-ear, Mule’s ear, or blue ham. It is a heavy, solid, and triangular shell with dark brown to black periostracum. The nacre colour is variable, usually purple or occasionally pink or white. Elliptio crassidens live in large rivers in mud, sand, or fine gravel. Length to 6 inches (15.2 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.18. Emperor Helmet
see Cassis madagasgarensis (6.8) (Wye, 1991).

6.19. Fusconaia ebena
Fusconaia ebena (Lea, 1831) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Ebonyshell; It is a round, heavy, thick, brown or black shell without rays or pustules its beak cavity is very deep. Fusconaia ebena live in large rivers in sand and gravel, the nacre is pearly white and iridescent. Length to 10.2 cm (4 inches). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.20. Fusconaia flava
Fusconaia flava (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Wabash Pigtoe or just Pigtoe; it is a triangular shell with a shallow sulcus usually present on the side with rough clothlike periostracum, and deep beak cavity. The nacre is white or tinged with salmon and iridescent. Fusconaia flava lives in creeks to large rivers in mud, sand, or gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.21. Gastropod
a univalve mollusc that often has a head with eyes; Gastropods includes land and sea snails. (See e.g., 5.43 and 5.104) (Wye, 1991).

6.22. Giant Clam
see 6.69
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

6.23. Gold-lipped Pearl Oyster
a variety of Pinctada maxima (6.50), used extensively for pearl culturing in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand; see also Silver-lipped Pearl Oyster (6.66). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

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6.24. Haliotis
Haliotidae or abalones (6.1) are a large family of gastropods that are also known as ormers or sea ears in various localities. The shape is consistently flat with little evidence of a spire; they are either oval or round and possess a series of holes on the body whorl. The interiors are iridescent and can be very colourful, their habitat ranges from low tide zones to some hundreds of feet depth (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.25. Horse Conch
see Pleuroploca gigantea (6.54) (Wye, 1991).

6.26. Hyriopsis cumingii
Hyriopsis cumingii (Lea, 1852) or triangleshell pearl mussel ranges naturally in China. It has a thicker shell than the Cockscomb (Cristaria plicata 6.12), with pink to peach-coloured nacre. Both natural and cultured Triangleshell pearls occur in a wide range of colours, from white to pink, lavender and deep rose. (Mikkelsen, 2003, Akamatsu, 2001). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.27. Hyriopsis schlegeli
or Biwa pearly mussel used to produce non-beaded cultured pearls in Lake Biwa Japan, (Farn, 1986).

6.28. La Paz Pearl Oyster
Pinctada mazatlanica (6.51), from the eastern Pacific Ocean, presently cultured in the Gulf of California for blister and cultured pearls (5.48).

6.29. Lasmigona complanata
Lasmigona complanata (Barnes, 1823) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the White Heelsplitter, the Pancake, razorback, elephant-ear, or hackle-back. It is a large, rounded, compressed, relatively thin shell, bluntly pointed at the posterior end; dark brown or black periostracum, double-looped beak sculpture. The nacre is bluish white or white and iridescent. Lasmigona complanata lives in pools or sluggish streams with a mud, sand, or fine gravel bottom. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.30. Ligumia recta
Ligumia recta (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Black sandshell, Black sand mussel, long John, honest John, sow’s ear, or lady’s slipper. It is an elongated shell, pointed on the posterior end, smooth surface, usually dark brown to black. The nacre is variable from white, pink, and salmon to deep purple and iridescent. Length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.31. Lion‟s Paw
of the many scallops there are three bearing the common name Lion‘s Paw, one of these is the exceedingly rare Nodipecten magnificus (Sowerby, 1835) which is largely restricted to the Galapagos Islands. The other two are Nodipecten (Lyropecten) Nodosus (Atlantic Lion‘s Paw) L. 1758 and Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus (Pacific Lion‘s Paw also known as Mano de Leon) Sowerby 1835, the largest pectinid in tropical waters. N. nodosus is found in the seas of South-eastern USA to Brazil and N. subnodosus in the seas of Western Central America at depths that vary from 25 to 150 meters. Together the shell colours are exceptional in both their variety and depth. The outer surface of the shell may be several shades of brown, sometimes described as chocolate brown and yellow to orange while the interior varies from pearly white to shades of purple and brown. The outer surface of the N. nodosus shell most often displays several rows of rounded nodular protuberances running down about eight rounded ribs (although many from the southern Caribbean are smooth, potentially differentiating it from N. subnodosus which have no such protuberances). Both the Atlantic and Pacific Lion‘s Paws have fan-shaped (typical of scallops in general) equal valves with unequal ears. Lion‘s Paw scallops may produce distinctive natural non-nacreous pearls (Scarratt, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.32. Mabe pearl oyster
See Pteria penguin (6.58)

6.33. Margaritifera
the taxonomic name applied to one of two entities: (1) the current genus-name applied to one group of freshwater pearl mussels, including the common pearl-producing mussel of Europe and North America, Margaritifera margaritifera (6.34); (2) as a species-name, that for the Black-lipped Pearl Oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) (6.49). Margarita is the Latin term for pearl, it derives from the Greek margaros pearl oyster. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.34. Margaritifera margaritifera
the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera grows to 140 mm in length, and burrows into sandy substrates, often between boulders and pebbles, in fast-flowing rivers and streams. It requires cool, well-oxygenated soft water free of pollution or turbidity. The mussel spends its larval, or glochidial, stage attached to the gills of salmonid fishes. The larvae attach themselves during mid to late summer and drop off the following spring to settle in the riverbed gravel where they grow to adulthood. Margaritifera margaritifera can be found throughout Europe and North America. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.35. Megalonaias nervosa
Megalonaias nervosa (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Washboard, Bald-pate, or board. It is a large, black shell, heavily sculptured with V-shaped ridges in the front and large folds on the sides and back, particularly in smaller shells. The nacre is white, often with purple or copper-coloured blotches and iridescent. Megalonaias nervosa lives primarily in large rivers with a good current, and occasionally in medium-sized streams in mud, sand, or gravel. Megalonaias nervosa has been used for the manufacture of shell beads that form the nucleus of beaded cultured pearls (5.15). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.36. Melo aethiopica
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives principally in Indonesian waters but is generally distributed from Java in the west to Papua New Guinea in the east. Their habitat is reportedly thick volcanic sand in shallow waters. Dimensions are between 200 and 250mm in length, with a largest reported size of 348mm. The protoconch is usually bright yellow in colour, but generally the shell is a light brown or mahogany it has 14 to 18 subsutural spines per whorl and three columella plaits. Sometimes Melo aethiopica have a creamy yellow spiral band in the middle of the whorls, and young shells may have a pattern of small dark blotches. There is no regular fishing. Melo aethiopica is the bailer shell used in Papua New Guinea to make the traditional jewellery. See also Melo pearl (5.104). (Poppe G.T., 1992). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.37. Melo amphora
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives all along the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of New Guinea. Their habitat is on the sand and sand-mud bottoms from the shore and down to 10m., deep. Dimensions are between 300 and 468mm in length, with the largest registered size of 524mm. The protoconch is wide and cream coloured, the spines are long and straight but only on the first 2.5 whorls. The best distinguishing character is the absence of spines on the last adult whorl, and they have three strong columella plaits. The range of Melo amphora and Melo aethiopica coincide with each other, it may be that Melo amphora is a southern variant of Melo aethiopica (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.38. Melo broderipii
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives mainly in the Philippines but is also recorded for New Guinea. Their habitat is on sand and mud bottoms from the shore to about 10 metres deep. Dimensions are between 250 and 350mm in length, and the registered largest size is 371mm. Melo broderipii’s have 20 to 25 spines per whorl and the columella has four plaits. The base colour is pale cream brown and most shells have dark chocolate brown flecks that become scarcer in the last whorl, (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.39. Melo georginae
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species is limited to the coast of southern Queensland, Australia. Their habitat is on sand bottoms between 2 and 90 meters deep, and their dimensions are between 200 and 300mm in length. The protoconch is pink and the shell has on a pinkish white or cream background and, wide areas of vivid orange which form thick irregular reticulations which outline white triangles. Two dark spiral bands stand out against the yellow-orange colour of the last adult whorl. This species lives deeper than any other member of the genus. (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.40. Melo melo
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives from the South China Sea, south and west to Singapore and the Andaman Sea. Their habitat is from the shore down to 70 metres deep on mud bottoms. Dimensions are between 150 and 275mm in length with a reported record size of 362mm. The protoconch is covered by the last whorl; they have no spines and three columella plaits. Generally they have two or three bands of dispersed dark flecks, which are rarer and more loosely spaced on the last whorl, (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.41. Mercenaria mercenaria
clam species Mercenaria mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758) or Venus mercenaria, (class; bivalvia, order; Veneroida, family; Veneridae, genus; Mercenaria) is variously known as the northern quahog (its Indian name pronounced CO hawg), hardshell, littleneck, cherrystone, or chowder clam, is common, commercially important and found on the east coast of North America where it lives in soft sediments in shallow water. Produces clam pearls (5.36) in various shades of purple. It burrows shallowly in sediments of either mud or sand and is among the most commercially important species of invertebrate. Like other clams, it is a filter feeder. Mercenaria mercenaria has a large, heavy shell that ranges from being a pale brownish colour to shades of grey and white. The exterior of the shell, except nearest the umbo is covered with a series of growth rings. The interior of the shell is coloured a deep purple around the posterior edge and hinge. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.42. Nodipecten (Lyropecten) nodosus
see scallop (6.65) and Lion‘s paw (6.31).

6.43. Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus
see scallop and Lion‘s paw, (6.65 and 6.31).

6.44. Obliquaria reflexa
Obliquaria reflexaria (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Threehorn Wartyback, just Three Horned or Hornyback, three dot, or three knot. It has large knobs that alternate from side to side that will distinguish this mussel from all other species found in the Midwest. Obliquaria reflexaria lives in large rivers in sand or gravel; it may be locally abundant in impoundments. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.45. Pinctada fucata
Pinctada fucata (Gould. 1857) is the Akoya (5.4) pearl oyster (6.3), known in Japan as Pinctada martensii (6.48). It is sometimes considered a subspecies of Pinctada imbricata (6.46). The shell is of a medium size and is rather inflated and fragile. The exterior is rough and is covered with layers of greyish purple lamellae which extend over the margins. The byssal notch lies below a small winged projection of the hinge line. Its habitat ranges from Japan to China and Vietnam (Wye, 1991, Landman, 2001). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.46. Pinctada imbricata
Pinctada imbricata (Röding, 1798) or the Atlantic Pearl Oyster, ranges naturally in the western Atlantic from Bermuda and Florida to northern South America. It is the source of Venezuelan pearls and also of Columbus‘s pearls (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.47. Pinctada maculata
small pearl oyster or pipi is widespread throughout French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

6.48. Pinctada martensii
see Pinctada fucata (6.45) and Akoya (5.4) oyster (6.3). Also referred to as Martins Pearl Oyster, the shell is of a medium size and is rather inflated and fragile. The exterior is rough and is covered with layers of greyish purple lamellae which extend over the margins. The byssal notch lies below a small winged projection of the hinge line. Its habitat ranges from Japan to China and Vietnam (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.49. Pinctada margaritifera
a large oyster that has equal compressed valves with a rich silver grey nacreous interior edged with greyish black. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of flaky green and grey lamellae. The source of natural and cultured, naturally coloured, black pearls from French Polynesia (5.171, 5.172 and 5.173), the Cook Islands, Okinawa and other South Sea islands (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.50. Pinctada maxima
the silver or golden lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima) is the largest of the pearl oysters. Traditional South Sea pearling fleets dived for this pearl oyster in the quest for its valuable large natural pearls, and for its valuable high quality Mother of Pearl (5.109) which was sought after worldwide for the mother-of-pearl (5.109) industry. Today it is used extensively to produce cultured south sea pearls in Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar Philippines and elsewhere in the South Seas (5.164). (Mikkelsen, 2003, Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.51. Pinctada mazatlanica
Pinctada mazatlanica (Hanley, 1855), the La Paz Pearl Oyster, or the Panamic Black-Lipped Pearl Oyster. A medium sized oyster (18 cm) with equally compressed valves with a rich silver grey nacreous interior edged with a green or golden sheen. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of flaky light-brown and green lamellae. Habitat ranges from inside the Gulf of California (also known as the sea of cortez), to Peru. Fisheries gave abundant supplies of naturally coloured pearls, from light-grey to black, with many intermediate tones of pink, gold and green. This species was the first one to be used farmed commercially for the production of natural pearls in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. (Hurwit, K. 2000, Gomelsky,V. 2001, McLaurin, D. 2002, McLaurin, D. & E. Arizmendi, 2002) (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.52. Pinctada radiata
Pinctada radiata (Leache, 1814), or the Ceylon Pearl Oyster (6.9), is sometimes considered a variety of Pinctada imbricata. Its habitat ranges through the eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

6.53. Placopectin magellanicus
see scallop, (6.65). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.54. Pleuroploca gigantea
also known as the Florida Horse Conch, the largest of the tulip shells. The spire is tall and the whorls, the shoulders of which have blunt rounded knobs, are angular. Its shells are generally beige to light brown with a pale orange aperture and the non-nacreous pearls it produces are similarly coloured. Pleuroploca gigantean lives in shallow sub tidal waters (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.55. Potamilis purpuratus
is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA. It has an elongate and rectangular shell, inflated, dark green to black, with purple or pink nacre. Potamilis purpuratus inhabits large rivers e.g., Mississippi, in mud or mixed mud and gravel; common names are; Bloofer, blue mucket, and purple pocketbook. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.56. Proptera alata
Proptera alata (Say, 1817) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Pink Heelsplitter, Purple Heelsplitter, pancake, or hatchet-back. It has an elongated and rectangular shell, well-developed posterior wing, dark green to dark brown, with purple or pink nacre and a length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). It lives in medium to large rivers in mud or mixed mud, sand, and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.57. Proptera purpurata
Proptera purpurata (Lamarck, 1819) (synonym) accepted scientific name Potamilus purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the bleufer or purple pocketbook. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.58. Pteria penguin
also known as the Mabe (5.97) pearl oyster (6.32) or as black-winged pearl oyster. An ovate and fairly fragile shell, it has unequal valves, the upper or right valve being more inflated. The oyster has a characteristic extension to the hinge line (Mikkelsen, 2003, Hurwit, 2003, Mao, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.59. Pteria sterna
the rainbow-lipped pearl oyster (Pteria sterna) also known as the western winged pearl oyster is a winged oyster with two unequal sized lateral extensions. The shell appears purplish-brown to silver grey and is moderately thin, usually growing to 14 cm in length. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of brown to black lamellae. Its habitat ranges from the eastern Pacific side of Baja California (Mexico), inside the Gulf of California (also known as the sea of cortez) and down to Peru. Fisheries gave abundant supplies of naturally coloured pearls, from light-grey to dark-purple, with many intermediate tones of pink, gold and green (Gomelsky, 2001, Hurwit, 2000, McLaurin, 2002, Moreno, 2002). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.60. Quadrula metanevra
Quadrula metanevra (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Monkey face or Knobbed rock shell; Rounded or squared shell with large knobs along the posterior ridge and a distinct indentation on the posterior margin that looks like a chimpanzee in profile. It often has distinctive zigzag markings on the shell. The shell is thick, rounded or rectangular, and moderately inflated. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm). Quadrula metanevra live in medium to large rivers in gravel or mixed sand and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.61. Quadrula nodulata
Quadrula nodulata (Rafinesque, 1822) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA otherwise known as Wartyback, or Two-horned pocketbook, winged pimpleback, pimpleback, nodule shell, winged orb shell. It is a rounded shell with two rows of paired knobs or pustules on the posterior half of the shell; no sulcus. The nacre is pearly white and iridescent. Quadrula nodulata live in large rivers or in the lower sections of medium-sized rivers in sand or fine gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.62. Quadrula pustulosa
Quadrula pustulosa (Lea, 1831) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA otherwise known as the Pimpleback, Wartyback, or Warty Pigtoe. It is a rounded shell, a green stripe on the umbo, usually densely covered with pustules. Beak cavity deep and open, not compressed as in the purple wartyback. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm), and the nacre is pearly white and iridescent. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.63. Quadrula quadrula
Quadrula quadrula (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Mapleleaf or Stranger; fairly thick shell with well-developed teeth. Squared in outline, lateral surface with two rows of pustules separated by a sulcus. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm). Quadrula quadrula lives in medium to large rivers and reservoirs with a mud, sand, or gravel bottom. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.64. Queen Conch
see Strombus gigas (6.67).

6.65. Scallop
family pectinidae. The scallops or pectens are bivalves that have been a part of man‘s existence from the earliest of times, both as a source of food and adornment. Their characteristic fan shape remain fairly consistent but there is variation in the ‗ears‘ and sculpturing. Their wide variety of colours and patterns have caused them to be a significant collector‘s item, to be the focus of scientific study and to serve as industrial symbols such as that of Shell Oil. Scallops known to produce pearls are Nodipecten (Lyropecten) Nodosus (Atlantic Lion‘s Paw) L. 1758., Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus (Pacific Lion‘s Paw) Sowerby 1835, the Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Gmelin 1791 and Argopecten purpuratus. (Scarratt, 2004, Wight, 2004, Federman, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.66. Silver-lipped Pearl Oyster
Pinctada maxima (6.50), is used extensively for pearl culturing in Australia, the Philippine Islands, Indonesia, and Myanmar; see also Gold-lipped Pearl Oyster (6.23).

6.67. Strombus gigas
also known as the Queen Conch may be found in areas of the Caribbean and Central America. One of the largest in its group, it has a large flaring lip and the shoulders of its whorls bear blunt protruding nodules which are particularly large for the body whorl. Produces the pink (and other colours) conch pearl (Wye, 1991).
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.68. Triangleshell Pearl Mussel
Hyriopsis cumingii, (6.26) is the freshwater pearl mussel now used for pearl culturing in China (Scarratt, 2000, Akamatsu, 2001).

6.69. Tridacna gigas
the largest and heaviest known mollusc, also known as the Giant Clam, with the two valves weighing as much as about 225kg (about 500lbs). The elongated oval with equal valves has about five undulating and rounded ribs. The Tridacna gigas interior is porcelaneous and white, as are the pearls it produces (Wye, 1991).
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

Articles source: THE PEARL BOOK, Natural, Cultured, Composite & Imitation Pearls — Terminology & Classification (Including information on modifications), 2013-08-12, CIBJO/Pearl Commission. (source : wholesale pearls beads )
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Lombok Pearls : Cultured Pearls General Rule & Exceptions

Lombok Pearls : Cultured Pearls General Rule & Exceptions

Figure 9. Schematic diagram explaining the general way of cultured pearl production in the two organs where a saibo transplant is successful in respect of pearl formation. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.
Figure 9. Schematic diagram explaining the general way of cultured pearl production in the two organs where a
saibo transplant is successful in respect of pearl formation. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.

wholesale pearlsGonad-grown cultured pearls The gonad (reproduction organ) accepts transplanted mantle tissue graft (Japanese ‘saibo’) that will grow out to a pearl sac. As gonad cells cannot precipitate CaCO3 the introduction of the saibo is mandatory. The gonad is deep in the shell where the two shell halves are at an important distance from each other. Here, the space for one or more beads is provided. Nuclei are brought into the gonad and a close contact to the saibo. The process of grafting is often named ‘nucleation’, a term that is also used for inserting the bead nucleus. For clarity reasons it would therefore be better to differentiate and use both terms, ‘grafting’ and ‘beading’. (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

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The introduction of a bead is optional and can be made more than once. The grafting is only done once, to start the formation of a pearl sac. All gonad-grown pearls are cultured, as only transplanted mantle tissue cells can form nacre. A general method to produce gonad grown cultured pearls containing a spherical or other shape nucleus has furnished the well-known Akoya (Pinctada martensii), South Sea Pearls (Pinctada maxima) or lombok pearls and Tahiti cultured pearls (Pinctada margaritifera) (Müller, 1997) (Reference: Lombok Pearls).

Black pearls are also produced in the Sea of Cortez (Pteria sterna) (Kiefert et al., 2004) (Reference: Lombok Pearls) . Since recently, small akoya-type cultured pearls have been grown in the Persian Gulf in Pinctada radiata shells. Figure 9 gives a schematic view on the general methods of producing cultured pearls in the gonad.

Figure 10. Schematic diagram explaining the modifications from the general way of cultured pearl production. These variations lead to more recent products now available in the trade. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.
Figure 10. Schematic diagram explaining the modifications from the general way of cultured pearl production. These variations lead to more recent products now available in the trade. Modified after Schöffel, 1996.

In Figure 10 the variations of the normal routines are shown. It is worth mentioning that most pearl farms are very careful and precise when they select tissue donor oysters that will be sacrificed for their mantle tissue. Only individuals with outstanding nacre quality will be taken for producing mantle tissue pieces, as this quality will vastly define the quality of the resulting pearl. Recipient oysters, on the other hand, must not have nice nacre, but must be healthy, fast growing and provide good housing for the bead and saibo.

Quite often the contact between the bead and the saibo is not very close, due to negligent manipulation by the transplanting technician. Such pearls will be drop shaped or have an extension on the side where the saibo was placed. Should the saibo not reach the bead, the latter will be rejected and the pearl grows as beadless. Due to the missing pre-form (spherical) the pearl will end as a more or less round baroque shaped pebble.

The trade uses the term ‘keshi’ for these products. A more precise and descriptive name would be appropriate, such as non-beaded or beadless cultured pearl of baroque shape. This applies for both: South Sea ‘Keshi’ and Tahiti ‘Keshi’ (Hänni, 2007 a, b). (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

The term ‘keshi’ comes from the Japanese pearl culturing tradition and is used for very small mantle-grown pearls, by-products of the Akoya production. They form as a consequence of injuries on the rim of the shell, due to rough handling when transported and operated. That they are about 2 mm is explained by the short time between injury and harvest. That large gonad-grown South Sea Keshis formed after a tissue transplant have nothing to do with
those minute mantle-grown Japanese Keshis without saibo graft seems obvious.

When some years ago a dealer reported, ‘they are now growing keshis with beads’ it became evident how important it is, to use proper naming. What the dealer was describing were gonad-grown cultured pearls with baroque shaped beads (Figure 11) (Reference: Lombok Pearls). Flat baroque freshwater pearls from China are used as nuclei and overgrown with Pinctada margaritifera dark nacre, producing more baroque pearls.

Figure 11. Beadless freshwater cultured pearls from China with a flat irregular shape are used as beads for producing baroque P. margaritifera pearls. Upper samples are shown as grown, lower samples are cut open and polished; they reveal the core of freshwater nacre. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 11. Beadless freshwater cultured pearls from China with a flat irregular shape are used as beads for producing baroque P. margaritifera pearls. Upper samples are shown as grown, lower samples are cut open and polished; they reveal the core of freshwater nacre. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 12. Four natural pearls with different shape and appearance were used as beads in P.maxima oysters. Upper row shows the coated pearls, middle row shows x-ray pictures, and lower row shows 3 cross sections. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 12. Four natural pearls with different shape and appearance were used as beads in P.maxima oysters. Upper row shows the coated pearls, middle row shows x-ray pictures, and lower row shows 3 cross sections. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

An experiment
In previous years the author has used spherical Chinese freshwater cultured pearls as bead material in Pinctada maxima or lombok pearls and Pinctada margaritifera oysters. The procedure and the results have been reported recently (Hänni et al., 2010 a, b). It was then thus worth trying to use poor looking natural pearls as bead nuclei and provide them with a nice P.radiata coating. The experiment was carried out in the Gulf region where local P. radiata shells have been producing the famous Oriental natural pearls from the Gulf region for hundreds of years (see again Figure 2). (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

In May 2010, a number of natural pearls  of different sizes and shapes were seeded with a mantle tissue graft into the gonad of 9 cm P. radiata shells. Three months later a sample harvest was done in order to measure the coating and to count the number of aragonite platelets formed in that period of time. A further sampling was done in November 2010 and tests were carried out, including the x-ray recording of some samples (Figure 12). (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

Previous to this natural pearl coating experiment, natural pearls of brown colour and columnar structure were seeded in P. maxima oysters. The pearls probably are Pinna pearls, their structure corresponds to ‘unripe’ natural pearls. This means that the shells were harvested too early, as they consisted only of the columnar core but had not yet been overgrown by nacre (compare with Figure 1). Results of coated natural pearls by P. maxima oysters, in the shell for 16 months, are shown in Figure 13. (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

Figure 13. A selection of pearls with natural non-nacreous (‘unripe’) pearls used as nuclei, with a coating of P. maxima nacre. Radiograph shows darker concentric rings as characteristic for natural pearls. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 13. A selection of pearls with natural non-nacreous (‘unripe’) pearls used as nuclei, with a coating of P. maxima nacre. Radiograph shows darker concentric rings as characteristic for natural pearls. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

Any object fitting in size and having an inert character can be coated with nacre, even a small marine snail shell. To demonstrate the possibility that any core of appropriate size is easily coated with nacre once it is implanted with a saibo, an experiment with trilobites, a fossil of Cambrian age (approx. 500 my) was carried out using P. maxima or lombok pearls oysters (Figure 14). (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

Figure 14. Trilobites from North Africa were used as cores and became overgrown by nacre in a pearl culturing process with P. maxima. Above, some trilobites of approx. 5 mm size. Below, the nacrecoated bodies after a 9-month stay in a P. maxima. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.
Figure 14. Trilobites from North Africa were used as cores and became overgrown by nacre in a pearl culturing process with P. maxima. Above, some trilobites of approx. 5 mm size. Below, the nacrecoated bodies after a 9-month stay in a P. maxima. Photo © H.A. Hänni, SSEF and GemExpert.

Conclusions

Natural pearls are the reaction of the mantle on an injury caused to the juvenile mantle. External mantle cells displaced to a deeper layer (conjunctive tissue) grow out and constitute a pearl sac that will accumulate CaCO3 and form the natural pearl. Mantle-keshis reported in Japanese Akoya shells are evidence of this process. The injuries occurred during rough handling of the shells in the farms where the rim was damaged. Cultured pearls or lombok pearls are either grown in wild shells collected from the sea, nursed wild spat or from shells grown in hatcheries with a brood stock of selected characteristics. Freshwater mussels are raised in basins where specific fish act as hosts for the larvae. These domestic bivalves are then subjected to a surgical operation where mantle tissue pieces (saibo) are grafted into either the gonad or into the mantle.

Individuals with high quality nacre are selected as tissue donors as such nacre will form the present cultured pearl. Recipient oysters have to be strong, fast growing and resistant to infections. Mantle and gonad are the two organs of an oyster or mussel where a tissue graft can survive and produce CaCO3. Once grafted, the saibo will grow out to a pearl sac. It is optional to add a bead to the saibo graft. Shape and size of a bead nucleus depend on size of shell and where it will be implanted. Generally round beads are placed into the gonad to produce gonad-grown pearls. Coin shaped beads are put into the mantle, and later replaced by spherical ones, when more space is available. Once a pearl sac is formed, it can be used a second time. Re-beading is performed when a first pearl shows a good quality.

There is a certain variety in bead material used (Superchi et al., 2008). (Reference: Lombok Pearls). Traditionally, beads are made of freshwater shell material and according to the size a small number of mussels are used. Washboard mussels may have thick walls and produce beads up to 20 mm. Large composed beads may also be cut from saltwater shell (e.g. P. maxima or lombok pearls) when shell pieces are ground flat and glued together forming a laminate.

Besides common bead material, almost anything that fits in size and is not spiky will get coated with nacre. Experiments with fossils and even natural pearls have shown positive results. Pearl sacs in the mantle of Chinese freshwater mussel, after harvesting a coated coin nucleus, can be filled with mud (G. Wiesauer, pers. comm. 2012). The result is a baroque mantle-grown pearl, now available on the market.

Acknowledgements

Thanks go to the pearl farmers who invited the author to perform interesting experiments in their pearling enterprises. Andy Müller (Hinata Trading, Kobe) has continuously furnished new cultured pearls that attracted our interest. To Mr René Hodel (Hodel of Switzerland, Hong Kong) the author owes thanks for an important literature reference. Georg Wiesauer has been updating the author on freshwater cultured pearls from China. Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, Dr. Franz Herzog, SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute and Laurent Cartier, University of Basel, (Basel, Switzerland) have supported our research by analytical assistance and always been active partners in discussing the topic. Laurent Cartier has further reviewed the English and proposed significant improvements of the original paper. (Reference: Lombok Pearls)

Articles source: Natural pearls and cultured pearls: A basic concept and its variations, Prof. Dr H.A. Hänni, The Australian Gemmologist | Third Quarter 2012 | Volume 24, Number 11 – (Reference: Lombok Pearls)
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Wholesale pearls beads : Pearl producing mollusc descriptions and definitions

Wholesale pearls beads : Pearl producing mollusc descriptions and definitions

wholesale pearls beadsFor the purposes of these CIBJO Standard/rules, the following terms and definitions apply;

6.1. Abalone
ear-shaped marine gastropod (6.21) of the genus Haliotis (6.24), with nacre in multi-hues of blue, green, cream, red and purple; the meat is edible; produces distinctive natural pearls (5.118), blisters (5.117) and cultured blisters (5.1) are produced in several regions (e.g., California, New Zealand); also known as paua (New Zealand) and awabi (Japan). (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.2. Actinonaias pectorosa
Actinonaias pectorosa (Conrad, 1834) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known the Pheasant shell and the Cumberland Mucket. It is a large roughly elliptical, thick-shelled mussel. The periostracum is golden brown with broken green rays; older individuals may become brown or black. The nacre may be bluish to creamy or silvery white with iridescence along the margins. This species is found in the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins, and lives in sand and gravel in fast river currents. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.3. Akoya pearl oyster
Pinctada fucata (martensii) (6.45) is used extensively for pearl culture in Japan, China and other areas. Akoya is the Japanese name for this pearl oyster (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.4. Amblema plicata
Amblema plicata (Say, 1817) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the three ridge mussel, Blue-point, purple-tip, or fluter. The shell is elongated or rounded shell with ridges or folds on the posterior half. No sculpturing on the anterior end. Nacre pearly white, frequently stained, iridescent. Some individuals have a purple tint. Amblema plicata live in small to large rivers and impoundments in mud, sand, or gravel (2005a, 2005b). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.5. Argopecten purpuratus
the pectinid bivalve Argopecten purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819) or Chilean scallop, inhabits the Pacific Ocean, between the northern coast of Peru and central Chile, and has become an important commercial species. It is distributed along the Pacific coast between Arica (18°25″S) and Valparaiso. This species lives on sedimentary grounds in sheltered areas (Moragat, 2001). Produces scallop pearls similar to those from the Lion‘s Paw (6.31) (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.6. Atlantic Pearl Oyster
Pinctada imbricata (6.46); the pearl oyster native to the Caribbean and southeastern North America, which was exploited by Spanish pearl gatherers in the 16th and 17th centuries (Mikkelsen, 2003).

6.7. Black-lipped Pearl Oyster
Pinctada margaritifera (6.49), used extensively for pearl culturing in French Polynesia. The widest-ranging pearl oyster, it has a history of natural pearl gathering in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, throughout the Indo-Pacific islands, Mexico and Japan (Okinawa). Also Pinctada mazatlanica (6.51), Mexico and Panama.

6.8. Cassis madagascarensis
of the family Cassidae, Cassis madagascarensis also known as the Emperor Helmet (6.18), is a large species with an almost flat spire, the body whorl has three rows of spiral blunted knobs and fine rounded axial ridges. The underside is peachy orange – reflecting the colour of some pearls produced by this mollusc. The lip bears about 10 strong denticles and the columella bears strong white spiral ribs and folds, tinged between the dark brown or black. (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.9. Ceylon Pearl Oyster
Pinctada radiata (6.52), the pearl oyster with the longest history of sustained harvesting, native to the Gulf of Mannar, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.10. Chambered nautilus
a native of the tropical Pacific, a cousin of the octopus and is a living link with the past—little changed for more than 150 million years. The nautilus has more than 90 tentacles. These tentacles have grooves and ridges that grip food and pass it into the nautilus‘s mouth. A nautilus swims using jet propulsion—it expels water from its mantle cavity through a siphon located near its head. By adjusting the direction of the siphon, a nautilus can swim forward, backward or sideways. See also Coque de perle (5.45). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.11. Conch
common name applied to some species of marine snails (i.e., gastropods 6.21) including the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) (6.67), Horse Conch (Pleuroploca gigantea) (6.54), and the Emperor Helmet (Cassis madagasgerensis) (6.8) (see also 6.18). (Wye, 1991, Kamat, 2000). Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.12. Cristaria plicata
or Cockscomb Pearl Mussel; the freshwater pearl mussel originally used for pearl culturing in both Japan and China. In Chinese, the name is zhou wen guan bang; in Japan, it is known as the Karasu mussel (Mikkelsen, 2003).

6.13. Cumberlandia monodonta
Cumberlandia monodonta (Say, 1829) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known Spectaclecase. It is an elongate shell, usually pinched in the middle, dark brown to black, with poorly developed teeth. Nacre is white, iridescent. Length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). It lives in large rivers with swiftly flowing water, among boulders in patches of sand, cobble, or gravel in areas where current is reduced. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.14. Cyclonaias tuberculata
Cyclonaias tuberculata (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Purple Wartyback, Missouri mapleleaf, purple pimpleback, or deerhorn. It has a rounded shell with a fairly prominent wing, beak covered with fine wavy sculpturing, no green stripe on the umbo, purple nacre and a deep and compressed beak cavity. The nacre is usually deep purple, or occasionally white with a purple tinge. Cyclonaias tuberculata lives in medium to large rivers in gravel or mixed sand and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.15. Cyrtonaias tampicoensis
Cyrtonaias tampicoensis or the Tampico pearly mussel has no significant external shell sculpturing and may reach over 130mm in shell length. Colouration varies from yellowish-brown to dark brown and black. Internally, nacre is typically purple, but may be multi coloured. Pearls are the same colours as the nacre. Their habitat ranges from relatively small streams to large reservoirs in waters less than 20 feet deep in Texas USA (Howells, 2005). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.16. Ellipsaria lineolata
Ellipsaria lineolata (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Butterfly. It has a triangular, flattened shell, sharply angled posterior ridge, yellowish brown, with broken brown rays, the nacre is white and iridescent. Ellipsaria lineolata live in large rivers in sand or gravel. Length to 4 inches (10.2 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.17. Elliptio crassidens
Elliptio crassidens (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Elephant-ear, Mule’s ear, or blue ham. It is a heavy, solid, and triangular shell with dark brown to black periostracum. The nacre colour is variable, usually purple or occasionally pink or white. Elliptio crassidens live in large rivers in mud, sand, or fine gravel. Length to 6 inches (15.2 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.18. Emperor Helmet
see Cassis madagasgarensis (6.8) (Wye, 1991).

6.19. Fusconaia ebena
Fusconaia ebena (Lea, 1831) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Ebonyshell; It is a round, heavy, thick, brown or black shell without rays or pustules its beak cavity is very deep. Fusconaia ebena live in large rivers in sand and gravel, the nacre is pearly white and iridescent. Length to 10.2 cm (4 inches). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.20. Fusconaia flava
Fusconaia flava (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Wabash Pigtoe or just Pigtoe; it is a triangular shell with a shallow sulcus usually present on the side with rough clothlike periostracum, and deep beak cavity. The nacre is white or tinged with salmon and iridescent. Fusconaia flava lives in creeks to large rivers in mud, sand, or gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.21. Gastropod
a univalve mollusc that often has a head with eyes; Gastropods includes land and sea snails. (See e.g., 5.43 and 5.104) (Wye, 1991).

6.22. Giant Clam
see 6.69
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

6.23. Gold-lipped Pearl Oyster
a variety of Pinctada maxima (6.50), used extensively for pearl culturing in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand; see also Silver-lipped Pearl Oyster (6.66). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

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6.24. Haliotis
Haliotidae or abalones (6.1) are a large family of gastropods that are also known as ormers or sea ears in various localities. The shape is consistently flat with little evidence of a spire; they are either oval or round and possess a series of holes on the body whorl. The interiors are iridescent and can be very colourful, their habitat ranges from low tide zones to some hundreds of feet depth (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.25. Horse Conch
see Pleuroploca gigantea (6.54) (Wye, 1991).

6.26. Hyriopsis cumingii
Hyriopsis cumingii (Lea, 1852) or triangleshell pearl mussel ranges naturally in China. It has a thicker shell than the Cockscomb (Cristaria plicata 6.12), with pink to peach-coloured nacre. Both natural and cultured Triangleshell pearls occur in a wide range of colours, from white to pink, lavender and deep rose. (Mikkelsen, 2003, Akamatsu, 2001). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.27. Hyriopsis schlegeli
or Biwa pearly mussel used to produce non-beaded cultured pearls in Lake Biwa Japan, (Farn, 1986).

6.28. La Paz Pearl Oyster
Pinctada mazatlanica (6.51), from the eastern Pacific Ocean, presently cultured in the Gulf of California for blister and cultured pearls (5.48).

6.29. Lasmigona complanata
Lasmigona complanata (Barnes, 1823) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the White Heelsplitter, the Pancake, razorback, elephant-ear, or hackle-back. It is a large, rounded, compressed, relatively thin shell, bluntly pointed at the posterior end; dark brown or black periostracum, double-looped beak sculpture. The nacre is bluish white or white and iridescent. Lasmigona complanata lives in pools or sluggish streams with a mud, sand, or fine gravel bottom. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.30. Ligumia recta
Ligumia recta (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Black sandshell, Black sand mussel, long John, honest John, sow’s ear, or lady’s slipper. It is an elongated shell, pointed on the posterior end, smooth surface, usually dark brown to black. The nacre is variable from white, pink, and salmon to deep purple and iridescent. Length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.31. Lion‟s Paw
of the many scallops there are three bearing the common name Lion‘s Paw, one of these is the exceedingly rare Nodipecten magnificus (Sowerby, 1835) which is largely restricted to the Galapagos Islands. The other two are Nodipecten (Lyropecten) Nodosus (Atlantic Lion‘s Paw) L. 1758 and Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus (Pacific Lion‘s Paw also known as Mano de Leon) Sowerby 1835, the largest pectinid in tropical waters. N. nodosus is found in the seas of South-eastern USA to Brazil and N. subnodosus in the seas of Western Central America at depths that vary from 25 to 150 meters. Together the shell colours are exceptional in both their variety and depth. The outer surface of the shell may be several shades of brown, sometimes described as chocolate brown and yellow to orange while the interior varies from pearly white to shades of purple and brown. The outer surface of the N. nodosus shell most often displays several rows of rounded nodular protuberances running down about eight rounded ribs (although many from the southern Caribbean are smooth, potentially differentiating it from N. subnodosus which have no such protuberances). Both the Atlantic and Pacific Lion‘s Paws have fan-shaped (typical of scallops in general) equal valves with unequal ears. Lion‘s Paw scallops may produce distinctive natural non-nacreous pearls (Scarratt, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.32. Mabe pearl oyster
See Pteria penguin (6.58)

6.33. Margaritifera
the taxonomic name applied to one of two entities: (1) the current genus-name applied to one group of freshwater pearl mussels, including the common pearl-producing mussel of Europe and North America, Margaritifera margaritifera (6.34); (2) as a species-name, that for the Black-lipped Pearl Oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) (6.49). Margarita is the Latin term for pearl, it derives from the Greek margaros pearl oyster. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.34. Margaritifera margaritifera
the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera grows to 140 mm in length, and burrows into sandy substrates, often between boulders and pebbles, in fast-flowing rivers and streams. It requires cool, well-oxygenated soft water free of pollution or turbidity. The mussel spends its larval, or glochidial, stage attached to the gills of salmonid fishes. The larvae attach themselves during mid to late summer and drop off the following spring to settle in the riverbed gravel where they grow to adulthood. Margaritifera margaritifera can be found throughout Europe and North America. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.35. Megalonaias nervosa
Megalonaias nervosa (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Washboard, Bald-pate, or board. It is a large, black shell, heavily sculptured with V-shaped ridges in the front and large folds on the sides and back, particularly in smaller shells. The nacre is white, often with purple or copper-coloured blotches and iridescent. Megalonaias nervosa lives primarily in large rivers with a good current, and occasionally in medium-sized streams in mud, sand, or gravel. Megalonaias nervosa has been used for the manufacture of shell beads that form the nucleus of beaded cultured pearls (5.15). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.36. Melo aethiopica
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives principally in Indonesian waters but is generally distributed from Java in the west to Papua New Guinea in the east. Their habitat is reportedly thick volcanic sand in shallow waters. Dimensions are between 200 and 250mm in length, with a largest reported size of 348mm. The protoconch is usually bright yellow in colour, but generally the shell is a light brown or mahogany it has 14 to 18 subsutural spines per whorl and three columella plaits. Sometimes Melo aethiopica have a creamy yellow spiral band in the middle of the whorls, and young shells may have a pattern of small dark blotches. There is no regular fishing. Melo aethiopica is the bailer shell used in Papua New Guinea to make the traditional jewellery. See also Melo pearl (5.104). (Poppe G.T., 1992). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.37. Melo amphora
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives all along the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of New Guinea. Their habitat is on the sand and sand-mud bottoms from the shore and down to 10m., deep. Dimensions are between 300 and 468mm in length, with the largest registered size of 524mm. The protoconch is wide and cream coloured, the spines are long and straight but only on the first 2.5 whorls. The best distinguishing character is the absence of spines on the last adult whorl, and they have three strong columella plaits. The range of Melo amphora and Melo aethiopica coincide with each other, it may be that Melo amphora is a southern variant of Melo aethiopica (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.38. Melo broderipii
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives mainly in the Philippines but is also recorded for New Guinea. Their habitat is on sand and mud bottoms from the shore to about 10 metres deep. Dimensions are between 250 and 350mm in length, and the registered largest size is 371mm. Melo broderipii’s have 20 to 25 spines per whorl and the columella has four plaits. The base colour is pale cream brown and most shells have dark chocolate brown flecks that become scarcer in the last whorl, (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.39. Melo georginae
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species is limited to the coast of southern Queensland, Australia. Their habitat is on sand bottoms between 2 and 90 meters deep, and their dimensions are between 200 and 300mm in length. The protoconch is pink and the shell has on a pinkish white or cream background and, wide areas of vivid orange which form thick irregular reticulations which outline white triangles. Two dark spiral bands stand out against the yellow-orange colour of the last adult whorl. This species lives deeper than any other member of the genus. (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.40. Melo melo
a marine gastropod (5.101) and one of the melo volutes; this species lives from the South China Sea, south and west to Singapore and the Andaman Sea. Their habitat is from the shore down to 70 metres deep on mud bottoms. Dimensions are between 150 and 275mm in length with a reported record size of 362mm. The protoconch is covered by the last whorl; they have no spines and three columella plaits. Generally they have two or three bands of dispersed dark flecks, which are rarer and more loosely spaced on the last whorl, (Poppe G.T., 1992). See also Melo pearl (5.104). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.41. Mercenaria mercenaria
clam species Mercenaria mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758) or Venus mercenaria, (class; bivalvia, order; Veneroida, family; Veneridae, genus; Mercenaria) is variously known as the northern quahog (its Indian name pronounced CO hawg), hardshell, littleneck, cherrystone, or chowder clam, is common, commercially important and found on the east coast of North America where it lives in soft sediments in shallow water. Produces clam pearls (5.36) in various shades of purple. It burrows shallowly in sediments of either mud or sand and is among the most commercially important species of invertebrate. Like other clams, it is a filter feeder. Mercenaria mercenaria has a large, heavy shell that ranges from being a pale brownish colour to shades of grey and white. The exterior of the shell, except nearest the umbo is covered with a series of growth rings. The interior of the shell is coloured a deep purple around the posterior edge and hinge. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.42. Nodipecten (Lyropecten) nodosus
see scallop (6.65) and Lion‘s paw (6.31).

6.43. Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus
see scallop and Lion‘s paw, (6.65 and 6.31).

6.44. Obliquaria reflexa
Obliquaria reflexaria (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Threehorn Wartyback, just Three Horned or Hornyback, three dot, or three knot. It has large knobs that alternate from side to side that will distinguish this mussel from all other species found in the Midwest. Obliquaria reflexaria lives in large rivers in sand or gravel; it may be locally abundant in impoundments. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.45. Pinctada fucata
Pinctada fucata (Gould. 1857) is the Akoya (5.4) pearl oyster (6.3), known in Japan as Pinctada martensii (6.48). It is sometimes considered a subspecies of Pinctada imbricata (6.46). The shell is of a medium size and is rather inflated and fragile. The exterior is rough and is covered with layers of greyish purple lamellae which extend over the margins. The byssal notch lies below a small winged projection of the hinge line. Its habitat ranges from Japan to China and Vietnam (Wye, 1991, Landman, 2001). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.46. Pinctada imbricata
Pinctada imbricata (Röding, 1798) or the Atlantic Pearl Oyster, ranges naturally in the western Atlantic from Bermuda and Florida to northern South America. It is the source of Venezuelan pearls and also of Columbus‘s pearls (Mikkelsen, 2003). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.47. Pinctada maculata
small pearl oyster or pipi is widespread throughout French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

6.48. Pinctada martensii
see Pinctada fucata (6.45) and Akoya (5.4) oyster (6.3). Also referred to as Martins Pearl Oyster, the shell is of a medium size and is rather inflated and fragile. The exterior is rough and is covered with layers of greyish purple lamellae which extend over the margins. The byssal notch lies below a small winged projection of the hinge line. Its habitat ranges from Japan to China and Vietnam (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.49. Pinctada margaritifera
a large oyster that has equal compressed valves with a rich silver grey nacreous interior edged with greyish black. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of flaky green and grey lamellae. The source of natural and cultured, naturally coloured, black pearls from French Polynesia (5.171, 5.172 and 5.173), the Cook Islands, Okinawa and other South Sea islands (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.50. Pinctada maxima
the silver or golden lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima) is the largest of the pearl oysters. Traditional South Sea pearling fleets dived for this pearl oyster in the quest for its valuable large natural pearls, and for its valuable high quality Mother of Pearl (5.109) which was sought after worldwide for the mother-of-pearl (5.109) industry. Today it is used extensively to produce cultured south sea pearls in Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar Philippines and elsewhere in the South Seas (5.164). (Mikkelsen, 2003, Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.51. Pinctada mazatlanica
Pinctada mazatlanica (Hanley, 1855), the La Paz Pearl Oyster, or the Panamic Black-Lipped Pearl Oyster. A medium sized oyster (18 cm) with equally compressed valves with a rich silver grey nacreous interior edged with a green or golden sheen. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of flaky light-brown and green lamellae. Habitat ranges from inside the Gulf of California (also known as the sea of cortez), to Peru. Fisheries gave abundant supplies of naturally coloured pearls, from light-grey to black, with many intermediate tones of pink, gold and green. This species was the first one to be used farmed commercially for the production of natural pearls in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. (Hurwit, K. 2000, Gomelsky,V. 2001, McLaurin, D. 2002, McLaurin, D. & E. Arizmendi, 2002) (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.52. Pinctada radiata
Pinctada radiata (Leache, 1814), or the Ceylon Pearl Oyster (6.9), is sometimes considered a variety of Pinctada imbricata. Its habitat ranges through the eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

6.53. Placopectin magellanicus
see scallop, (6.65). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.54. Pleuroploca gigantea
also known as the Florida Horse Conch, the largest of the tulip shells. The spire is tall and the whorls, the shoulders of which have blunt rounded knobs, are angular. Its shells are generally beige to light brown with a pale orange aperture and the non-nacreous pearls it produces are similarly coloured. Pleuroploca gigantean lives in shallow sub tidal waters (Wye, 1991). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.55. Potamilis purpuratus
is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA. It has an elongate and rectangular shell, inflated, dark green to black, with purple or pink nacre. Potamilis purpuratus inhabits large rivers e.g., Mississippi, in mud or mixed mud and gravel; common names are; Bloofer, blue mucket, and purple pocketbook. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.56. Proptera alata
Proptera alata (Say, 1817) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the Pink Heelsplitter, Purple Heelsplitter, pancake, or hatchet-back. It has an elongated and rectangular shell, well-developed posterior wing, dark green to dark brown, with purple or pink nacre and a length to 8 inches (20.3 cm). It lives in medium to large rivers in mud or mixed mud, sand, and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.57. Proptera purpurata
Proptera purpurata (Lamarck, 1819) (synonym) accepted scientific name Potamilus purpuratus (Lamarck, 1819) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as the bleufer or purple pocketbook. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.58. Pteria penguin
also known as the Mabe (5.97) pearl oyster (6.32) or as black-winged pearl oyster. An ovate and fairly fragile shell, it has unequal valves, the upper or right valve being more inflated. The oyster has a characteristic extension to the hinge line (Mikkelsen, 2003, Hurwit, 2003, Mao, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.59. Pteria sterna
the rainbow-lipped pearl oyster (Pteria sterna) also known as the western winged pearl oyster is a winged oyster with two unequal sized lateral extensions. The shell appears purplish-brown to silver grey and is moderately thin, usually growing to 14 cm in length. The exterior is formed from concentric layers of brown to black lamellae. Its habitat ranges from the eastern Pacific side of Baja California (Mexico), inside the Gulf of California (also known as the sea of cortez) and down to Peru. Fisheries gave abundant supplies of naturally coloured pearls, from light-grey to dark-purple, with many intermediate tones of pink, gold and green (Gomelsky, 2001, Hurwit, 2000, McLaurin, 2002, Moreno, 2002). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.60. Quadrula metanevra
Quadrula metanevra (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Monkey face or Knobbed rock shell; Rounded or squared shell with large knobs along the posterior ridge and a distinct indentation on the posterior margin that looks like a chimpanzee in profile. It often has distinctive zigzag markings on the shell. The shell is thick, rounded or rectangular, and moderately inflated. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm). Quadrula metanevra live in medium to large rivers in gravel or mixed sand and gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.61. Quadrula nodulata
Quadrula nodulata (Rafinesque, 1822) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA otherwise known as Wartyback, or Two-horned pocketbook, winged pimpleback, pimpleback, nodule shell, winged orb shell. It is a rounded shell with two rows of paired knobs or pustules on the posterior half of the shell; no sulcus. The nacre is pearly white and iridescent. Quadrula nodulata live in large rivers or in the lower sections of medium-sized rivers in sand or fine gravel. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.62. Quadrula pustulosa
Quadrula pustulosa (Lea, 1831) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA otherwise known as the Pimpleback, Wartyback, or Warty Pigtoe. It is a rounded shell, a green stripe on the umbo, usually densely covered with pustules. Beak cavity deep and open, not compressed as in the purple wartyback. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm), and the nacre is pearly white and iridescent. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.63. Quadrula quadrula
Quadrula quadrula (Rafinesque, 1820) is a natural pearl producing freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the USA, otherwise known as Mapleleaf or Stranger; fairly thick shell with well-developed teeth. Squared in outline, lateral surface with two rows of pustules separated by a sulcus. Its length is up to 4 inches (10.2 cm). Quadrula quadrula lives in medium to large rivers and reservoirs with a mud, sand, or gravel bottom. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.64. Queen Conch
see Strombus gigas (6.67).

6.65. Scallop
family pectinidae. The scallops or pectens are bivalves that have been a part of man‘s existence from the earliest of times, both as a source of food and adornment. Their characteristic fan shape remain fairly consistent but there is variation in the ‗ears‘ and sculpturing. Their wide variety of colours and patterns have caused them to be a significant collector‘s item, to be the focus of scientific study and to serve as industrial symbols such as that of Shell Oil. Scallops known to produce pearls are Nodipecten (Lyropecten) Nodosus (Atlantic Lion‘s Paw) L. 1758., Nodipecten (Lyropecten) subnodosus (Pacific Lion‘s Paw) Sowerby 1835, the Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Gmelin 1791 and Argopecten purpuratus. (Scarratt, 2004, Wight, 2004, Federman, 2004). (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.66. Silver-lipped Pearl Oyster
Pinctada maxima (6.50), is used extensively for pearl culturing in Australia, the Philippine Islands, Indonesia, and Myanmar; see also Gold-lipped Pearl Oyster (6.23).

6.67. Strombus gigas
also known as the Queen Conch may be found in areas of the Caribbean and Central America. One of the largest in its group, it has a large flaring lip and the shoulders of its whorls bear blunt protruding nodules which are particularly large for the body whorl. Produces the pink (and other colours) conch pearl (Wye, 1991).
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (source : wholesale pearls beads )

6.68. Triangleshell Pearl Mussel
Hyriopsis cumingii, (6.26) is the freshwater pearl mussel now used for pearl culturing in China (Scarratt, 2000, Akamatsu, 2001).

6.69. Tridacna gigas
the largest and heaviest known mollusc, also known as the Giant Clam, with the two valves weighing as much as about 225kg (about 500lbs). The elongated oval with equal valves has about five undulating and rounded ribs. The Tridacna gigas interior is porcelaneous and white, as are the pearls it produces (Wye, 1991).
Note: see Clause 2 Normative References; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (source : wholesale pearls beads )

Articles source: THE PEARL BOOK, Natural, Cultured, Composite & Imitation Pearls — Terminology & Classification (Including information on modifications), 2013-08-12, CIBJO/Pearl Commission. (source : wholesale pearls beads )
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