Pearl Glossary

Abalone pearls: abalone pearls are very unusual. We are easily identify by their hollow structure and highly iridescent nacre and formed in abalone shells.

Akoya pearls: These pearls are found in Japan. These are saltwater cultured pearls. These Akoya pearls are world famous pearls.

Baroque Pearls: these pearls are not round shape and not in symmetrical. These pearls are in irregular shapes. The surfaces of these pearls are very eueven. They resemble such objects as cacti, mushrooms or teeth.

Bib Pearls: Bib is a pearls necklace with more than 2 strands.

Biwa Pearls: Biwa pearls grown in Lake Biwa as cultured freshwater in western Japan.

Black-lip oysters: These are found in Islands, French.  Responsible of Black-lip oyster is producing the black pearls.

Black Pearls: These pearls found in the water as a natural and those are in natural color dark pearls from the black lip oyster. These pearls available now in the market as in the colors of black or extremely dark grey. And dark blue, green colors pearls are came under the black pearls. Black pearls found rarely.

Blemishes: blemishes are mini surface irregularities. That mars the uniformity of the exterior of the pearls.

Blister pearls: these are found as naturally. The blister pearls are normally in irregular shapes. These pearls caused be the chance intrusion of a parasite through the outer shell of an oyster.

Blue pearls: these pearls are also called dark pearls. This is derived from foreign contaminants in the nacre. Example for this pearls are naturally colored, dark ayoka (blue, grey or brown). Black and blue color pearls look like same but the main difference is in the origin of their color.

Choker length: it refers to a necklace with pearls in 14 to 16 inches in length.

Clam Pearls: it have no nacre. They are limited in their commercial value.

Color: color of the pearls normally referred by the type of pearls oyster and an important factor in pearls selection.

Conch pearls:  These types of pearls are found rarely. These pearls produced by the queen conch. These are characterized by a pink flame patter with porcelain like surface. These are found in the Caribbean Sea.

Cultivation: Cultivation is refers to the process whereby an oyster. And harvest to produce cultured pearls.

Cultured pearls: these pearls are produced like inclusion of a piece of layer called tissue with or without a nucleus, in to the major oyster/mussel.

Dog collar: This refers to a multi-strand choker-length necklace, and usually joined together with a single grasp.

Freshwater pearls: Freshwater pearls are found as flesh-nucleated pearls from the fresh water shellfish. Freshwater pearls pearls are exporting by many countries.

Gold-lip oysters: Gold-lip oysters are found in all over the world. These are mainly produced by Indonesia, Thailand and in Philippines. This oyster’s inner shine edge is in the color of golden yellow, and it normally produces in the color of yellowish or in gold colored south sea pearls.

Graduated Strand: This is refers to a solo strand of pearls with mini or tiny pearls. At every end that enlarge in the size in the direction of the strand. The center pearl is normally much larger than the tow on either side.

Grain: Grain is a unit of measuring the natural pearls. One grain equals to 0.05 grams or in ¼ carat.

Half Pearls: These are also called as whole pearls. That have been earth or sawed on single side, normally to take away blemishes. Then come to three quarters of the pearls remains, is known as three-quarter pearls. The word or name “half pearls” is used to refer blister or mabe pearls.

Hank: it tied together at one end with number of strands. These strands normally do not habitually have clasps attached.

Imitation pearls: Any Imitation pearls man-made to look like natural or cultured pearls. These are two types. They are

  1. It is composed of hollow or solid glass beads coated with essence d’orient. These are found from the scales of certain types if fishes.
  2. Second one is “shell based pearls”. These imitation pearls are painted with a material (substance) like nail polish and then lacquered.

These are also numerous plastic imitation pearls in the market.

Iridescence: It is refers as an optical effect like prismatic colors. It is just like an oil film. Iridescence is having fun or play of shiny colors. Those colors are look like a rainbow or a slight mixture of colors such as blue, pink, silver and green.

Kan: Kan is a Japanese word. It is the measurement unit for pearls in the Japan. One kan is equals to one thousand momme or 3.75 kg.

Kasumiga pearls: it is a new type of Japanese cultured pearls. These found in the lake of north east of Tokyo. These mussels are like mixture between Japanese and Chinese fresh water mussels, and are implanted with round or flat seeds. The resulting pearls are glowing in rosy hues from light color to dark pink color.

Keshi pearls: these are small pearls, with round shape natural pearls created by mistake in the soft tissue of the mollusk throughout the cultivation process. As per Japanese language it’s called “poppy seed”. These pearls are created when little chips of the mollusk’s covering break off and drop inside the mollusk during the surgical placing of the bead. This mollusk treats as pieces like irritants and coats them with nacre.

Knotting: These are small knots fixed between every pearl in a strand. It stoping the loss of pearls when the ornaments breaks. Knotting normally adds from 2.5 centimeters to the ornaments.

Lustre: It is the look like of a pearls surface judged by its capability to reveal the light. It is also called as “sheen or shimmer”.

Mabe Pearls: these are formed when a half bead is cement to the mollusks inner shell. The mollusk covers the half bead with nacre and when the shell is cut off, the bead is exposed at the back. If the bead is removed the pearls are cleaned and remaining hole filled with paste or sometimes with another bead then covered with a mother of pearls backing. Mabe pearls must only be used in closed back sitting. And also referred to as a half pearls or cultured blister pearls.

Mantle: Mantle is the part of an oyster’s that secretes nacre. Small tissue fragments are used to stimulate pearl formation in pearls culturing.

Matinee length: these are refers to pearls ornaments 20 to 26 inches or 50 to 66 centimeters a long.

Mikimoto Pearls: this pearls are producing and marketing be the mikimoto company. That why this name came to this pearls.

Mollusk: It is any invertebrate having a soft body often protected by a shell includes the snail, bivalve, squid and octopus.

Momme: Momme is a Japanese word. It is used to measuring the pearls. Momme is still used to measuring the cultured pearls. One momme is equals to 3.75 grams.

Mother of Pearls: it is smooth and hard pearly lining on the interior of upper and lower shell of certain oysters and other mollusks, used to make decorate the objects, buttons and beads.

Nacre (Nay-ker): Nacre is the shining substances unknown by the mantle of certain mollusks to form the pearls. Nacre is also used to create the beautiful mother of pearls coating found on the inside of pearls shells.

Natural pearls: these are formed themselves, without man intervention means created as naturally. Whichever a parasite or other foreign substance is covered by nacreous layers inside the oyster.

Non-nucleated pearls: these are formed by the insertion of tissue only by the man. Example is freshwater pearls.

Nucleus: it is put it or add into a pearl and producing oyster to speed up the pearls growing development procedure. The nucleus act as the irritant upon which nacre is deposited and is normally made from the shell of America fresh water.

Off round pearls: these are slightly flattened or ovals in the shape.

Opera length: it refers to a pearl ornaments or necklace 28 to 36 inches (70 to 90 centimeters) in length.

Orient: Orient is one of the pearls. Luster seen on pearls or mother of pearls, shell also known as iridescence.

Oriental pearls: these are also natural pearls. These pearls are found in the waters around Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. But it is not a cultured pearl.

Pearl: it is normally refer as a natural pearl. When no qualifying adjective such as cultured, precedes it. As per CIBJO regulations, pearls are “natural formations secreted accidentally and without the aid of any human agency”. Natural pearls make up such a small proportion of the trade.

Princess length: It refers to a pearls ornaments or necklace 16 to 20 inches of 40 to 50 centimeters in length.

Rope length: It refers to pearls ornaments longer than 40 inches or 100 centimeters. And it is also called as “lariat” or “saupier”.

Round pearls: these pearls are in the shape of perfect round shape that’s why we called round pearls.

Seed pearls: these are very small round pearls that form in the mollusk. Often in additionally to a larger cultured or to a natural pearls. They measure about 2 millimeter or less. Normally we use too small pearls for ornaments.

Semi baroque pearls: These are not in the round shape. For example are pear, drop, egg and button shapes.

Shapes: Shape is one of the most important issues in the pearls selection time. Pearls can be divided in to four basic shapes they are round, off-round, semi-baroque and baroque.

Silver-lip oyster: these are used mainly in the country of Australia to cultivate south sea pearls. This type of oysters produces silver white pearls.

South sea area: south side area taken from Burma and Gulf of Thailand through the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesian Arafura Sea and the north-west Australia. It includes the Cook Islands, eastward and the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia.

South sea cultured pearls: These pearls are created in the salt water areas of the Australia, Burma and in some south sea islands.