Seed Pearls | Gemopedia

Seed pearls are very tiny, round, usually natural pearls that are under two millimeters in size. They are rarely seen today, but often found in antique jewelry or sewn into vintage clothing. Seed pearls can be produced by both freshwater and saltwater mollusks.
Colors
Almost Any Color Usually White, Cream

Seed Pearls Classification

Common Name

Seed Pearls

Species

Pearl

Variety

Colors

Almost Any Color Usually White, Cream

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification. A "tooth test" is commonly used in which a pearl is rubbed against a tooth; if gritty, this is an indication that the surface is nacre, versus plastic and glass imitations that feel smooth.

Comments

Seed pearls are usually less than 2mm in size and found in antique jewelry. Can be freshwater or saltwater.

Seed Pearls Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent - Opaque

Refractive Index

Over the Limit 2.61-2.85

Birefringence

0.155

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

Aggregate (AGG)

Fluorescence

SWUV:
LWUV:

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Seed Pearls Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

calcium carbonate + conchiolin and water

Chemical Formula

CaCO3

Synthesis

Crystal System

NA

Classification

Organic

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Aggregate

Comments

Seed Pearls Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2.5-4.5

Streak

Specific Gravity

Toughness

Good

Inclusions

Seed pearls have an Iridescent surface.

Luster

Dull

Stability

Fair

Fracture

Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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